Get into the swing at the Norfolk and Norwich Festival

The Norfolk and Norwich Festival kicks off today and one show has got Life Matters in a tea dress frenzy, says EMMA HARROWING.

Life Matters has been so inspired by the Ragroof Theatre's Tea Dances at the Norfolk and Norwich Festival later this month that we have gone tea dress crazy.

The Ragroof Theatre Tea Dance is the chance to dance the afternoon away to vintage sounds from ballroom to Latin-inspired beats. Dance displays from the Ragroof Players will entertain while beginners' dance classes will show you how to dance the light fantastic.

And of course there will be plenty of tea and cake.

'We all dress up with costume changes a-plenty throughout the afternoon as we present each dance display and instant dance class and we are always delighted if participants also want to put on their glad rags – many do,' says Dorothy Max Prior, Ragroof's dance teacher and choreographer. 'But there is no compulsion – come as you want to be! Should you wish to dress to impress you could perhaps choose Flapper, Nippy, 1940s forces, 1950s rock and roll, classic ballroom evening wear or tuxedo, sizzling Cuban style, or tempestuous Tango mode!'

For an easy-to-wear style for an afternoon tea dance, the 1940s inspired tea dress wins hands down for us here at Life Matters. The look is perfect for sipping afternoon tea and for slipping on your dancing shoes for a little swing dance or two.

And with the tea dress still on the fashion radar you can find may different ones on the high street and in local independent shops.

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For a traditional look go for the floral tea dress with buttons down the front like the ones available from local designer Poppy Valentine in the Royal Arcade. Or for an updated version look for tea dresses with animal logo prints or car prints for that 1950s Americana look.

If dresses are not really your bag, try teaming a simple vest top with a flared skirt. Stick to pastel colours or colour block brights and your look will be instantly on-trend.

The tea dress look will certainly take you from afternoon tea to being the belle of the ball.

The Ragroof Tea Dances take place at the Norfolk and Norwich Festival in the Spiegeltent on Sunday, May 13 and Sunday, May 20 at midday. The event is suitable for all ages and families although the event may not be suitable for toddlers. Tickets cost �5 and include tea and cake. Tickets are available from or via the ticket hotline 01603 766400. For more information visit

Find out what else is going on at the Norfolk and Norwich Festival by catching all the coverage in your Evening News. Click on the link at the top right of this page to find out more.