MyCharleston’s Brighton Fringe event, Ragtime Razzle Dazzle was a great success as we danced and partied through the afternoon. The ambition this year was to shift the emphasis from performance to participation, so we couldn’t be more pleased when we received a review saying, “It was the most glamorous and inclusive dance event at the Spiegeltent”
The “Dance Taxis” were a big hit as they created real engagement from the moment people entered the space. We gave everyone a dance card with a list of moves to learn. They could then hail a ride and a dance taxi showed them the essential moves. I think this old time tradition which goes back to the time of the Savoy, has definitely got some mileage at a modern day dance event. You only need to show people a few moves to make them feel more confortable about getting up and having a dance.
This year’s band went for an early jazz style and kicked off with a New Orleans inspired walkabout. It was a daring bit of theatre for us as we processed behind the sousaphone player, singing, clapping and dancing. Would people join in or just look at us blankly? We had barely passed the stage when I looked back and saw a full crowd of people had joined the line and were joining us in voice and movement. That moment was such a thrill to witness.
The afternoon flew by with some elements the same as previous years, we couldn’t loose the classes because that's the thing that brings everyone together on the dance floor. We dropped the ‘Strictly’ contest this year and that created a lot more space for dancing and enjoying the band. However, we still raised £100 for the charity Mind through the tips our dance taxis earnt. The dance off, as always was a big highlight, watching people go for it with absolute abandonment is such a joy. Thank you everyone for your giving it everything and a huge congratulations to Carol, this years winner. Thank you also to the new MyCharleston Troupe, watching all ten of them performing and dancing together in synchronicity has so much impact.
At MyCharleston we want to encourage anyone to give dance a go, we’ve never used the word ‘inclusive’ to describe ourselves but that's absolutely at the heart of what we do. Watching the two hours of footage from the event, everyone looks so happy but of course that's not all down to us. The Charleston community is such a vibrant collection of people who all seem to have two things in common, a sense of fun and a love of dance.