Tea dances are making a comeback in Hartlepool

Having fun at the Borough Hall Dance Social.
Having fun at the Borough Hall Dance Social.

The long-standing tradition of the tea dance is making a resurgence in Hartlepool.And it’s thanks to the rise of ballroom dancing on television that dozens of people are turning out for sessions each Wednesday in the Borough Hall.

Dance Social has become a weekly hit thanks to Hartlepool Council’s Feel Good In Hartlepool Team which is encouraging fitness through dance.

One of our volunteers told me said it reminded him of when he was a lad and dug out his dancing shoes. When you get stories like that, you know you are doing a good job

Emily Hunter, volunteer activator

Volunteer activator Emily Hunter said: “It is doing something that people enjoy and it brings back some memories.

“One of our volunteers told me said it reminded him of when he was a lad and dug out his dancing shoes. When you get stories like that, you know you are doing a good job.

“It is getting people more involved and it is getting them to be more active.”

People attend from 1pm to 3pm for sessions which cost £3 per person with refreshments such as tea and coffee provided.

There’s a dance instructor for those who don’t know the steps, but Emily told how it’s not all just about dancing the day away.

“Not everyone fancies themselves as a bit of a ballroom dancer. They can sit and chat and just come along for the social aspect.

“Others are amazing at dancing but we also get absolute beginners who watch the steps and progress over the weeks.”

Up to 30 people a week are taking part and while most are over 50, there’s a growing popularity among the younger generation.

Emily explained: “We have got an interest among younger people because of Strictly and there is a dance instructor for anyone who turns up. They can take you through it.”

Places can be booked at the Headland Sports Centre in Union Street in advance and on the day.

And it’s only one aspect of a comprehensive series of sessions offered by the Feel Good In Hartlepool Team.

It is also offering FitSteps and Zumba Gold sessions at leisure centres in town.

People taking part are encouraged to bring water with them to drink and to wear comfortable, suitable clothing.

For more details contact Ryan Houghton in the Council’s Sport and Recreation Team on (01429) 284048 or email ryan.houghton@hartlepool.gov.uk