The Castles Demonstrate the Castle Walk for the Washington Times on March 1, 1915

This is the sixth of a six part series on modern dance, written by Vernon Castle, and published in the Washington Times.

The Washington times., March 01, 1915, HOME EDITION, Page 12, Image 12

The Washington times., March 01, 1915, HOME EDITION, Page 12, Image 12

Vernon Castle describes his namesake dance as being comparable to the one-step.  Mr. Castle notes, “First of all, walk as I have already explained in the One-step.  Now, raise yourself up slightly on your toes at each step, with the legs a trifle stiff, and breeze along happily and easily, and you know all there is to know about the Castle Walk.”  In other words, the Castle Walk is a stylized one-step.

On turning the corner: “To turn a corner you do not turn your partner round, but keep walking her backward in the same directly, leaning over slightly – just enough to make a graceful turn and keep the balance well…If you like…after you have rounded your corner you can continue in the same slanting position, which will naturally cause you to go round in a circle.  Now continue, and get your circle smaller and smaller, until you are walking around almost in one spot.”  Per Mr. Castle: “It sounds silly and it is silly.  That is the explanation of its popularity!”

The article examines the “Eight Step,” which Mr. Castle describes as originally of tango origin, and the “Lame Duck”, which is most often danced to waltz music.  He opines that the Lame Duck is a good substitute for the hesitation waltz, which, apparently, not everyone dances.  Other steps discussed are the “Wind Up,” the “Promenade,” and the “Waltz Walk.”  I hope to circle back this evening and update this description.

The article was provided by Chronicling America.  The featured photograph for this post was provided by Wikimedia Commons, which attributes it thusly: “By Mr and Mrs Vernon Castle (Modern Dancing) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.”  It first appeared in their book, Modern Dancing, and was reprinted in the Washington Times in 1915.

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