Matt and Phred’s, the home of our inagrual Manchester Vintage Awards is located on Tib Street in the Northern Quarter of Manchester’s City Centre, and is truly the perfect venue to act as a 1920’s dancehall. The cosy live music venue hosts a monthly Charleston class, for those wishing to unleash their inner Daisy Buchanan, suitable for both beginners and intermediates.
Aside from being bang on trend due to the upcoming release of Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of ‘The Great Gatsby’, the Charleston is also surprisingly easy to pick up, whilst still looking incredibly impressive. It’s a perfect alternative for those who love vintage dancing but are too uncoordinated to master 50’s lindy hop, jive and swing.
The beginners’ class at Matt and Phred’s teaches the basic moves needed to say, “I can dance the Charleston” – a series of simple steps which can then be mix-and-matched to create fun 1920’s routines. Some couples routines are also thrown into the mix, so bring a partner to swing around the floor with, or alternatively, use the session as a great way of meeting fellow vintage lovers.
Make sure to dress appropriately – the lights above the dance floor are pretty intense and combined with a floor full of flappers, it can get rather warm. Also be sure to bring along some spare cash for a delicious Matt and Phred’s cocktail – I can recommend the Tartini!
The beginners’ class starts at 8pm and costs £5, which may sound a little steep – especially for students – but you are guaranteed to be able to dance the Charleston by the end of the night, with help from the wonderful instructors, Anthony and Stephanie, and if you ask me, that’s well worth a fiver. You can also then attend the intermediates’ class the next time around, which starts at 7pm, to learn some more advances moves – if you’re brave enough!
Unfortunately, this week’s class was the last one of 2012 so keep an eye out after New Year at http://mattandphreds.com. If you’re craving a bottle o’ moonshine before then, however, Preston Masonic Hall is hosting a Gatsby themed party on November 23rd, and there are weekly Charlestonercise classes held on Thursdays in the Methodist Central Buildings, again in the Northern Quarter. For more information, including videos of the basic steps (so you can get a head start), visit http://jazzswingdance.co.uk/.
Thanks to Adele for getting her dance shoes on for this article- Adele blogs at Last Dollar Dress and you can find out more about her on the About page very soon!