The Flapper dress and Gatsby gear is not normal attire for Faulconbridge couple Samantha and George Miller but the fun loving pair is prepared to give anything a go signing up for the Blue Mountains Charleston Challenge in Leura Mall for the second time in as many years.
“We heard about it and thought that it sounded like a lot of fun,” Mrs Miller said.
“We did it last year as well. We hadn’t done much in terms of dancing lessons but they put out a little film to watch and on the day everyone could practice and get the moves down,” she said.
Mrs Miller who dabbles in dressmaking in her spare time has put together a number of outfits to wear to Roaring 20s events next month and said she loved the atmosphere of the many nostalgic events, especially the Charleston dance.
And husband George was always happy to dress up for the events, which attracted people of all ages, she said.
“As long as the outfit’s provided and there’s food at the end,” he piped in laughing.
The aim of the day was to break a record set in April, 2008 at the Vintage Swing Festival in Ljubljana, Slovenia when 250 partiers danced the Charleston.
Last year, the first time the event ran, they came up about 50 short of the world record.
“I don’t think it is hard for people to do, you just have to follow the lead dancers up front for four or five minutes,” Mr Miller said.
So what was the attraction of the dance and the era for the Millers?”
“There was lots of wealth around before the crash, lots of people with factory jobs, big pay packets and the war to end all wars had ended plus there was a big jazz music explosion,” Mr Miller said.
“Of course we weren’t actually there but we can see the artwork, read the writings and it takes you there,” Mrs Miller added. “People started a sort of new bohemian lifestyle, it was time for everyone to get happy again.”
Mrs Miller said she loved dressing up as a flapper.
“Flappers were the bad girls and the rebels. They were smoking, they rolled their stockings down and rouged their knees so when they did the Charleston their legs would show. They were young, wealthy and they liked to play up — kind of like Paris Hilton, they didn’t really care about their reputation.”
The Charleston Challenge is on this Saturday February 2 at noon. Participants need to register online or on the day to be included in the Guinness World Record.
Organisers suggest participants wear a plain outfit and accessorise with feather boa, while men can also simplify the look with braces and a top hat. Go to www.roaring20s.com.au for a full program of events.