Charleston Dancing Pier to Pier

MyCharleston dancers are toe tapping their way around some of the south coast’s most iconic landmarks

MyCharleston, showcases their students dance talents in a new video entitled ‘Charleston Dancing Pier to Pier’ which brings together dancers on their local piers in Brighton & Hove, Portsmouth, Worthing and Isle of Wight.

Pier to Pier in Brighton

Pier to Pier in Brighton

MyCharleston co-founder, Elena Collins says ‘Pier to Pier is a celebration of the beautiful places we teach in and the vibrant people that life there. We wanted to show-off these stunning grade listed piers which are on our doorsteps and demonstrate the towns are dynamic places full of talent.

The Brighton based dance organisation, founded by Elena Collins and Fiona Ring, has gone from strength to strength in the past year as demand has grown for their classes and groups have developed all along the South coast.

‘We noticed a theme appearing that everywhere we taught there was a pier’ chuckled Fiona ‘therefore we wanted to create something which brought all our classes across the south coast together. The locations complement the nostalgic feel of the Charleston and capture people's imaginations of a vintage era’.

Elena said ‘It’s amazing to think that these piers would have hosted the original flapper girls from the Roaring 20’s. We also discovered that 1920’s icons like Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel performed at the Brighton Palace Pier to practice their comic skills early in their careers and music legends such as David Bowie and Genesis played on South Parade Pier in Portsmouth’.

‘From all the piers we filmed, the one that really stood out was Worthing Pier.’ comments Fiona ‘The art deco pavilion that was renovated in 2014 transports you back to 1920’s and feels like the perfect place to Charleston dance’.

Our Isle of Wight group

Our Isle of Wight group

Our Worthing group

Our Worthing group

The film includes Brighton Palace Pier, Worthing Pier, South Parade Pier in Portsmouth which reopened in 2017, Sandown Pier on the Isle of Wight plus a dance around the twenty-four cast-iron columns now standing by the British Airways i360, which were originally part of the substructure of the West Pier in Hove. The West Pier, is the most at risk Grade Ⅰ listed building in the UK but it’s still the most photographed location in the city.

Elena and Fiona first gained national attention when they released the I Charleston Brighton film back in 2014 when they filmed 80 dancers aged from five to 80 filmed dancing the Charleston in 40 places across Brighton and Hove. Elena said: ‘Creating video content is a huge part of what we do as we love to bring our dance community together and now that we teach in multiple locations it only seemed fitting to create something new’.

‘Our next goal is to get even more people Charleston dancing in new cities so if you have pier in your hometown, we might coming your way’ laughs Fiona.

We would like to thank the following dancers for taking part:

Isle of Wight group:
Bev Burgess
Louise Emery
Mel Griffith
Sarah O'Connell
Kathy Springate

Portsmouth group:
Johanna Newland
Andrew Bellenger
Betty Richmond

Brighton and Hove group:
Mar Balboa
Patricia Butler

Jen Else
Susie Edwards
Faith Holland
Liza Harrison
Sam Hart
Phyllis Hill
Phil Smith
Wendy Smith
Kerry Lemon
Clare Taylor

Worthing group:
Claire Davey
Fleur Howlett
Louise Toney
Madeleine Rishworth
Rebecca Trussler

Teaching team:
Elena Collins
Fiona Ring
Mel Griffith
Rachel Hulme

MyCharleston intern and runner:
Isabell Pagel

The film is dedicated in loving memory of our beloved friends and family whom we have lost in the summer of 2018:

Sam Whitehouse
Daphne Bevis
Ray Lihou

The film was choreographed, edited and directed by Fiona Ring and Elena Collins.

We would like to give an extra special thanks to Rosie Collins and Paul Saunders for inspiring us to make the film.