Dancing @Zion Arts

This Saturday the Zion Arts Centre in Hulme will host an authentic 1930s style afternoon tea dance.

By Lee Isherwood | Last updated 28 May 2012

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This Saturday August 27th, the Zion Arts Centre in Hulme will host an authentic 1930s style afternoon tea dance as the centenary celebrations leap into full swing. The tea dance will start with a workshop at 1pm where dancers can learn the basics of the foxtrot, swing and waltz and get truly into the spirit of the 1930s. From 5pm til 7pm there will be a dance social, with singer Hannah Cotterill and pianist Stuart Overington, who will raise the roof of the Zion’s centre hall.

The tea dance is part of the Zion’s centenary celebration ‘Zion 100’ held in partnership with MMU and National Lottery Heritage Fund. Throughout this year, Zion has been counting down from the present day back to the centre’s birth in 1911, through a series of workshops and monthly events, each celebrating a different decade in the Zion’s history. In February, the Zion held a club night which harked back to the halcyon days of 90s clubbing and, in March, they hosted a local history film screening of footage exploring life in Hulme and Moss Side in the 1980s. Now in August, the countdown has reached the 1930s and the tea dance will capture the spirit of fun that thrived against the backdrop of the great depression during the 30s in Manchester.

Liz O’Neill CEO of the Zion Arts Centre says “When the Zion was created in 1911 it aimed to provide a space for local people to ‘renew their body, mind and soul’. This Saturday, the tea dance will be a great way to remember how the Zion did all of those things in the 1930s.”

The finale itself will take place in October when the countdown reaches the 1910s, the Zion’s inaugural decade. The whole place will be transformed into what the building would have been like when it first opened and the audience will take a journey back through time as the last hundred years are recreated in a single day, culminating in a 1911-style Pleasant Sunday Afternoon.

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