On Saturday 14th May 2022, we held our Calderdale Big Band Tea Dance Event at Arden Road Social Club. The purpose of the event was to bring people together who had experienced social isolation and loneliness over the last few years of the pandemic and to relive a classic 1940’s event.
This was an opportunity for people to socialise, dust off them old dancing shoes and have a good time. Coming together through musical nostalgia, the event offered the chance to forget about the worries, struggles and challenges we have all faced in recent years. Instead, everyone was able to experience a sense of normality as our community came together.
The event started at 1.15pm with people from across Calderdale arriving with their families, friends, and carers. Everyone was seated with the help of volunteers and staff, who then provided teas and coffees as everyone began to mingle.
Live music was performed by 18 members of the Calderdale Big Band who played a variety of songs and tracks from the 1940’s through the event. We were very happy to have our friends from Active Rainbow (Sophie, Eve, and Heidi) come along dressed in traditional 1940’s attire and deliver a live dance sequence for everyone to follow. This brought many people up from their chairs to join the dance instructors on the dance floor. This was a chance for people to shake them shoulders, show them jazz hands and have a great time dancing front of stage.
Midway through the event, afternoon tea was served by staff and volunteers which consisted of a selection of sandwiches, cakes and other nibbles. Whilst everyone was eating, our very own Rachel Swaby (Communities Programme Manager at North Halifax Partnership) introduced Staying Well. Rachel explained more about the service and presented the Staying Well Awards film on a projector screen for everyone to watch.
Once the film had finished, the Calderdale Big Band took to the stage and resumed playing their second set of songs. This brought more people to the dance floor, to enjoy another round of great hits from the 1940’s. The dance instructors led another live dance set for everyone to follow. As the event came to a close at 4.30pm, everyone left with beaming smiles, full stomachs, new friendships, and possibly slightly sore feet from all that dancing! The general feel of the event was very positive with lots of amazing feedback:
“It has made my weekend!”
“Wonderful event, thanks for organising it!”
“Keep doing what you’re doing!”
We want to take this opportunity to thank the Calderdale Big Band, Active Rainbow, NPT Team One (local PSCO’s in Calderdale), Ebonnie and James from Archway Project & Arden Road Social Club and their volunteers, our fellow Staying Well workers and North Halifax Partnership for funding the event.
For more pictures, visit Big Band Tea Dance on Staying Well