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Winter ballroom at the South Bank

Posted on December 23, 2012

southbank-belindalawleyBallroom plays a big part in Southbank Centre’s glittering Winter Festival, which runs until January 7. Alongside theatre, cabaret and Christmas markets, there will be a range of events in the dance spaces of the London venue.

Five Go Jiving on Christmas Eve has become a seasonal tradition, with swing, and bebop riffing in a free event starting at 12 noon. You can dance off some of the turkey and mince pies with Strictly Winter Ballroom, with music from the Ross Mitchell Combo and demonstrations by young dancers. The free event starts at 2pm on December 26.

See out 2012 with A Vintage New Year’s Eve Party, a glamorous extravaganza of music, live bands, DJs and authentic period cocktails. Curated by Wayne Hemingway, Gerardine Hemingway and the Vintage team, the event includes dance classes, 1920s ragtime bands, a 1940s swing orchestra and rock’n’roll combos and pop-up bars, nightclubs and beauty parlours. Pick a decade, and dress up! Tickets start at £80.

As for the morning after, you can welcome 2013 with Strictly Winter Swing. World champion vintage dance teacher Moe Sakan gives free swing dance lessons from 2pm to 3pm, followed by DJs Lady Kamikaze and El Nino playing dance music from the 1920s to the 1950s. See www.southbankcentre.co.uk/winter for details.

Picture: The Southbank Centre. Photograph: Belinda Lawley

Zoë was born in Edinburgh, and saw her first dance performances at the Festival there. She is the dance critic of The Independent, and has also written for The Independent on Sunday, The Scotsman and Dancing Times. In 2002, she received her doctorate from the University of York for a thesis on “Nationhood and epic romance: Ariosto, Sidney, Spenser”. She is the author of The Royal Ballet: 75 Years and The Ballet Lover’s Companion.

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