The I Charleston Brighton Speakeasy was a roaring success on the opening weekend of the Brighton Fringe. Participants were swivelling and sliding across the dance floor at the Brighton Spigeltent and after three hours of dancing the crowd delighted onlookers as they burst out the tent to sing and dance around the Old Steine fountain.
The Charleston speakeasy was the brainchild of Creative Directors Elena Collins and Fiona Ring. They wanted to create a dance focused event with an emphasis on participation. Despite a jam packed programme which included dance workshops, performances, live music and dance contests the afternoon flowed seamlessly through each event.
This was a classic speakeasy with a modern twist; DJ Basschimp adding a dash of electro-swing while The Soultastics played twenties jazz classics with their six-piece band. Not only was there a public dance-off and performances from professional Charleston troupe Savoy Kicks, the audience also crowned this year’s Strictly Charleston Champion.
Three local businesses, Pretty Eccentric, Simon Carter and Open Space Studios, braved the dance floor to compete to win votes from the audience to raise money for the charity of their choice. Andrew Wieczorek representing Simon Carter was crowned the 2016 winner and donated all proceeds to the Brighton LGBT charity, MindOut.
Andrew, who is Store Manager of the Brighton branch of Simon Carter, said ‘'I am absolutely thrilled to have been a part of the event and delighted that through the audiences generosity we have managed to raise over £200 for a great cause ’’.
I Charleston Brighton run local dance classes and events. The team will next be taking on the world record attempt for the largest Charleston dance at the Bexhill Roaring 20’s Festival on the 23 July. To find out how to get involved visit www.dancebrightonandhove.com
To watch Andy's Charleston story, click here