Thursday, September 6, 2018

T Dance

By Franklin Coiner, Turtle Bay
In the 1800s, a Tea Dance was a summer or autumn afternoon or early-evening dance from four to seven, sometimes preceded in the English countryside by a garden party. By the 1880s, afternoon dances became a popular form of entertainment for the upper classes in the suburbs. The usual refreshments were tea and coffee, ices, champagne-cup and claret-cup, fruit, sandwiches, cake and biscuits. Even after the introduction of the phonograph the expected feature was a live orchestra – often referred to as a palm court orchestra – or a small band playing light classical music.

“Social dancers believe that if we danced and shared music,
we'd be too busy enjoying life to look for trouble.”


In the US, the types of dances performed during tea dances included Waltzes, Tangos and, by the late 1920s, The Charleston, Rumba and some of the fad dances. The expenses of a seated supper, wine and candles associated with a ball were obviated by the tea dance, when a stiff waxed canvas dancing cloth strained over the drawing-room carpet was considered sufficient, rather than taking up the carpet and waxing the floor in preparation for dancing. The dining-room served as the tea-room, with the dining-tables arranged at one end as a buffet. For the older generation a tea dance was a reception akin to an "at home" party. Floral decorations were modest.

  "Macarena" by Los Del Rio  (1996)  


In the United States, the term has been broadened to refer to any casual afternoon dance event. In Hawaii, they have been in and out for fifty years and no one seems to be able to keep them going. There will be one before the end of the year. Now with the bus situation going from bad to worst and the Rail Fiasco looming in the distance, more people are going for the automobile and will try to avoid the Rail Catastrophe. The Tea Dance or more up to date, the Pau Hana dance, is looking better all the time. From five to nine. Then you have the clear freeway home. Even if it is only on Wednesday evening, it can cut the week in half very pleasantly.

"I say what I mean and I mean what I say. I tend to try to see the best in people.
Cause I care deeply, love deeply, feel deeply. And I end up getting hurt
by people I give my heart to."