Start Date: 18.12.2020. Start Time: 19:00
Announced today, some of the BBC Strictly Come Dancing judges and professional dancers will make special cameo appearances with messages of support during the event.
The free, ‘Winter Tea Dance’ invites the country’s dance-lovers to take part in a communal experience from the comfort of their own homes. Hosted by one of the venue’s most popular ballroom DJs and London’s leading dance promoter, Mr Wonderful alongside former Senior British Ballroom Champion Janet Cunningham-Clayton, audiences will be taken through an evening of Foxtrot, Waltz and Tango, alongside festive jazz numbers performed by awarding-winning ensemble and talent development organisation, Tomorrow's Warriors.
Through the Southbank Centre’s partnership with the National Activity Providers’ Association, the event will reach over 3,000 partner care homes across the UK and thousands of socially-isolated people nationwide. Other key partners include Kings’ College Hospital.
The event follows the Southbank Centre’s long-standing tradition of hosting social dances in the Royal Festival Hall Clore Ballroom. The venue will be welcoming back its regular attendees, alongside many of the 4,500 participants from its hugely successful Art by Post scheme - the national arts and wellbeing project created in response to the COVID-19 emergency. Art by Post participants have exclusive access to our Front Row tickets, engaging in the event through Zoom, with the option to interact with Mr Wonderful and show off their dancing from their living room.
The Southbank Centre is home to the National Academy of Social Prescribing. The arts organisations’ social dances are a staple of our extensive Creative Learning and Arts & Wellbeing programme. As the format goes online for the first time, the Southbank Centre will demonstrate its commitment to finding innovative ways of increasing access to enriching social encounters for those in social care and community settings.
Strictly Come Dancing’s Head Judge, Shirley Ballas, said: “The Southbank Centre’s virtual winter tea dance is a brilliant way to get dancing at a time when we are unable to physically access our local arts centres and dance classes. It’s so important to keep active and keep our spirits up and I hope people of all ages across the UK join in from their living rooms and kitchens, as well as everyone in care homes across the country. I am thrilled to be making a guest appearance!”