Diary of a Charlestonite

I’ve had a great year teaching hen parties, first wedding dance and attending some wonderful vintage events. Here’s some pictures:

Crazy partner dancing at the Vaudeville Rave. This is a marvellous dancer called Daniel Jazz. He can spin round at lightning speed and mixes in crazy acrobatics with jazz moves. We started a dance-circle. It started off with Charleston, but soon there were acrobats, capoeira dancers, burlesque dancers, whip crackers and many more fighting fiercely, kicking drinks out of each other’s hands, turning back flips, folding themselves in half and dropping into the splits! I don’t think there was ever such a diverse dance-off as that one – that’s truly mixing it up, in the spirit of the vaudeville rave… That dance off made my night! Danced some partnered Charleston and lindy hop to electro swing with some lovely folk from London and with the Reading Charleston and Lindy crews.

Discovered a marvellous little tea shop named Bettie Blythe’s in West London, not far from Hammersmith, and named for a racy Hollywood film star of the 20s whose films were banned. There you go, you learn something new every day! I had a chat to the owner, Lulu (now that’s an iconic 1920s name if ever there was one…), and now we’re offering the Charleston hen parties together, with Bettie’s providing the afternoon tea. And how funny that the tea shop is actually on Blythe Road, as if the spirit of Bettie was actually meant to reside there.

Lulu knows how to do an afternoon tea: sumptuous pretty cakes, tablecloths and pink bunting, and everything served in vintage china. Here are some of the London hens modelling the famous Charleston scarecrow pose that they learnt, just before retiring for afternoon tea.

Went to Girljam in March. Run by Swing Patrol, this was a marvellous weekend entirely dedicated to solo jazz dance for women, to celebrate International Women’s Day. There was a whole day dedicated to Charleston Dance! I was in jazz heaven! We learnt showgirl, burlesque, vernacular jazz, and had lessons in dancing to electroswing too.

More coming soon, in next blog…


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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