January 14 2013
With Gatsby fever about to sweep the nation, alongside the high style status of all things art deco, there has never been a better time to sharpen up your shimmy. Which is why London’s legendary Claridge’s hotel – a place synonymous with the glamour and luxury of the Jazz Age – is offering a series of Charleston masterclasses taught by some of the city’s finest flappers, The Bee’s Knees.
Under the dance group’s tutelage, lovers of all things 1920s will learn classic Charleston steps such as the “scarecrow”, “bee’s knees”, “bunny hop”, “fish tail” and “Josephine Baker” in the über-glamorous environs of the hotel’s ballroom.
Each £125 class lasts for 90 minutes – sufficient time (apparently) to watch a professional performance, master a full dance routine (dressed, if desired, in a sequined headband and strings of pearls from a selection provided) and acquire some 1920s styling tips.
All of which is tremendous fun, of course, but learning to dance is thirsty work and should be appropriately rewarded. Fortunately, the organisers recognise this and so the final half-hour of the evening is given over to the drinking of the hotel’s famous Flapper cocktail – a rather delicious concoction consisting of champagne, crème de cassis and crushed strawberries – originally created in honour of the opening of Claridge’s ballroom in 1929.
Bright young things should book a place now.