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Gatsby's Groove: Master The 1920s Charleston [Charleston Dance Tutorial]

Gatsby's Groove: Master The 1920s Charleston [Charleston Dance Tutorial]

by Vanessa Vumbaca

Digital Content Manager | Pop Culture Nerd | Cosplay & Musical Theatre Enthusiast

Vanessa is a Sydney-based content specialist who is passionate about all things pop culture. When she isn't creating content or cosplaying, you can find her rehearsing for the next musical she's in.

Going to a 1920s party and want to master the dancefloor with authentic 1920s moves? Like me, you might’ve searched Google for the best tutorial to learn from but found that you don’t compare to the professional standard that’s out there. Well, as a dance-enthusiast (but nowhere near professional), I’m here to help you look good on the dancefloor regardless of your dancing skills.

Below is my step-by-step tutorial on how to do the Charleston dance plus an easy-to-follow Charleston dance video companion if you prefer a visual aid.

And if you need some tunes to dance along and practice to, you can check out our 1920s playlist on our Spotify:


Before we get stuck in, my number one tip on how to do the Charleston is this: Think about it like you’re squishing a bug and you’ll get the groove in no time!

Step 1

Put all your weight into your left leg and step forward and then back with your right foot.


Step 2

Transfer your weight into the right foot and repeat with your left foot, stepping back first and then forward.


Step 3

Repeat steps 1 and 2 until you’re comfortable.


Step 4

Add in a bop along with each step. You can add a kick with each lift of the foot here if you like!


Step 5

Now, you’ve got that part down: twist your heel inward with each step. (This is where you want to look like you’re squishing a bug.) If your left foot twists a little bit as well, that’s okay, it adds groove to your moves.


Step 6

Add arms. With your palms flat and facing the floor, wave them up side to side in a downward semi-circle motion. Add full circular motions if you’re feeling extra confident with the combined moves.

That’s it! Practice until you’re able to do the moves and glide around the dancefloor at the same time. Now that you’ve learned how to Charleston dance, enjoy being the center of attention at your next 1920s party.

Learn How to Charleston Dance - Tutorial Video:

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