Let's Dance


let's dance

"... the flapper came in to the tune of 'I'll Say She Does' and frequently she did ..."
                                        LLoyd Morris, Incredible New York

dancing flapperflapperAmerica had been dancing something besides the minuet since 1912, when the fox trot and the tango began to sizzle the boards. Noted Frederick Lewis Allen in The Big Change: "At any rate, by 1920, the rebellion against puritanism and stuffiness was widely visible, and it gained in impetus as the decade progressed."
Lloyd Morris, in Incredible New York, had this to say about the girls: "If your concern was paternal, the flapper was a problem. Otherwise, she was a pleasure. Jauntily feather-footed in her unfastened galoshes, her flesh-colored stockings rolled below the knee and her skirt barely touching it, slender and boyish, the flapper came in to the tune of 'I'll Say She Does' and frequently she did. Her seniors soon caught on. The woman you saw shopping on Fifth Avenue didn't suggest matrimony and motherhood. Their shingled vernon & irene castlehair was peroxided or hennaed, their eyebrows were plucked and penciled, their eyelids were beaded, their cheeks and lips were piquantly rouged. Except for their silver-fox or mink jackets, the sum of what they wore could almost have been packed into their handbags. Smart leather-goods bathing beautiesshops were advertising the novelty of an 'overnight case.' It seemed a primary requisite for women who, in the current phrase, were bent on 'leading their own lives.'"

John Held, Jr., drew the classic portraits of the flapper and Joe College that appeared in College Humor and in the old Life magazine . . . Irene and Vernon Castle, performing before World War I, did much to launch the ballroom dancing craze which made huge strides in the twenties. Mrs. Castle is credited with starting the bobbed-hair style. The story is that some of her hair was burned accidentally and she had to cut it short. On her it looked good, and she pioneered an enduring fashion.

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