The Charleston in it's modern form, was performed from around 1903. It featured in several Harlem stage shows and by the 1920's was a popular dance style in the Ragtime-Jazz era. The Charleston is a dance named for the city of Charleston, South Carolina. The rhythm was popularized in mainstream dance music in the United States by a 1923 tune called The Charleston by composer / pianist James P. Johnson.
Developed in African-American communities in the United States, the Charleston became a popular dance craze in the wider international community during the 1920's. Despite its origins, the Charleston is most frequently associated with white flappers and the speakeasy. Here, these young women would dance alone or together as a way of mocking the "drys," or citizens who supported the Prohibition amendment, as the Charleston was then considered quite immoral and provocative.