On Good Friday, I went to a vintage tea dance by Loughborough Loves Vintage, a company which organises vintage fairs and events for those of us who love the stuff.
I was super excited to go, after the event popped up on my Facebook feed. It sounded just liked something I’d enjoy. Loughborough isn’t too far from me and, after convincing my other half to come with me, I booked the tickets at just £12 per person and began to plan my outfit...
I went for my Collectif Trixie Pencil Dress which I’ll write a review on soon.
The £12 per ticket was excellent value for money, which included an afternoon tea on arrival at 6pm, unlimited tea and coffee, live music from Andy B Goode (1950s/60s singer) which we boogied to, and a session of learning some basic Lindy Hop moves. It was a great evening.
We arrived at the village hall to free parking and then grabbed a seat at one of the long tables done up with bunting, cups and saucers and as if we’d gone back to the 1940’s.
Quite a few people were already there, many dressed up to the nines in vintage style clothing and a real mix of ages. After only being sat down for a few minutes, a couple a few seats down realised that it was our first time at the event, just as it was their’s, and so they moved down to join us and were incredibly friendly. Soon after, a group of four did the same, and as we nattered over cups of tea and slices of cake, we realised that we were a real mix of people from different walks of life, backgrounds, occupations and ages, but what we had in common was this love for an era that seemed simpler, full of great music and a love for dancing.
And in terms of the food, I didn’t realise until the day before that I hadn’t checked they could meet my dietary requirements – gluten free – but upon contacting the event organiser, she made it no problem at all to provide me with gluten free cakes and treats, and, although I didn’t have sandwiches like others, I’m not actually a fan of sandwiches, so the cakes did me just fine! She did say that they’d be improving on their gluten free afternoon tea for the next event.
And as we tucked in to our treats and poured countless cups of tea and coffee, the impressive dancers among the room took to the dance floor and provided those of us who were newer to the likes of the Lindy Hop and Swing dancing, something to aspire to. These people were pros! As well as Red and Ginger, the professional dance instructors who made learning a few basic steps fun and laid back, there were attendees of the event who were clearly already well-experienced.
As the night went on, those of us who now knew one or two steps, practised them to humorous effect and enjoyed those we didn’t even know but were clearly much better dancers, asking us for a dance, to the tunes of Andy B Goode, who did a brill job keeping us moving with songs pretty much everyone knew or recognised and with a mix of tempos. He could adapt his singing style to Elvis, Chuck Berry or Frank Sinatra, which was very impressive.
At one point, I said to my other half that it was like being in the film Grease!
The evening finished just after 9pm, by which point my feet were tired and my face aching from laughing and smiling. I’d talked about all sorts – the football, other vintage fairs, my too many vintage reproduction dresses and even my job, with strangers who felt like friends. And I’d been submerged into a whole other era. It was a little escape from the modern world.
I imagine going out on a Friday night back in the 1950’s was just like the Loughborough loves Vintage Tea Dance. Chatting with strangers and having a laugh, dancing to songs that oozed a more care-free time and a sense of pure British-ness.
I’ll be keeping my eye out for more of these events and suspect I’ll be going to others. It was a great night out for anyone who has an interest in the 1940’s-60’s era and fancies meeting some like-minded people, with some good music.
Loughborough loves Vintage has some more upcoming events, which you can see here.
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