Tea Dances with a Twist! (TDT) is an intergenerational and inclusive regular event that takes place in central Plymouth.
A team of dance practitioners and volunteers have been trained to deliver a dance event that is accessible to people over 50 and for people who are in a wheelchair and/or living with Autism, Dementia, Alzheimers or Parkinsons.
"We are too old to go clubbing and too young for the waltz. This is perfect!"
The entrance fee is a donation of between £1 - £5, ensuring that there are no economic barriers to attending and each participant receives a voucher for a free cup of tea from the cafe that also sells the most delicious cakes.
Then for 3 hours the participants can listen or dance to a live band with a singer in the iconic venue that is Plymouth Guildhall. The tables are decorated with table cloths and fresh flowers, sometimes in line with a theme, depending on the date (St Patrick's Day, Valentine's Day, Easter, Christmas, Armed Forces Day, etc).
No one sits on their own for more than 5 minutes before one of the TDT team members (easily recognisable in their yellow T-shirts) joins them for a chat or invites them to join them on the dance floor.
When the band takes a break, the dancers lead a circle or line dance, enabling all to join in, with or without a partner. Some people are experienced dancers (ballroom, latin or sequence dancers), whilst others are absolute beginners. The music and dancing varies from traditional ballroom and latin, to pop music, jive, swing and rock and roll.
“A lady came on her own and was nervous but is very glad she came as people dance together and get involved.”
The event attracts individuals, couples, friends, families (2 or 3 generations), ex-service leavers/veterans and/or their carers and dependents, carers with the person that they are caring for who may be in a wheelchair and/or be living with Autism, Dementia, Alzheimers or Parkinsons, carers and residents from care homes who contact us to reserve a table!
A number of new friendships have also been established, particularly between the men attending on their own and the age range has been from 3 and a half weeks to 104 years old.
We are pleased to announce that we received funding for another 9 events at Plymouth Guildhall.
However, in light of COVID-19, we have postponed the events and are taking advice as to when it will be safe and legal to continue the programme of Tea Dances with a Twist!
We will provide more information as soon as we are able to.
The minimum cost of hiring the venue, The Band, the professional dance practitioners and transforming the space into a welcoming and sociable environment is approximately £2,500. The income from "on the door" donations and raffle equate to approximately 10% of the costs for each event. Therefore we need to raise funds from a variety of sources to ensure that this project can proceed and be economically accessible for all.To date we have received financial support from:
We are currently waiting for the outcome of a number of funding applications that, if successful, will support the long term future of this project. However, at present, we have events booked through until December 2019.
It is true that the hire cost of Plymouth Guildhall is the greatest cost for each event, however, the central iconic and easily accessible location is one of the key elements of the success of the project. Many of our attenders have strong and happy memories of dancing, socialising and performing at Plymouth Guildhall during their younger years, that are rekindled.
The environment created by the Plymouth Dance team is friendly, welcoming and "ritzy". Ensuring that the attenders feel like they have been invited to the best party in town.
Because it is not a traditional Tea Dance! The dance and music memories of attenders ranges from 'Happy' by Pharrell Williams to Classic Waltzes. So, in the course of one event people Jive, Waltz, Cha Cha Cha, Salsa and strut their stuff as Disco Divas. No partner or experience is necessary to be a Tea Dance Twister!
If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact us.
“One of the gentlemen I had the pleasure to dance with today hadn't danced before, or left the house in nearly a year. Today was the first time he had danced since June 2014. He began to dance after his wife passed. He thought it was great that dance practitioners were around to help as he felt embarrassed otherwise.”