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Spanish-themed high tea with the Sugar Dandies

Posted on March 12, 2014

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web-sugar-dandie-Hosted by same-sex ballroom champions the Sugar Dandies (pictured), a Spanish-themed high tea will take place at the Royal Ballet School in Covent Garden from 2.30pm to 5.30pm on April 6.

Presented by Dance UK and the Association of Dance of the African Diaspora (ADAD), the afternoon tea will offer luxury sweet and savoury treats, champagne and cakes provided by event sponsors Hispania, plus performances, social dancing and a live and silent auction.

The Sugar Dandies will be joined by Dane Hurst, winner of the Dancing Times award for best male dancer at the 2013 Critics Circle Awards, and other dancers from Rambert, performing an excerpt from Christopher Bruce’s Rooster; Royal Ballet dancers Francesca Hayward and James Hay, performing the pas de deux from Frederick Ashton’s Rhapsody; jazz dancer and choreographer Sean Graham, performing Vertical Horizons, a piece which looks at disorientation and crossroads; and tap dancer Annette Walker, performing an tea-dance-invite“improvography”, combining improvised rhythm with segments of choreography in an organic, freestyle routine

A live and silent auction of “money can’t buy” items will be held, including the chance to watch a Royal Ballet performance from the wings and spending an evening in the company of dance writer and critic for The Times, Donald Hutera.

An exclusive Strictly Come Dancing costume experience is also on offer, with an opportunity for the highest bidder to meet with the TV programme’s renowned designers, ask questions, try on the show’s glamorous costumes and even take one home to keep. For those unable to attend the tea dance itself, the auction items will be available for online bidding from March 18 at

The tea dance event also features social dancing and guests will have the chance to win a selection of mystery treats, including theatre tickets and restaurant meals.

This is the first ever fundraising event for Dance UK and ADAD, two organisations that sustain and support the work of dancers in the UK. Proceeds will go towards a range of programmes that champion health, nurture careers and professional development, and provide performance opportunities to present new dance works to the public.

Mercy Nabirye, ADAD director, says: “ADAD is embracing change in style. Co-hosting this tea dance fundraiser, born out of an initiative to build capacity and sustainability, is a bold step and we are excited about what it will bring.”

Tickets for the Sugar Dandies’ High Tea are priced at £75 and can be purchased from


Photograph: Studio D Photography

Nicola Rayner was editor of Dance Today from 2010 to 2015. She has written for a number of publications including The Guardian, The Independent and Time Out Buenos Aires, where she cut her teeth as a dance journalist working on the tango section. Today she continues to dance everything from ballroom to breakdance, with varying degrees of success. Her debut novel, The Girl Before You, was published last year in paperback, ebook and audiobook.

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