Skip to main content

Castle, Vernon (1887-1918), and Irene (1893-1969)

Castle, Vernon (1887-1918), and Irene (1893-1969)

Widely admired for their graceful dance routines and smart fashion sensibilities, ballroom dancers Vernon and Irene Castle spurred the national craze for new, jazz-oriented dance styles in the years before World War I. In an age of widespread racism, the Castles helped popularize African-American and Latin-American dances, including the foxtrot and tango, previously considered too sensual for white audiences. With the opening of their own dance school and rooftop night club, the Castles became the darlings of New York City café society. National dancing tours, movie appearances, and a steady stream of magazine and newspaper articles swelled the couple's celebrity status to include increasing numbers of middle class men and women. Often depicted as the most modern of married couples, it was the Castles' successful use of shared leisure activities to strengthen their marriage, as much as their superior dance talents, that made them the most popular dancers of their time.

—Scott A. Newman

Further Reading:

Castle, Irene. Castles in the Air. Garden City, New York, Doubleday, 1958.

Erenberg, Lewis A. Steppin' Out: New York Nightlife and the Transformation of American Culture, 1890-1930. Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1981.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Castle, Vernon (1887-1918), and Irene (1893-1969)." St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture. . 21 Jan. 2019 <>.

"Castle, Vernon (1887-1918), and Irene (1893-1969)." St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture. . (January 21, 2019).

"Castle, Vernon (1887-1918), and Irene (1893-1969)." St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture. . Retrieved January 21, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.