Dancing and fabulous fashion in the Adnams Spiegeltent

The Ragroof Tea Dance, in the Mood 1940s swingtime special, in the Spiegeltent for the Norfolk and N

The Ragroof Tea Dance, in the Mood 1940s swingtime special, in the Spiegeltent for the Norfolk and Norwich Festival. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2015

Getting the chance to dress up has become a rarity. How often do you get the opportunity to put on a glamorous gown or posh prom dress? The new going out is more about dressed down denim than fancy frocks, and as fashion dictates that anything goes when it comes to what you wear and for what occasion, have we become too casual when it comes to dressing?

The Ragroof Tea Dance in the Adnams Spiegeltent for the Norfolk and Norwich Festival. Picture: DENIS

The Ragroof Tea Dance in the Adnams Spiegeltent for the Norfolk and Norwich Festival. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2015

For those who love to bring out their frivolous side when it comes to their style there is one event this spring where you can dress up to the nines and bring out the fun in fashion once again. The Ragroof Players tea dances is an annual event at the Norfolk and Norwich Festival where you can go as glamorous as you want, dip into vintage trends, or mix and match different styles to create your own look.

As with every year, there are two tea dances held at the Adnams Spiegeltent, each with its own distinctive style. Staying with tradition the first has a swing theme with classics from Ted Heath to Frank Sinatra and Peggy Lee to the 'king of the jukebox' Louis Jordan, so expect a 1950s jamboree of jive, mambo, ballroom, latin and swing dances.

Dress to impress with 50s inspired prom dresses, printed tea dresses, poodle skirts, Hawaiian shirts and throw on a leather jacket for good measure.

The second day of dancing has a more grown up theme – think Fred and Ginger and the heyday of Hollywood glamour – as music from the 30s and 40s inspire the foxtrot and quickstep. This is the chance to go all out with high style, think top hat and tails, sequin/metallic gowns, elegant maxi dresses and sparkly embellishments.


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You can find the perfect outfit on the high street as this season shine and sparkle feature in most collections and there are lots of floral tea dresses and prom dresses on the rails. Or if you want to inject a bit of original Hollywood glamour into your look, scour the Norfolk vintage boutiques (the back of Norwich market has some good ones) and dress head-to-toe vintage or pick one piece and wear it with something in your wardrobe already to give it a bit of a revamp.

The important point to remember is to find an outfit that is comfortable to wear. Look for pieces made from natural fabrics such as cotton, never buy anything that is too tight and finally ditch your heels for a wedge or block heel or opt for a pair of loafers or brogues in a metallic hue. This way you will feel cool, comfortable and will be able to dance the afternoon away.

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Of course, you can just opt for your usual attire if you wish, but where's the fun in that? Even if you wear a fancy fascinator or hat, put on some glittery gems, or wear a pair of sparkly shoes, you will be embracing the fun of the dance. It's time to get your fashion groove on.

The Ragroof tea dances take place on Saturday, May 21 and Sunday, May 22 in the Adnams Spiegletent as part of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival. Tutti Frutti 50s swing takes place on Saturday and Top Hat and Tails takes place on Sunday. Both shows start at 1pm. Tickets £10. For more information visit www.nnfestival.org.uk

The Ragroof tea dances are supported by the Norwich Evening News and sponsored by Hewett Petroleum Services.

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