How to put on a vintage tea dance: September’s 1920s Tea Dance at The Rising Sun

Oh, it was a lovely afternoon! Here’s a picture of me in September at Rising Sun Arts Centre‘s marvellous tea dance. So far these events are biannual, but I can’t wait until the next one! Are you thinking of staging a vintage tea dance? What makes a good one?

Well, first of all, lay the tables well. Collect all the vintage crockery you can find, use tablecloths and use old furniture where you can, as Neile has here. You can find vintage crockery in charity shops. If you have a big budget, and are having a tea party for your wedding, you could even stretch to vintage china hire. There are a number of companies online. You can see that Neile even designed and had printed little art deco style tea menus, are deco style flyers and tiny cardboard tickets for the event.

Get a good band who really know their swing and Charleston numbers, as well as jazz standards. The Silver Heels jazz band (the jazz and swing wing of the popular Reading band, Rhapsodaisical) were a great choice. They play 20s and on fine form playing swing and Charleston numbers galore. It’s great to have a singer. Singer Deb Ferguson is pictured here along with pianist and band leader Lawrie Wright. 







For extra vintage style, add some harmony singing. Here’s me, Heidi Sharpe and Deb singing ‘Yes Sir, That’s My Baby’, a 20s classic. We also did ‘Button Up Your Overcoat’, ‘Ain’t She Sweet’, ‘Sweet Georgia Brown’ and many other 20s classics. You can find lists of 1920s songs if you google.

Finally, get people dancing. Have a Charleston dance class beforehand, or a swing or a lindy hop class. I offer pre-event Charleston Dance classes, see my website for more details, and get in touch via the site.


About charlestondance

We are a group of 1920s and 1940s enthusiasts providing wonderful vintage hen parties in Cheltenham, London, Oxford, Henley on Thames, Wallingford, and Reading, or we come to you! Choose from: Charleston dance classes 1930s-1940s jazz dance classes Pop Up Afternoon Tea Parties and tea dances with a dance class, a full champagne afternoon tea and our live 1920s jazz or swing pianist Vintage Makeovers and Photoshoots Classic Musicals Hen Party dance class, or singing workshop (or both, for an all singing, all dancing, live life in a musical experience!) Our special, deluxe 1920s Day Out or 1940s Day Out in Cheltenham or Henley incorporating one vintage jazz dance class, one creative workshop (including vintage life drawing or fascinator making), a vintage makeover and photoshoot, afternoon tea, and a 3 course dinner!
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