Now if you are a regular reader of my blog, you will know I love my vintage and I love to dance. Originally I started learning to jive at a local fifties diner and since then my horizons have widened.
This change started when I went to Twinwood in August for the weekend. I jived and strolled my heart out, but was so envious of my friends who could square tango and social foxtrot. This left me determined to learn more dances so next year I could participate more.
Whilst at a recent dance at AJ’s Diner, I was told about an up and coming 1940’s Social Dance. Craig very kindly sent me the event details and the telephone number for Ray, who was one of the dance teachers.
Now, I have a friend Gayle who is a dancing demon. Get her on the dance floor and she waltzes her socks off! She loves a good tea dance, and this sounded right up her street. I dropped her a text and asked if she was free.
Getting in touch with the lovely Ray from Harborough Swing Dance, I paid for two tickets. As the event was in Market Harborough, he said he would leave the tickets on the door for me.
The night came for the dance, and quite stupidly I didn’t check what my work shifts were. I had arranged to pick up Gayle at 630pm, but I was actually working till 6pm!
The night before I got together my outfit; I knew I wanted to wear my original vintage hat, use my vintage gloves and bag. I just needed the matching dress. Now, as you know, original plus size vintage is tricky, so I decided to wear a Lindybop favourite which I have only worn once before.
As soon as 6pm came round, I locked the door and work and rushed hastily into the toilets to throw my clothes on. Seamed stockings and t-bar heels completed the picture.
I jumped in the car and picked Gayle up. We arrived around 35 minutes later, and picked up our tickets from the dashing pilot on the door. Ella Fitzgerald (my favourite singer) was playing over the sound system and I was already in my element.
Ray and his lovely dancing Partner, Ali introduced the first dance and started showing the sequences we all needed to learn. We walked through it three or four times and then the music started and we were off. I was dancing the part of the male, swinging Gayle around to my hearts content.
During the first dance I turned around and spotted a familiar face. Waving at the lovely Andy and his wife Annette, he turned round looking to see who I was waving at! Used to seeing me in 50’s attire, he didn’t recognise me at first. We had a quick chat after our dance, and returned back to our table which was towards the back of the hall. Annette came down and invited us to join her and her family.
Picking up all our belongings we moved up to the main part of the dancehall. Annette and Andy’s daughter Charlotte was there with Craig who had emailed me about the event! What a small World.
As the evening went on we learnt the Breakaway Blues, Barn Dance, Lambeth Walk, Square Tango, social foxtrot and more! I was absolutely over the moon with all my new dance steps and could’t wait to try them out.
Sitting chatting with Andy and his family, the organisers announced that the rations would be handed out soon. Rations? We all wondered just what that entailed.
Being handed a white box with a ration card in the top, I eagerly opened my box and was surprised by the contents; four sandwich quarters, a hard boiled egg, a hunk of cheese and a pork pie. For dessert there was a large slab of fruit cake and a couple of sherbet lemon sweets. A proverbial feast indeed.
A surprise raffle was organised and just under £200 raised for a local charity. Fantastic stuff!
We learnt a few more dances including Hands, Knees and Bumps-a-daisy and another which I unfortunately didn’t catch the name of but loved it.
Gayle and I laughed so hard at the Lambeth Walk as we couldn’t get the hand clapping bit right and very nearly knocked ourselves out! We actually managed to get it right on the very last attempt and felt like we had conquered the world.
All too soon the dance was over and it was time to make our goodbyes. We had made some fabulous new friends, and found out the dance club has just started running lessons on a Thursday in Northampton!
Till next time