1920s Charleston is an 8 count dance (done solo or with a partner) with a simple basic of touching and stepping with the feet. It feels best when done to ragtime jazz music in a quick 4/4 time with syncopated rhythms. The dance is very energetic and exuberant, using big kicks and arm movements. Having a hop in your step is important to get the proper look/feel of 20s Charleston.
Rather than dancing the popular dances of the late 19th century and early 20th century, such as the polka, two-step, or waltz, (like their parents & grandparents did) the younger generation of the Roaring '20s created this new dance craze. The Charleston became popular as a dance after appearing along with the song "The Charleston," by James P. Johnson, in the Broadway musical "Runnin' Wild" in 1923. Some dance historians believe its origins came from Trinidad, Nigeria & Ghana, and first appeared in the U.S. around 1903 in southern communities like Charleston, South Carolina.
Partnered 20s Charleston is said to be the what inspired the Lindy Hop. If you watch the film clip "After Seben" dancer Shorty George Snowden and his partner Liza Underdunk breakaway from each other in a Lindy swingout type of shape.