Bexhill sees 825 people do the Charleston at the same time - but it isn't quite a world record

Original article here by the Argus: 

ORGANISERS of an attempt to break the world record for the most Charleston dancers performing at the same time hope to have another crack at reclaiming the crown after going desperately close.

The Bexhill Roaring 20s Festival saw hundreds of people descend on the seaside town's De La Warr Pavilion on Saturday in a bid to win back a record set at the venue last year.

The gathering saw hundreds swinging their beads and shaking to the music as everyone got into the spirit of the dance.

They needed to beat a record of 975 dancers set in London last October but fell short by 150 people.

"We had 825 people involved," co-organiser Elena Collins told The Argus, "However, it was great atmosphere and everyone dressed up and got into the spirit of things.

"It's such a shame not to get the record, especially because there were at least a few hundred people watching.

"I'm pretty sure they are going to give it another go."

The event did beat its previous record from last year, which was 503 enthusiasts twirling and twisting together.

The latest attempt follows a swift rise in the popularity of the Charleston dance style and fashion of the 1920s, particularly prevalent in Brighton and Hove.

Miss Collins, 28, co-founded a dance group called I Charleston Brighton with Fiona Ring. The pair from Hove set it up to get more people involved in dancing and run workshops to hone their skills.

Miss Collins said: "There's definitely a momentum behind it. With the Charleston, it's a dance everyone can do and it's accessible for all ages. It's quite free-flowing and there's a lot of improvisation."

Bexhill Roaring 20s was organised by Roger Crouch who involved I Charleston Brighton as a co-organiser to engage people from Brighton and the surrounding areas.

Mr Crouch also enlisted Debonnaire Entertainment, who devised the routine for the attempt and ran workshops in the Bexhill area. He wanted to have two different dance organisations involved to make it "a true Sussex event".

Miss Collins added: "The organisers wanted to bring the title back to Bexhill and put it back on the map. We don't want London to steal the limelight. I think this has showcased the town and it's great for the local economy to have events like this."

As well as the world record attempt, the afternoon saw live music, air displays and dance performances from Savoy Kicks, the official performance troupe of I Charleston Brighton, as well as students of I Charleston Brighton.

Previous world records were set in Lithgow, Australia, in 2014 with 319 people and then in Bexhill with 503 people last summer. But London stole the record later in the year.

Since it was set, this was the second attempt to break it. The first was in Australia earlier this year.