Take to the floor with free social dances this Christmas

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Monday, December 17, 2018 - 12:07

Strictly Come Dancing may have finished in a shower of sequins for another year, but that needn’t be the end of the dancing. Do you fancy yourself as the next Stacey Dooley? Or even just an enthusiastic John Sergeant? If you’ve always wanted to try your hand (or feet) at dancing, but have never quite found the courage, our regular fun free social dances offer the perfect environment for anyone to give it a go.

Welcoming and inclusive to anyone of any age and any ability - from beginners to those who like to show off a bit - our social dances have even been known to tempt straight-laced newsreaders onto the dancefloor.

Yes. Yes, that is Channel 4 News’ Jon Snow. 

Anyway, a particular seasonal favourite, our winter programme of social dances offer you the opportunity to tread the boards and have a go, throughout the Christmas holidays. Come and join us in The Clore Ballroom, Royal Festival Hall for any of the events below; you’ll be more than welcome.


Christmas Eve | 1pm

Five Go Jiving

Bandleader John Bayley, along with a glittering line-up of musicians, presents a festive mix of jive, jazz, jump, dancing and humour. And if you’d like to learn the basics before the band starts, there’s a free class from 12 noon courtesy of SwingDance UK.

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Boxing Day | 4pm

Strictly Winter Ballroom

A chance to put all you’ve learned from Strictly into practice from 4pm through to 7pm, with live music from The Ross Mitchell Ensemble and Christmas classics from DJ Nick Miles. And if you’re a complete beginner you can get into step with a free ballroom basics class beforehand at 3pm.

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Couples dancing the tango
Thursday 27 December | 2pm

Tango Time!

Dance away the Christmas excess by joining us for a packed afternoon of Argentine tango featuring gender-blind lessons, special performances, and opportunities to strut your own stuff until 7pm. No partner, nor any experience needed, just your own enthusiasm.

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“Tango on the Thames has a long history of enjoyable Christmas tango events at Southbank Centre; this year we’re delighted to be running it with colleagues from Queer Tango London. As well as a gender-blind beginners class, there will also be classes for improvers and intermediate dancers. We've tango music from Argentinian DJ Diego Doigneau, and live music led by the amazing bandoneon player Alfredo Martín Espindola. What’s not to like?”

Peng Newman of Tango on the Thames

New Year's Day | 1pm

New Year's Ceilidh

Welcome in the New Year with a traditional ceilidh, featuring British folk music and dance, and a sprinkling of theatrics. To live music from the Ceilidh Liberation Front, our caller will lead you through the moves in this afternoon of social dance.

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“This will be the fifth year Ceilidh Liberation Front has played a New Year's Day ceilidh at the Southbank Centre. The way that audiences have grown year on year to join us welcoming in the new year with music and dance is a real joy to behold.”

Thom Ashworth, Ceilidh Liberation Front

If you can’t join us over the holidays don’t worry, our social dances are for life, not just for Christmas. Take a look at future free social dance events at Southbank Centre.

event listings

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