Movies Way Back When: Walk Like Chaplin
By Betsy J. Green
Charlie Chaplin first appeared on movie screens in Santa Barbara back in 1914, and by March of 1916, his famous duck-footed walk was seen both on the screen and on the dance floors in Santa Barbara! On March 9, 1916, the weekly dance at the Elks Hall at 1034½ State Street featured free lessons in how to dance the Charlie Chaplin Waltz (aka Charlie Chaplin Walk).
Instructions: “Walk forward beginning with the left foot two measures; balance forward and back, two measures; waltz forward two measures; make quarter turn and step, draw twice two measures, then repeat all.”
Okay, they lost me in the first sentence, and that was just the first half of the instructions. It ended with “Repeat all as long as your partner can stand up.”