I have spent far more time researching fad dances than I should, considering how seldom I mention a dance in my novel, but it’s a compelling topic and too much fun to leave. One more post to share with you about dancing, and I promise, I’ll move on to something else in the next post!
Most of the fad dances of the early twentieth century originated in the African-American community. Some, like the Lindy Hop and the Fox Trot, were named for people, aviator Charles Lindberg and vaudeville dancer Harry Fox, for example, but many had suggestive names–like the Mess-around, the Black Bottom, the Bump, the Bunny Hug, and the Shimmy–that scandalized polite society. Flappers and their partners could pick up the latest dance at a dance hall. The most famous one, the Savoy, was in Harlem and served the public, black and white together (omigod!), from 1926 to 1958. (Most were segregated.) Dance marathons became all the rage.