Social dances with a twist

Chingford Tea Dance

Chingford Tea Dance, held each month at Chingford Assembly Hall

Dance can be a wonderful opportunity to make new friends, try out a new skill or just spend an afternoon in the company of friends and music – so dust off your dancing shoes and get ready to twirl!

At the start of this year the UK’s leading South Asian Dance charity, Akademi, were invited by Waltham Forest Council to run two monthly tea dances in Chingford and Leyton. The ever-popular tea dance at Chingford Assembly Hall has drawn in people from across Waltham Forest and beyond, offering them a chance to enjoy traditional dances such as waltz, foxtrot and quickstep.

Keen to encourage those who are not familiar with these dances, Akademi has introduced a professional dance couple who attend the sessions every three months. This offers the participants a chance to learn the steps one-to-one with an experienced dance partner and build up their confidence. The dances are also a wonderful opportunity for the local community to socialise, whether dancing together, or enjoying a cup of tea and listening to the music.

In Leyton, Akademi has redesigned the social dance, putting the local community at the forefront of the format. These dances incorporate a different dance style each month including Charleston, Bollywood and Quadrille.

Judi Samuels, who attended the Chingford dance with her dad, said: “Thanks to Claire and Giulia for organising the wonderful tea dance yesterday with Jerome teaching – we absolutely loved learning the Charleston.”

Judi travels to Chingford from far away, and she is happy to do that because she feels that having a whole afternoon of dancing, teaching, refreshments, and socialising, is a real bargain for the price. The whole atmosphere is very welcoming and relaxed.

Akademi regularly works in a community setting, offering dance and movement workshops to all ages, from nursery up to older adults, and are committed to ensuring dance is accessible to all abilities. We hope that through further such events, particularly in the summer, more local residents will find the joy of dancing and meeting new friends.

Chingford Tea Dance is held on the last Wednesday of every month from 1-4pm, at Chingford Assembly Hall, Station Road, Chingford E4 7EN.

Leyton Dance is held on the first Tuesday of every month, from 1-4pm, at the Score Centre, Oliver Road, Leyton E10 5JY.

For information on Akademi:

Call 0207 691 3210

Visit wellbeing/teadances