News: Tea dancing into the recordbooks - again

Monday 12 July 2010

In 2005 the Royal Opera House earned the Guinness World Record for the largest open air Tea Dance with 195 couples. Last year the city of Glasgow beat it with 220 and now honour has been restored to London as the Royal Opera House joined forces with Big Dance last Thursday (8 July) and 254 couples waltzed their way back in to the record books. The atmosphere was very relaxed, with a live band to accompany the dancing and a team of Opera House tea dance regulars on hand to encourage anyone who felt like taking a twirl around the square

Tony Hall, Royal Opera House Chief Executive, said: “It is absolutely brilliant that so many Londoners and visitors to London joined in the Royal Opera House Big Tea Dance in Trafalgar Square. First and foremost we organised the event to bring the sheer enjoyment of dancing to the centre of London. But I cannot disguise the pride and thrill of smashing the World Record and bringing it back to London and the Royal Opera House.”

Tea dancing is part of the Opera House’s history. During World War II the Royal Opera House closed down as a theatre and reopened as a Mecca dance hall. Thousands of Allied Forces service men and women used to enjoy regular dance nights in the building. Since the refurbishment of the Royal Opera House in 1999 a Tea Dance is held in the Paul Hamlyn Hall (formerly the Floral Hall) on one Friday every month. The next one takes place in October. More details on the Opera House website

Photo: Rachel Cherry

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