Review of Tea Dance, Market Hall, Saxmundham on Tuesday 14 th January 2020
In spite of the gales and rain, over 80 people came along to Saxmundham’s first afternoon tea dance in several generations. The result was a resounding success: the Market Hall came alive, with many there remembering the Saturday night dances of their youth. Happy memories flooded back along with the music.
At an event designed to bridge the generations, the students of Saxmundham Free School were fantastic, friendly and diligently delivering teas and coffees to the tables. Older guests said how lovely it was to have the children there, on their feet, joining in the dancing, and that they were so polite and helpful.
The students assured us “the afternoon was really good and it was really sweet seeing the couples dance together, and enjoying themselves.”
Delicious cakes were provided by Trinity Café, and Saxmundham WI were indefatigable at making endless cups of tea and coffee, marshalling the children and making sure that everyone was having a good relaxed time.
Bethany Rose very kindly loaned flowers to decorate the stage, and the band, from Music in Felixstowe, played on encouraging everyone to get up and dance or to sing along to the music.
The Market Hall Development Group, working on behalf of the Saxmundham Town Council, would like to thank all the volunteers and the carers from the various organisations that joined the afternoon in helping to make the event such a success – eager dancers said “when is the next one?”
Further information: saxmarkethall.co.uk
Did you know?
A tea dance, also called a thé dansant, French for dancing tea and originating from the colonisation of Morocco, was a dance during the Victorian age held in the summer or autumn in the English countryside. The usual refreshments were tea and coffee, champagne-cup, fruit, sandwiches, cake and biscuits. Even after the invention of the record player or phonograph, the music was usually performed by an orchestra or small band playing light classical music; the dances included waltzes, tangos, and by the late 1920s the Charleston.
During the early 1900s wealthy and aristocratic families entertained their friends by dancing the classics such as the Waltz in each other’s homes. This was the perfect way for parents to watch over and chaperone their young ladies while allowing them to associate with suitable young men in the afternoon.
In the 1920s the tea dance sensation swept across continental Europe, Britain and
America and lasted until WW2. The Waldorf in London held tea dances until 1939
when a German bomb shattered the glass roof of the Palm Court, bringing home the
severity of the situation. Tea dances were restarted in 1982.
(Edited Source: Wikipedia)