Nasty Ballroom

“Ballroom dancing has long been a political minefield. In the 1920s, dancing professionals tried to stamp out the ‘freakish’ steps of jazz-inspired crazes such as the Charleston and the Varsity Drag, which threatened to ‘turn the ballroom into a bear garden’. For the editor of the Dancing Times, excessive liberty on the dance floor had produced ‘artistic Bolshevism’. So the Official Board of Ballroom Dancing sanctioned only four official dances – waltz, foxtrot, quickstep and tango – and outlawed illegal steps, lifts and sidekicks.”