People across the north west are being urged to put on their dancing shoes to mark the a special anniversary.
English Heritage is calling on the region to ‘Dance for VE Day’ to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of Second World War in Europe. Over the May Bank Holiday, the charity will lend some swing-time spirit to the nation’s celebrations by sending hundreds of expert lindy-hoppers to join community events and street parties in all 48 counties of England.
Whether it’s a party in a park, a tea dance in a Town Hall, or even a knees-up in a Nissen hut, historic dance experts will lead lessons and performances at regional celebrations to help communities Lindy Hop ‘til they drop in true 1940s style.
Applications are invited from event organisers and individuals throughout the land from now until March 8. Anyone can apply, and English Heritage is especially interested to hear from those planning to get the whole community involved in celebrations. After the closing date, one application from each county in England will be selected to get dancing for the VE Day Bank Holiday weekend (May 8-10).
‘Dance for VE Day’ is part of the national VE Day 75 celebrations to mark the unique moment in English history when communities across the country spontaneously came together in joy and reflection following more than five years of conflict. In towns, cities and villages throughout England, people marked the victory on 8 May 1945 by taking to the streets to celebrate with singing and, of course, dancing.
Kate Mavor, English Heritage chief executive, said: “VE Day was a unique moment in our history – uniting people in spontaneous celebration as they awoke to the new dawn of peace in Europe. At English Heritage, we bring the past to life, so now, 75 years on, what better way to celebrate this anniversary than by offering people the chance to dance like it’s 1945! Whether you are in a school, nursing home, or planning a street party with all the neighbours, we want to hear from you – the more involved the community, the better.”
Inspired by jazz, tap and the Charleston, Lindy Hop was introduced to the UK by the American soldiers stationed here during the Second World War and, as the perfect mood enhancer during difficult times, quickly became a firm favourite in the dance halls of Britain. On this VE Day anniversary weekend, English Heritage, the experts in historical performance, aims to bring this feel-good dance to community events across the country.
The application form and further details on the dance experience can be found at www.english-heritage.org.uk/VE-Day