Our first ever Montreal Dickens Fellowship Tea/Dance, held last Sunday afternoon March 29, 2015 at Victoria Hall and co-sponsored by the City of Westmount was a huge success! 48 of us, many in elegant period costumes, gathered in the elegantly lit hall. Sitting at prettily decorated tables of eight, festooned with flowers, portraits of Dickens characters, tea lights, and a Dickensian gift print for each our guests, we nibbled on homemade fudge (baked lovingly by our Secretary, Louise de Tonnancour).
After a welcoming speech by President Ellie Clavier-Rothstein, the first hour of dance instruction began. Our teachers, Michel Landry and Arduina Alonzo, dressed in authentic early nineteenth century costumes, directed over 40 of us on the dance floor as we partnered up and learned many of the elegant steps which make English Country dancing so enjoyable. The teaching was very patient and gentle. The music really put everyone in high spirits.
We were then treated to a lavish Victorian afternoon tea, complete with four kinds of delicate miniature sandwiches (cucumber and watercress included of course) a multitude of delicious tiny cakes, tarts and squares, and warm, lemon and currant scones, complete with clotted cream and jam. Hot tea was plentiful as was cold cider to quench our dancers’ thirst. (A great big thank you to our many volunteer bakers and helpers whose hard work really made the day such a success: Sylvia Rabinovitch, Timmy Cohen, Margaret Nicolai, Judith Elson, Maura McKeon, Louise G.de Tonnancour, Tony D'Aristotiles, Charlotte French, Lise Dube, Donna Manzo, Gail Ewan and Linda Horton).
Our last hour of dancing was so much fun! At the end, Ellie presented our instructors with bottles of wine as a heartfelt thank-you for providing everyone with such a fantastic experience.
We especially want to thank all of our guests, among whom were many students and former students of our teachers, Jane Austen fans and Sylvia’s elegantly attired Mom, Kathe, to name just a few, whose enthusiasm really added to the fun!
A final shout out to Donna Lach, representative of the Westmount Library and Supervisor of Westmount Community events, without whose hard work none of this could have been possible! Thank you so much, Donna for all your efforts in making this dream come true!
Click on the link to see photos from this events: March 2015 Victorian Tea and Dance