The name of your favourite flappers came from a dance which was the predecessor of a much more popular style of flapper dancing, called the “fiddle-dancing flappers,” whose name originated in New York. These were the women who fluttered up and down, a very short sequence of five or six strokes, making a rhythmic clicking noise (that sounds sort of like a click of a mouse). The first dance that we know of, and the one that made flappers popular, was created by Elizabeth “Lilly” Taggart in 1840. This is what she wrote in her diary.
In 1840 it was a man that made flapper dancing cool and fashionable.
She thought it was the best thing since sliced bread.
You have to admit that she’s a talented writer.
But, there’s one other thing. Flappers don’t just flutter up and down, they do it all the time. Their legs are long and flexible. The first time I ever saw this in the flesh, it actually made my feet hurt and made my palms sweaty. It was a really painful experience. Not just that, I had to get up and move around to get up and down.
So, what made Flappers popular?
If I was to describe something, I would describe this as a sort of ‘Finnish school of flapper dancing’. They had similar moves but at the same time, they were more advanced and much faster. I think the whole idea of Flapper was a good one – they wanted to keep the dancing in the town rather than have it moving all around the city.
The idea that Flappers were part of a social group is absolutely true. In fact, when they were at the peak, they were so popular that they had their own social club in New York called the New York Flapper Dances & Dances. When I went to visit some other people, the fact that I was being able to dance with them was considered very exciting. It was really exciting and I remember thinking, ‘Wow, here’s an entirely different kind of dance that I’m going to be able to do.’
And I’m sure many of the stories are told in the book. For example, I have been told by someone who had danced with Flappers that a friend of hers, who had been a dancer, was dancing with them while waiting in line and everyone was laughing so hard and laughing so loudly that she fell over.
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