A ‘crazy’ creation

Ian Duermeier, an instructor at the Dance Academy, 1117 Mass., offers this explanation of how swing dancing started.

“It all kind of comes out of crazy dances that people used to do in the 1920s, which is when the Charleston started coming into effect,” he said. “Charleston has a lot of timing that’s similar to swing, and there’re a couple of Charleston steps (similar to) what a lot of the 1920s Prohibition gangsters and flappers would do.

“The dance kind of matched the style of music that it was set to. Then it started getting really crazy, where people would do a lot of aerials a lot of people being tossed up in the air and flipped around.”