Flying Charleston

Flying Charleston – Traveling Same Direction

To transition from the Charleston Basic into Open Handed Charleston, you’ll want to do the following steps:

  • Normal Charleston Basic
  • After you kick forward, step onto the foot you’ve just kicked (right for leads, left for follows). Leads should make sure the step travels forward, which will help indicate the follow should transfer her weight as well.
  • The lead should continue kicking out with his left foot, causing the follow to kick out with her right
  • Still with his weight on the right foot, the lead should rotate his left foot inward and kick down. He should then step onto his left; the follow will be kicking across with and stepping onto her right.
  •  The lead will then kick out with his right, rotate inward, kick across with his right, and then step onto the right; the same goes for the follow on her left.

The basic pattern will be Kick & Kick Step, Kick & Kick Step.

To exit, leads should initiate a rock step when their left foot (follow’s right) is free.


Flying Charleston – Traveling Opposite Directions

When you’re ready, you should try transitioning so that you are traveling in opposite directions. The transition for this is simple:

  • As leads move to kick-step across, they should instead kick 3 times with the inside foot
  • Leads should continue to move the follow so she kick-step-kicks, so that she is continuing the pattern
  • After the third kick, the lead should kick-step onto the inside foot
  • Leads and follows will now be doing Open Handed Charleston while traveling in opposite directions

To exit, the lead should wait for the follow’s right foot to be free; at this time, the lead can initiate a rock step. The easiest time to do this is when the lead is kick-stepping across with his left foot; instead of stepping, the lead should hold and then rock step onto his left foot.

Hand to Hand Charleston: Flying Charleston with only One Hand

Hand to Hand Charleston (Cross Handed)

  • Same steps as Hand to Hand Charleston with both hands
  • Main difference: you’re only connected by the inside hand
  • Leads should use the inside hand to guide the follow through the steps. This is best done by pulling gently (in a J-hook shape) as you change directions
  • As you change directions, leads should bring their free hand in and catch the follow’s free hand. Make sure you’re both keeping your hands up and available

To switch to one-handed Hand to Hand Charleston traveling in opposite directions:

  • As you change directions, leads should transfer the follow’s hand from one hand to the other; this hand-hold should resemble a handshake
  • Leads will kick three times on the same leg and then continue traveling
  • Now you are doing hand-to-hand Charleston in opposite directions while only holding one hand
  • This lead should feel like a pull. As you reach the furthest points away from each other, the lead will gently pull & the follow will respond in kind; this motion is stabilizing, which makes the move easier over long periods of time or fast music

Things to remember:

  • Pulsing steadily will make Charleston easier!
  • Bend slightly forward & squat for more balance
  • Small kicks are easier to manage than big kicks


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