Strictly The Best

Sadly we didn’t get to see a Charleston number this week on Strictly Come Dancing so we have picked out two of our favourite routines from a previous series. This week we are looking at the best Charleston dances from 2016.

Claudia Fragapane & AJ Pritchard Charleston to 'You Give a Little Love' - Strictly 2016: Week 3

We’ve picked this out as a highlight routine for a couple of reasons. Firstly the set up is perfect in terms of the music and costume. It is not fancy dress flapper girl at all. Claudia’s costume is really nice, they have put together a beautiful playsuit with a lovely back and AJ’s outfit also matches the era.

The music also plays a big part in making this routine works. Sometimes Strictly picks some really ‘mass appeal’ songs which we understand they are trying to do to capture the audience of a really broad demographic but sometimes it really misses the mark and makes the dance really awkward as the song doesn’t fit the right time signature or style.

It has a nice story line, with the dancing peaking in the Charleston side to side and then a funny ending, it’s a bit clumsy but who has ever been glamorous with a custard pie?

In terms of content, we see heaps of Charleston along with variations :
20s Charleston - at least 3 sections
30s Charleston
Around the world Charleston

Other classic moves include:
Bunny hops
Side to side Charleston
A ‘smack the baby’ variation
Flapper walks

So in terms authentic we see tons of classic steps.

It also has what we sometimes call some ‘Wow steps’ the pair do some really complicated lifts which are all done really beautifully. 1920s Charleston doesn’t really have any lifts but obviously this is TV and it has to have some ‘wow’ moment for the audience which is executed really well.

We think this is a really solid and strong performance and excellent for Week 3.

Danny Mac & Oti Charleston to ‘Puttin’ On The Ritz’ by Gregory Porter - Strictly 2016: Blackpool

Similar to week 3 routine, this dance has a nice storyline but it’s quite similar to Claudia’s at the start. Table, chair, fur thing around her neck but it is jam packed full of content. Sometimes Strictly fills a routine with quite a lot ‘fluff’ in the storyline (Which Vick and Granziano were marked down for this week in their Cha Cha Cha) but this cuts straight in and they really challenge Danny to keep up with Oti starting with some tricky footwork with a Charleston squat variation into flapper walks and Charleston squats on a table.

There is some basic Charleston into flapper walks which has a great swivel to it and then we see the Charleston in hold and then they break out into a tick tock from those formations.

What we really like about this routine which a lot of dances lack is you can really see the inflexion in the move so if you watch Oti’s feet they really have a swivel and flick which makes the steps so recognisable.

Again, it is a great song choice. A classic swing song which suits the routine and the storyline is very clear - maybe a bit repetitive, we have seen quite a few tables and chairs in the Charleston  - remember Brendon and Sophie Ellis Bextor? Strictly often falls short of this. How many times have we seen the lonesome street light wheeled out for the Argentine Tango? However, they fill the space and once again have plenty of wow moments with some great lifts.

The steps to look out for in this one are:
20s Charleston - both solo and in hold
20s Charleston with kicks and taps down to the ground
Squat Charleston with variations and on tables

Other classic moves include:
Flapper walks
Hitchhikers on the spot
Some Lindy steps
Tick Tock
Fall on the log variation with a jump

Next week the Charleston is back and we can’t wait to see what Ashley Roberts and her pro Pasha Kovalev deliver for the Halloween special.