Modern folk dance with ballroom dance steps and latin dance steps

Carlson’s Charleston citywalk

Steps: charleston

2 couples line dance

Other dances - Contents

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Music notes in pdf format

Melody (violin, accordion)

Mel + 2 voice

Clarinet A

Clarinet B

Melody line

Topics on this page


Steps and figures





Our sailor has been to America and was inspired to use charleston in a traditional Danish type folk dance.

We dance for the pleasure so you are free to select a relaxed informal hold etc.



Dance description


Start: all couples stand in the line of dance (lod) after one another: Lady (L) to the right of Gent (G). Every second couple turn around so 2 couples face one another: in the big lod circle in the ballroom (or in a long straight line). L stands to the right of her G and faces her corner G = the opposite G. At the end of the dance G+L has moved forward to face a new couple.


Short description:


The dance consists of 4 parts: circle, couple dance with corner, chain, change to new opposite couple:


1        circle of the 2 couples, clockwise and anticlockwise, walking steps or charleston steps

2a      charleston basic steps with corner, twist stepping, first Gent (G) then Lady (L)

2b      charleston side steps with rolling foot and wing flapping, first G then L

2c      first G knee rocking, then L double kick

3        chain 1 round, walking steps

4        the couple walks (with charleston steps) through the opposite couple forward to meet a new opposite couple


Description in detail:


bar no

1-4                Circle of the 2 couples, holding hands, walking steps: clockwise and anticlockwise, or walking with charleston steps:

1                   Start: left foot (lf) backwards without receiving weight, then lf forwards walk.

2                   Right foot (rf) forward walk, lf forward walk (charleston rocking in your body and maybe some twist in your feet).

3-4                Like 2; end in opposite place.

5-8                Like 1-4; (start: lf back).

9-12              G: charleston basic figure for opposite L, rocking your body, start lf back, ”twist steps”.

13-16            Like 9-12: now L dances for opposite G.

17                 G: 2 side steps to the left: spread your toes while your palms are turned upwards shoulder high with your elbows pointing down; then spread your heels while your palms are turned downwards with your elbows stretched horizontally out.

18                 G: 4 fast side steps of the same type to the right.

19-20            L: same type side steps for opposite G.

21                 G with hands on your bent knees: spread your knees, then assemble your knees while your hands are crossing over shifting knees, and spread and assemle your knees again now with crossed hands.

22                 Knees out and in (2 times).

23                 L: lf back and forward with twist like in the basic figure.

24                 L: then (receiving weight on her lf) 2 kicks with her rf forward to her left.

25-28            Chain 1 round, walking steps (hurry).

29-32            All: walk charleston through opposite couple as if giving right hand to opposite, start lf back no weight (maybe twist your feet).


In 17-20 both G and L can have side steps at the same time (if experienced).



Dance steps and dance figures:


Charleston steps, basic figure:

You count 4 in 1 bar and count 8 in 2 bars.

Twist: you stand on your foot balls and turn your heels towards one another on 1 and from one another on 2.

While standing on your right foot (rf): left foot (lf) back on 1 and forward on 3. While standing on your lf: rf forward on 5 and back on 7. At the time: twist, giving a rocking body. Twists are often combined with swinging your arms while bending your body. But you need not twist to just feel some rocking rhythm in your body.

In stead of rf back on 7, lf can walk forwards, and this gives the charleston walk used in 29-32 and maybe in the circle 1-8.


Rolling foot:

Bar 17: you step a little to the side using rolling foot (music fits note by note to steps ands hand moves): stand with feet a little apart. Step 1: move your heels together (V form) by turning on right ball and on left heel. Step 2: spread your heels and assemble your toes (A form) by turning on your right heel and left ball.

In 17 there are 2 slow side steps to the left (V and A). In 18 there are 4 fast side steps to the right (V, A, V, A). (By V you turn your palms upwards (with V arms) and by A you turn your palms downwards in front of your breast with horizontal bent arms).




The melody here is intended for easy learning the dance (a pedagogical, educational melody) with charleston rhythm included in the melody. For the dance part with side steps and knee rocking in bar 17-22 there is one note pr dance step.

Accordion: beats pr bar: 2 + 2.




These foxtrot figures can be seen and explained (in English) by: Louise Thwaite & Catrine Ljunggren, The Swing Series, The Charleston, ca. 1994 (video Copenhagen Main Library).