How to Dance the Charleston Shake

A dance move you’re not supposed to do?

Here’s a few tricks that you’ll want to try.



“This is the chirp dance, it’s a move that we all know from the ’80s movies.

You start by waving your arms.

Then you do a little chirping.

And then you do it again and again until you feel like your arms are shaking,” says choreographer Alex Gaskins.

“You don’t want to get too loud.

But it’s good for getting people excited.”


Dance around the head.

“There’s a good chance that you’ve seen this move before, and you want to practice it, but it’s so much easier to do with the head.”


Turn your back on your body.

“The head is so sensitive.

You need to be able to dance around it.”


Swing on the shoulders.

“It’s a very traditional dance move, but you can also do it from behind.”


Turn the head to the side.

“A little twist of the head in a circular motion helps.”


Get ready to dance.

“Turning the head toward the side can get your body moving, and that’s very good for feeling like you’re moving, but the most important thing is to have that sense of joy.”


Turn around.

“In the beginning, try to do it the whole way around, like the whole back.

You can turn around, but if you’re dancing like a robot, you’re going to be dancing all over the place.”


Turn to the right.

“Once you’ve learned the basic moves, there’s more to this dance than just turning the head around.”


Turn left.

“To the right, do a double take.”


Reverse direction.

“If you’re a human, you might be thinking, Oh, this moves me.

But I want to do that one thing at a time.”


Turn right.

“[You can turn to the left] and then back to the top of the step.”


Dance the “head to the wall.”

“You can do this from the side, but this is a more interesting and exciting dance.”


Turn head back to front.

“Dancing with the back to your body, it gives you the opportunity to move from one position to another.”


The head is your canvas.

“When you’re in front of the crowd, you can turn your head in all directions.”


The arms are your canvas too.

“For a dancer, it is really important to understand that there is a whole range of movements.

There’s the straight line that you do, there are the twists and turns, and then there’s the more complex movements that you can perform with the arms.”


Take your time.

“Start slow, but keep going.”


Practice for real.

“Take your time and practice it in different situations.”