Monday, December 29, 2008

The Christmas Dance

'Laird and Lyons' (Walter Laird and Andé Lyons)
Giving a dance demonstration over Christmas time
Photograph used courtesy of Mrs Andé Tyrer (Lyons)

During and after the Second World War, it was important to keep up public morale in Britain even during the darkest days of the winter and when the tide of world events was unfavourable to the Allied cause. Dancing and singing were good ways to keep fit and healthy so they were key ways in boosting the morale throughout the country, even over the Christmas / New Year period when daylight hours in the Britain were shortest. Professional dance couples would sometimes do cabaret dances in the style of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, or demonstrate how to 'take your partners' and dance the Foxtrot, Waltz or even one of the what were then newly-imported dance styles, such as the Jitterbug.

Among those who gave dancing demonstrations at different dance halls throughout the South of England were 'The Dual Dancers'. The two couples who made up 'The Dual Dancers' were 'The Spencers' (Frank and Peggy Spencer) and 'Laird and Lyons' (Walter Laird and Andé Lyons). The photograph above shows Walter and Andé demonstrating the ballroom technique over the Christmas / New Year period, as there are decorations on the ceiling and in the background.
(Unfortunately I do not know the exact date or location the photograph was taken).


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