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Brandon Etheridte, Alex Peppers, Aurora Stars, Joe Klingshirm, and Michael Daniels / Image: Mike Bresnen Photography // Published: 7.10.18

Tea Dance Isn't What You Think—It's Actually Way Cooler

As it turns out, the best dance parties in Cincinnati happen once a month during Sunday afternoon tea. Huh, wait What? Yep, it’s true.

It's time for another tea dance.

The tradition of afternoon tea dates back to the 19th century, when high society folk would gather around a fancy parlor eating snacks, drinking tea, and mingling among other well-bred citizens. In the ‘50s and ‘60s, the LGBTQ community started using this tradition as a guise to host their own parties—parties that would have otherwise been illegal.

Some of the first known tea dances took place in New York City. Gay men and lesbian women would gather together for a cocktail and a spin on the dance floor. Within the past year, tea dances have popped up in Cincinnati, thanks to Richard Cooke. And the most recent one was held at The Phoenix on Sunday, July 8.

The DJ's playlist went a little something like this...

"Vogue," by Madonna
"Believe," by Cher
"It's Raining Men," by The Weather Girls
"Let's Have A Kiki" by the Scissor Sisters
"Born This Way," by Lady Gaga

And so on. The dancing went a little something like... well, that's what the gallery at the top is here for, to fully illuminate the magic of a Sunday tea dance.

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Note: These monthly parties are free to attend. The next Tea Dance will be held on Sunday, August 5 at Three Points Brewery.