Last night I stepped back in time to attend a 1940s Dance in Llandudno. Five of us from Latin & Ballroom went along to enjoy the dancing and music. I have to say, for a while it was quite nice to just sit and watch everyone else enjoying themselves. It reminded me that my generation has lost this part of society…social dance. In my Grandparents’ younger days, EVERYONE could Waltz or Quickstep or Foxtrot. Swing was the dance of the young, Cha Cha an Rumba were new and people went to dances to meet new people. Now, hardly anyone my age can Waltz, let alone do a Quickstep or a Rumba. I think this is sad, as looking at how much enjoyment it brought to so many people last night, revisiting their youth, it made me wish I could live through that experience. Yes, I know a basic Waltz step…but it doesn’t always feel ‘natural’ to take hold and sweep around the floor. Especially not with someone I didn’t previously know!
We did the ‘Paul Jones’…which basically constituted skipping round in two circles (men in one, ladies in another) to ‘Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush’ until the music stopped. Then, whoever you were facing you would take the next dance with. We did Waltz, Quickstep, Foxtrot and Swing; with four different partners, none of whom I knew previously. I followed a Waltz, I was even complimented on my Quickstep, but majorly failed with Foxtrot. Then Swing was very dizzy making, but amazing fun! I was initially scared that I would be dancing with different people, that I couldn’t follow or I would generally make a fool of myself. I don’t think I did 😛
We had a break about halfway through for food and a musical interlude. The Soup Kitchen opened with lamb stew and bread. It was very yummy 🙂 Well worth opening up the Ration Books for 😛 The acts on stage included renditions of all the famous wartime songs – ‘We’ll Meet Again’, ‘White Cliffs of Dover’, ‘The Army, The Navy and The Air Force’ etc – and wonderful characterisations of each one!
Back to dancing, and we had a few ‘taught’ dances…where they showed us the steps, or they were so well known we all knew them (or should have done :P). For example, the Barn Dance, the Gay Gordons, and many others I can’t remember the names of 😛 These were fun because everyone could join in, and you got to talk to new people through swapping partners.
Overall, I had an amazing evening full of dancing, good food, lovely company, brilliant music and even a bizarre encounter with the previous owner of my vintage hat! I had only bought it that day in Bangor, and a lady came up to me after one of the dances and said she had taken it to the vintage shop in town only the previous week! I told her it had a good new home, and that it was lovely 🙂 The rest of my outfit consisted of my old suit skirt from sixth form, a floral ruffled blouse, black brogues, nude tights, timeless pearls, long black gloves, a skinny purple belt and a plum cardi. I didn’t get home until almost 1am, but it was certainly worth it.
‘I remember the 1940s as a time when we were united in a way known only to that generation. We belonged to a common cause-the war.’ ~ Gene Tierney
‘It feels wonderful to be go back to the 1940s and recreate the whole era through my clothes, voice and body language. I am tired of playing the larger-than-life hero.’ ~Akshay Kumar