Dancing is just walking … with style! Words about dance never rang so true than from the lips of Gary, co-founder of Fly Right Dance Company. Running for its 8th year at the Fringe, Tea Dance is based in the Pleasance Dome. The class is taught by coattail-clad Gary and his beautifully 1930’s styled wife, Susan, who have been dance partners for 15 years.
Initially the prospect of dancing amidst the hubbub of the Pleasance Dome is a little intimidating. However, fears were quickly dispelled as it was evident that the crowds were too distracted en route to another show, not even noticing the class taking place.
Susan and Gary begin by teaching participants the Foxtrot. Breaking it down in easily manageable chunks, soon everyone is dancing, even self-professed non-dancers. Gradually adding new steps, Gary’s and Susan’s light-hearted yet clear instructions keep novice dancers from feeling overwhelmed or confused. Seasoned dancers will find the class satisfying, with an opportunity to perfect technique and enjoy a spectacularly well-taught class. To say that Susan and Gary know their stuff is an understatement.
After a hearty “By Jove, I think they’ve got it!” from Susan, participants are rewarded with a cocktail and canapé during a brief break. Susan and Gary answer questions and mingle whilst the music continues to play. Participants are encouraged to practice after their refreshment – which most of them do with gusto!
The dancing commences with a basic jaunty Charleston. At this point inhibitions are completely cast aside: participants effortlessly pick up the new steps and have fun with it. Also, a few curious onlookers have plucked up the courage to join in with the participants to do some dancing, and they too quickly pick up the steps.
The hour flies by, and by the end of it, participants are delighted to have mastered a tea dance or two!
By Ingrida Dornbrook
11-29 August, not 15 and 22 August, 1830 (1930) @ Pleasance Dome