Jan. 4th, 2013

Experience The 1920's with Claridge's Charleston Masterclass Dance Lessons

Photo Courtesy of The Bee's Knees
If a stay at the Mayfair escape, Claridge’s, is in your future, than you may want to pack a pair of dance shoes. The luxurious Art Deco hotel is partnering with The Bee’s Knees, “London’s Finest Flappers,” to offer the Charleston Masterclass – weekly lessons in all of the most popular dances from the twenties. Guests can shimmy and shake inside Claridge’s glamorous ballroom to the Charleston, the Black Bottom, and the Ha Cha Na.
The Charleston

The offering coincides with the release of The Great Gatsby, starring Leonardo DiCaprio which will be premiering later in the year. Not only a unique way to let loose while on vacation, the Charleston Masterclass also provides historical insight into an era filled with adventurous woman (think short dresses and bobbed hair), soulful music, and colorful atmospheres.

Remaining Photos Courtesy of Claridge's
 The Great Gatsby

The dance lessons will incorporate high energy aerobics as well as a fun batch of accessories, from elbow length gloves and sequined headbands to pearls and feathers. What’s more, guests will be learning Charleston variations inside the historical Claridge’s Ballroom, envisioned and built in 1929 by Claridge’s architect Oswald Milne and decorator Basil Ionides. The ninety minute classes will conclude with a “flapper” cocktail, which was created in honor of the opening of the Ballroom.
 Art Deco

Claridge’s General Manager Thomas Kochs said, “Claridge’s is synonymous with the glamour and luxury of the Jazz Age. The Charleston lessons are a perfect opportunity for us to recognize our heritage and to offer our guests a little fun escapism!” Those looking for a way to keep up with their New Year’s resolutions to get fit will be pleased to be fitting in a workout without evening knowing it.
 Claridge’s Ballroom

The Charleston gained international popularity after the song “The Charleston,” composed by James P. Johnson premiered in the musical Runnin’ Wild circa 1923. Founder of the Bee’s Knees (the team responsible for teaching the Charleston Masterclass) Aila Floyd and Baroness Jojo created the dance group in 2004 after becoming inspired by their mutual affinity for jazz dancing. Today they perform, DJ, and teach regularly across the UK.
Claridges Masterclass

“It will be such a treat to be both dancing and teaching in what must be London’s most glamorous and iconic art deco setting. The lessons will be immense fun and will transport you back to the decadent days of the twenties!” commented Floyd. The classes (around $260 per person) will be held every Monday evening from January 14 until March 21, 2013 between 6:30 and 8 pm.

Photo Courtesy of The Bee's Knees
Read More on Claridges.co.uk
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Carol Driver
A journalist with more than 12 years' experience writing, subbing and editing at national and regional publications and websites in the UK.

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