English Heritage calls on nation to help mark 75th anniversary of the end of the second world war in Europe with 'Dance for VE Day' event
English Heritage is calling on the nation to ‘Dance for VE Day’ to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of second world war in Europe.
Over the May Bank Holiday the charity will lend some swing-time spirit to the nation’s celebrations by sending hundreds of expert lindy-hoppers to join community events and street parties in all 48 counties of England.
Whether it’s a party in a park or a tea dance in a town hall, historic dance experts will lead lessons and performances at regional celebrations to help communities Lindy Hop ‘til they drop in true 1940s style.
Applications are invited from event organisers and individuals throughout the land until March 8.
Anyone can apply, and English Heritage is interested to hear from those planning to get the whole community involved in celebrations, regardless of age and ability.
After the closing date, one application from each county in England will be selected to get dancing for the VE Day Bank Holiday weekend (May 8-10).
Dance for VE Day is part of the national VE Day 75th celebrations to mark the unique moment in English history when communities across the country spontaneously came together in joy and reflection following more than five years of conflict.
In towns, cities and villages throughout England, people marked the victory on May 8, 1945, by taking to the streets to celebrate with singing and, of course, dancing.
As recalled in Melody Maker’s account of the revels “From one end of the country to the other, people, relaxing after nearly six years of the most terrible anxieties wanted to dance” — and the Lindy Hop was the dance craze of the day.
Kate Mavor, english heritage chief executive, said: “VE Day was a unique moment in our history — uniting people in spontaneous celebration as they awoke to the new dawn of peace in Europe.
"At English Heritage, we bring the past to life, so now, 75 years on, what better way to celebrate this anniversary than by offering people the chance to dance like it’s 1945.
"Whether you are in a school, nursing home, or planning a street party with all the neighbours, we want to hear from you — the more involved the community, the better.”
English Heritage’s ‘Dance for VE Day’ is in partnership with Bruno Peek LVO OBE OPR, Pageantmaster – VE Day 75, and forms part of the wider three-day programme.
Be Part of ‘Dance for VE Day’
Over the VE Day Bank Holiday weekend, May 8-10, 2020, English Heritage will send dance experts out to community events across the country.
One event in each county will be selected to receive a lindy hop dance package — including taster lessons with experienced dancers, demonstrations, and the chance to join in with a community performance.
Anyone planning to host a VE Day 75 celebration can apply from today, up until 5pm on March 8, 2020.
The application form and further details on the dance experience can be found at www.english-heritage.org.uk/VE-Day
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More by this authorDan Churcher