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Dancing @ Southbank Centre's Winter Festival

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by Sandra Lawson (subscribe)
To paraphrase Dorothy: 'There is no place like London.' I hope I can convince you of that here. Also check out my blog at and my theatre reviews at
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Strictly Christmas Dancing at the Southbank's Clore Ballroom
At this time of the year we are all completely focussed on Christmas; it's like the nose in front of our face that we can't see beyond. So just think ahead to Boxing Day and New Year's Day and take yourself to the Royal Festival Hall to dance off some those Christmas kilos. In fact you could even put on your dancing shoes on Christmas Eve for an opportunity to jive off some weight in advance. Southbank Centre's Winter Festival is already underway, and all of the events are free, which is an even better excuse for going somewhere where you won't be taxing your maxed out credit cards.

All events will take place in the Clore Ballroom, that marvellous open space in the Royal Festival Hall that is designed to look like an art deco ocean liner. If you don't believe me, take a closer look next time you're there.

The Clore Ballroom
The Clore Ballroom

Between 2pm and 4pm on 24 December the floor will be opened up for jumping and jiving led by John Bayley. Not quite rockin' around the Christmas tree, but not too far away either.

Five Go Jiving
Five Go Jiving

Strictly Winter Ballroom will take place between 2pm and 6pm on 26 December. You will get a chance to watch dance demonstrations and practice your ballroom steps to the sounds of the Ross Mitchell Combo. Not exactly Strictly Come Dancing, but nobody is asking you to wear your skimpy frocks either.

If you're not too hung over or exhausted after welcoming in 2013, you will get an opportunity to learn swing dancing between 2pm and 3pm courtesy of vintage-dance teacher Moe Sakan on 1 January. Once you've mastered the steps you'll have a further three hours to show off your skills to tunes from the 1920s to the 1950s played by Lady Kamikaze and El Nino.

Strictly Winter Swing
Strictly Winter Swing

Can you think of a better way to put a spring in your step to dance away the winter?
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Why? To dance, learn some new steps and generally have fun
When: 24 and 26 December 2012 and 1 January 2013
Where: The Clore Ballroom, The Royal Festival Hall
Cost: Free
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sounds like fun
by Oxford Explorer (score: 2|655) 3461 days ago
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