Pope Pius X (1835 –1914)
By the turn of the 20th Century dance
floor behaviour was likened to that of
animals and therefore to find each
subsequent dance craze embraced the
idea was no surprise.
Pope Pius X asked the faithful to
forswear the animal mimicry and sanely
return to dancing the medieval, furlana.
Thought to have originated in the
night clubs of San Francisco‘s
Barbary Coast in the early 1900s.
Dancers moved together, touched,
pawed and intimately supported each
other with their perilously off-balance
Became popular after the musical
revue, Over the River (1910)
Hemlines rose and legs
took on a new attraction.
Court shoes replaced the
ubiquitous boot and
slanting Cuban Heels
began to be appear.
"Everybody's Doing' It
objected and revelers
were arrested for
dancing animal dances.
The Tango with its smooth suave Latin
sensualness became the dirty dancing of
No dance craze swept the world faster
and brought millions of dollars to dance
The dance was banned in many places.
By 1913 the craze hit England and
became a tea dance phenomenon.
Kid leather and button
straps became all the
The Louis heel was in
Ladies shoes were robust
and made for walking out
as well as dancing.
The Tango originated in Argentina and found its way to Paris
via the popular Atlantic luxury cruisers.
Dancing shoes from the Titanic found on the sea bed
Harry Fox (1882 - 1959 ) Irene and Vernon Castle
The Charleston and its
spin offs: the Shimmy,
Black Bottom, and
Varsity Rag were the
dances of the trendy
Flappers drank giggle
water and danced in the
Speakeasy to jazz.
The Black Bottom
Glamorous dance shoes
sported designs and
trapping of rich and
Shoe styles of the mid
such as the sensational
opening of the tomb of
Shoes were sturdy enough to withstand
stresses imposed by fashionable dance
Woman's fashions of
the 20s included
more leg on show.
Daytime shoes were
neat and feminine
looking, with oval
toes and straight,
The1920s stood out as a bright, youth
Shoe designs of the
20s reflected art deco
style with mixtures of
leather and suede.
Many styles boasted
of cushioned heels
Shoes heels were often decorated
dressed in high quality,
perfectly fitting clothing
shoes were thought
Towards the end of the
decade the Rumba from
Cuba came like the
Tango with festering
sensualness as Caribbean
and African rhythms and
The rumba was described as the
vertical expression of a horizontal
It became chic to dance to jazz music
as social barriers between black and
white communities were bridged. The
effects on fashion were considerable.
Two-tone shoes (Spectators) became
the zenith of fashion and were
considered elegant for both sexes.
Swing steps were more athletic
Than the Charleston. Dancers
were younger and dancing was
Inspiration for the new steps
came from many sources
including thecLindy or Lindy
Hop which was a dance
rendition of Charles
Lindberg's solo struggle across
the Atlantic in 1927.
The Muscular Christianity movement of
the late 19th century advocated a
fusion of energetic Christian activism
and rigorous physical culture training.
Dance became a means of cutting
loose from the hardships of reality of
Post Depression and for working class
people became an established form of
Dance marathons became incredibly
popular with literally many people
dancing until they dropped.
Most of the dances were
North American but the
UK, Lambeth Walk enjoyed
intense popularity for a
The sensuous Samba
originated in Rio de Janeiro
and was introduced at the
1939 New York World's
Before to the Depression it was
important to have shoes for both
daytime as well as evening wear.
After 1929 most women preferred
to wear styles which could be worn
during the day as well as at night.
As hemlines dropped shoes took
on high vamps and hugging heels.
Toes were more rounded and court
shoes became broader worn with
4 cm heels.
Dancing shoes were always well
Straps were often highly decorated
Side and heel incorporated gold flecks
There were many variations on
The T strap with cutaway sides
And open toes.
Evening shoes were hard wearing
and luxurious silks, satins, suede
and kid replaced the velvets of
the beginning of the decade.
Exotic hides, such as python and
lizard remained chic.
Black was vogue
The classic court shoe
was an everyday basic
but the new look
slender heeled sandals
with ankle and "T
straps" in reptile
skins, soft kid, suede
and satin were very
much the desire of
Walking shoes for women were
introduced during the economically
depressed years of the early 30's.
As the economy improved fashion
accessories included the business
shoe broader more angular and
with a lowered heel.
Adverts captured the style conscious
consumer with practical additions.
The sandals of the thirties were
made with sturdy soles for
dancing while the open toes
kept the foot cool.
In the absence of nylon
stockings, legs were made up
Elsa Schiaparelli was a major
influence on fashion in the 30's
and let shoe designer Perugia
produced shoes with twisted metal
heels, fish shapes and golden
The collaboration with
Salvador Dali to produce the
famous shoe hat
By the end of the decade
the platform sandal made
its fashion debut.
Shortages of raw materials
meant designers like
Ferragamo improvised with
non-traditional materials like
During the 1930s more
American companies relied
on dance records in
jukeboxes to help support
the dwindling market
As a direct result more bars
and clubs added dance
With men at war the invention of the
record player meant women could
dance in their living rooms.
This was where the jitterbug grew up
and had elements of other dances
from previous times.
Named after the jitters or too much
alcohol, participants suffered many
In the 30s the trend for faster
dancing with vigorous acrobatic
movements meant youths had to
be pretty fleet of foot.
The jitterbug was danced to the
music of Benny Goodman.
The zoot suit was condemned
in many states and clergy
warned the suit only appealed
to pre-repentant Mary
Magdalene kind of women.
In many versions the foot
opening was so narrow that the
trousers needed ankle zippers.
The fashion came to an end
when L-85 restrictions on
clothing were introduced in
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