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South East Dance
Brighton’s Charleston Dance Craze goes Viral
12 September 2014

The “I Charleston” project has fired people’s imaginations and passion for dance from New York to Paris and beyond. And now, Brighton is the latest city to join the Charleston World Map, a series of global viral films that showcase the dance talents and the iconic sites of the city.

The ‘‘I Charleston Brighton’’ film is an energetic, colourful spectacle of dance, costume and humour. With music to match, the viral video captures the quirky character of Brighton, its people and frivolity. Standout scenes include a fan dancer, Charleston dancing at the naked bike ride, two pole dancing builders and a scene shot in the sea. The film launched last week at a private screening attended by the Mayor of Brighton & Hove, Councillor Brian Fitch.

The project was initiated and run by two local dancers and filmmakers Elena Collins and Fiona Ring. It took them took six months to choreograph, film and edit and features over forty locations around the City. They collaborated with a wide range of local dance groups and performers including Streetfunk and Live Love Hoop, as well as running dance courses where people could learn the choreography so they could take part in the film. In total over 80 dancers were involved in the film ranging from 5 to 80 years in age.


Elena explained: ‘’We really wanted to capture the diverse and individual spirit of Brighton so we were delighted that so many dance and performance groups volunteered their time to be a part of the project. Thanks to them, we managed to capture the creative vibe of our city.’’

“I Charleston the World” has become a global phenomenon with more than 70 cities participating across four continents. In England though, only London and Liverpool have completed an “I Charleston” video. Brighton has upped the ante by filming not only the main attractions but also some of Brighton’s best kept secrets.



Due to the popularity of the Charleston classes, Elena and Fiona will be continuing to teach with more exciting projects lined up for the fall. Fiona said: “It’s such a joyful way to move. The music and diverse styles we use make it a really enjoyable experience. As well as the classes and film project, we hope to create opportunities for social dancing so that we can really grow a community of dancers’’.



Images and film supplied by I Charleston