The 1920s wasn’t called the Roaring Twenties for nothing: as wealth grew and people became more free in the era of Prohibition, American Jazz roared and a new type of dance emerged. Named after the city in South Carolina where it was first created, The Charleston sprang up in ballrooms and clubs around the world (and even in the Broadway show Runnin’ Wild). The new style of dance was fun and exciting and allowed people to kick and to fling their arms, especially overhead.
The 1950s saw the birth of a number of dance crazes including the rock n roll twist, first performed in 1958 by Chubby Checker and popularised the following year in a song of the same name. It was a fast, easy-to-learn dance that also encouraged a lot of arm flapping and leg swinging, just like the music it was paired with.
By the 1980s rap and R&B had come to dominate pop culture and a new type of dance was born. Created in the South Central area of Los Angeles, Krumping combines a mixture of break dancing and popping moves with more upright movements. Its popularity soared after it was adopted by a generation of rappers including Lil B, N.Dot, G-Nerd, and LaShonte.
More recently, the 2000s have seen a torrent of new dances and crazes thanks to the emergence of hip hop, rap, and RnB. The Nae Nae and Dougie, both of which feature in the list of popular TikTok dances 2022, are a couple of examples of the simple, fun new styles that have become the latest dance fads.