Strictly vintage tea dance that's ideal with a cup of Cha-cha-cha

HUNDREDS of people danced the afternoon away after a traditional tea dance was revived, after a more than 20-year break.

Stepping to it: The revival of the tea dance, after a break of 20 years, brought hundreds to Hull City Hall. Picture: Gary Longbottom

People were queuing outside Hull City Hall yesterday ahead of the event which was put on after a member of public Christine Burman called in to ask if any dances were coming up in City of Culture year.

The event sold out weeks ago, and 80 tickets have already been snapped up for the next dance on May 31.

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A major draw was an appearance by renowned Blackpool Tower organist John Bowdler, playing quicksteps, waltzes, tangos and foxtrots from the 1930s and 1940s.

Stepping to it: The revival of the tea dance, after a break of 20 years, brought hundreds to Hull City Hall. Picture: Gary Longbottom

He will be playing at the event in May, and again on October 11 and December 20.

The dancefloor filled with pairs as Mr Bowdler kicked off the afternoon dance with a Mayfair Quickstep.

Mr Bowdler, who started at Blackpool Tower aged 16, is in his 30th year of performing and has a large following.

He said: “This is where people can hear all these lovely tunes. I think a lot of these people may have seen me at Blackpool Tower – instead of them coming to Blackpool I have come to Hull.

Stepping to it: The revival of the tea dance, after a break of 20 years, brought hundreds to Hull City Hall. Picture: Gary Longbottom

“So many people come to me and say a dose of you has done me a world of good. It’s better than taking tablets.

“Some of the people you see have a job to walk in but when you see them on the dancefloor they are just loving it.”

Among the dancers were Sylvia Ellerby, 77, in a midnight blue evening dress and her nattily- dressed partner David Adams, 73, in white shirt, sky blue tie, braces and black and white spats. They met 11 years ago at Ward Dance Academy in Hull where David was helping teach and still go to dances between two and five times a week.

Mr Adams said: “It’s great, it’s a good atmosphere and it shows ballroom and sequence isn’t dead – the young ones don’t know what they are missing.”

Joan Green, who came with husband Mike, used to run a dance group in North Ferriby. Although Mrs Green was not able to dance yesterday as she is waiting for knee replacements, she said: “It’s frustrating to come to a dance and not be able to. We have come only because it’s John.

“He should definitely be prescribed on the NHS.”