Tango Tea

I am not a fashionista.

I know my family and friends have rolled their eyes more than a few times at how I’ve been dressed over the years, but I’ve always kind of danced to my own tune.

Having said that I love clothes, love shoes, and love accessories.  When special exhibits come to town, I’m usually there – the Princess Diana wardrobe, Princess Grace of Monaco exhibit, Christian Dior, even James Bond memorabilia.

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Whaaat?! You were expecting something else?

So one day when I was on my way to see blogger Deb from The Widow Badass, I was surprised to see a highway sign for the Fashion History Museum.

Did Deb know about this?

I should mention that Deb owns a heritage building – a former Post Office.  The main floor is a retail rental space and although I’d been there on a couple of occasions, I’d never really noticed the actual tenant.

You guessed it.  Her tenant is the Fashion History Museum.

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Well, colour me Stupid.

After Deb and I had a good giggle over my less-than-acute observation skills, she mentioned that the museum was holding a special event called Tango Tea.  It was featuring the time period 1910 to 1919 with costumes, games, dancing … and tea.

Of course I was interested in attending!!

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The big venues with their high profile exhibits and large advertising budgets get all the public’s attention, but these small venues and the special events they host are usually a little bit different and a lot more intimate.

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… and that was the case with Tango Tea.

It was a lively gathering.  Although the only person I knew was Deb, that certainly did not dampen the cameraderie of the event.

The Price Is Right and Name that Tune type games were played involving products and music from the time period.  Guess what? Deb discovered I was a dismal handicap when it comes to trivia games!  Have you ever heard of a song called I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles from 1919?  Well, me neither!

When I found a more “updated” version of the song, I couldn’t resist including it here – even though it “varies somewhat” from the original ….

However, co-founders of the museum – Jonathan Walford and Kenn Norman – were just warming up the crowd for the fun that was to follow.  Dancing historians, Richard Powers & Kimber Rudo, were on the agenda to demonstrate dances from the time period and involve the audience in the dance steps.

I don’t remember if this was the Turkey Trot or the Grizzly or a combination of the two, however it was fun.

This was an afternoon that was informative, entertaining, and interactive … all the right ingredients for a memorable event.

If you have a small museum in your area that you haven’t visited, I encourage you to do so.  Even better, be a sponsor, be a volunteer, get involved.

You might have more fun than you think.

 

71 comments

  1. Hahha, now this is a kind of cover that I wouldn’t necessarily expect you to post. Oi, oi!!! Love it! I enjoyed the dance too, the only thing missing, of course, is a shot of you in this kind of gown. It looks like a most excellent museum and I’m glad you had a great time.

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    • I have to admit I’m not a huge museum person. It’s partly short attention span and partly an aversion to crowds. What I have discovered is that the small museums are not an issue in either case 🙂

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  2. Love the dance video Joanne. I know absolutely nothing about 100-year-old dances, but from the simulated claws and outstretched arms, my bet’s on the grizzly. I’ll have to google this one. Also, I wouldn’t feel too badly about a poor trivia performance from a century ago. The tea looked like a cup-full of fun. ~James

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  3. I’m not a fashionista either, but love exhibitions of clothing. Your afternoon with Deb looks totally brilliant!! Weirdly, I know the “blowing bubbles” song too. I think maybe my dad sang it. Which probably means I know incorrect (and highly inappropriate) lyrics. 😳

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  4. It looks like quite the fun day! I should frequent more of our local museums. One that’s been on my list is the Pinball museum…with working pinball machines! When I was a teen, before we’d go into the movies, we’d play pinball at the arcade next door. 🙂

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    • A pinball museum sounds like fun!! It would be even more entertaining if you were actually into pinball as a kid.
      It’s something I never got into although I have a feeling that if I tried now, it would be a blast …. especially it is involved a group of friends and a few adult beverages first 🙂

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  5. This looked like such a fun day – I love discovering places like this. I can think of two that might be of interest – In the Old town section of Oakville, the park down at the lake adjacent to the Marina there are a couple of small cabins – I believe one’s a Post Office and there is often someone there dressed in period costume to explain the history. And here in Toronto, he church I attend is St. Andrew’s Presbyterian on King Street next to Roy Thomson Hall – the Museum of the 48th Highlanders is in the basement and is open to the public usually a couple of times a week at around noon. It has quite an extensive collection and includes one of the five wooden crosses from Vimy Ridge. Entrance is are to both of these small museums.

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  6. Dang, this was fun. So fun that I’m envious of everyone who got to Tango with Tea at the museum. Sounds divine, darling! (Didn’t they talk like that in the 1910’s to 1919’s??). I’m like you – I don’t dress up much and I HATE to shop, but I love looking at the clothes of ‘Fancy People” in museums. Go figure. This outing would have been my cup of tea.

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  7. You have so many interest, Joanne! Tango and tea is new territory to me:) But it sounds you had fun. And below the post I saw you in a dress!- a dress! Just teasing you. Thank you for coming by and commenting on burnt sienna.By the way am remembering vaguely some time ago you were planning to take art lessons – and forgot if you followed up on that… let me know if I can help you in any way – Have a great weekend.

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    • Aww – thank you! You’re so kind for offering help. I haven’t signed up for any art classes yet, but I have been working on a couple of pieces. The beauty of not knowing anything is that I’m free to explore 🙂

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  8. Oh it looks like great fun! I loved the video. At first I thought they were going to break into a monster trot. Such a joy to find these lesser known venues where such gems are uncovered.

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  9. That’s so funny you didn’t realize your friend Deb’s tenant was a fashion museum! I was so excited to see Queen Elisabeth II’s clothes on display at Buckingham Palace the summer of…oh, gosh years ago now I forget the year and don’t want to go dig out my souvenirs to find out, but it was so crowded I didn’t see all that I had hope to. She’s so tiny! Or going by her clothes she was/is.

    Your day sounds like so much fun. I didn’t know the song, and don’t know how to dance those numbers either.

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    • Yay! Someone else who is musically clueless 😉
      Now I too would have been all over that exhibit – in spite of the crowds! And yes, the size of them is often very enlightening. I had a similar reaction when I visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland and saw an outfit worn by Mick Jagger. He was/is tiny too!! I’m pretty sure the waist wouldn’t fit around my thigh 😏

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  10. Such pornography at the top of this post! But I did recover enough to really laugh at your missing the museum on your friend’s building. I do things like that all the time (such as only recently noticing a cool store next to our gym — we’ve been going there for over a year!). I love that early period of history; it sounds like a fun place to visit. – Marty

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  11. This sounds like a lot of fun, and a cool place to spend some time, and a happy connection. I love visiting small specialty museums. I learn a lot and the curators often do a wonderful job of displaying things.

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  12. Small museums are great and I don’t make the effort to explore them like I should. Silly me, I expected the couple to be dancing the tango… not the Grizzly Bear. My husband and I love to dance but we’ve never seen that one before… and I don’t think we’ll be trying that one anytime soon. You and Deb seem to be quite the BFFs lately 🙂

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    • hahaha! The event wouldn’t have been complete without the tango and they did do it …. as well as a few others. What was fun was having everyone up to learn a modified tango. I think even someone clumsy footed like me could have done it 🙂

      This summer certainly was a good one for Deb and I to connect on several activities we were both interested in doing. We still have one more on the calendar in a couple of weeks 🙂

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  13. Okay, lady, you’ve provided another learning moment here. Two posts in a row. 🙂 I knew I’d heard that song and wondered what year that Dean Martin recorded it – 1973. I have several small museums near me, but no fashion ones. I’m definitely not a fashionista and never was. When I worked, I spent a lot of money to dress well, The day I retired I donated it all to a women’s employment network. What I use to call business casual is now dress up for me, and I like it that way. 🙂 It looked like you two ladies had a blast and that’s what friendship is all about. 🙂

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    • My mother was a huge Dean Martin fan so I’m really surprised I’ve never heard his version of it before.

      I know what you mean about dressing up. It seems that once we are retired, there are few occasions to get really dressed up … which is just as well. As much as I am fond of shoes, my aging feet aren’t as forgiving 😕

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  14. I often think the best museums are small museums because they can be so focused on their mission. I’m sure you’ve been to the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto, right? This summer (not using the past tense yet) we went to a small Black History Museum in Amherstburg which was filled with personal artifacts of families from the area. The young woman who was our tour guide and whose ancestors helped build a small church adjacent to the museum made it all that more personal.

    BTW, I HAVE heard the song “I’m forever blowing bubbles”. My mother used to sing it.

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    • I have been to the Bata museum a few times and I’ve heard of the museum in Amherstburg but haven’t been there. Isn’t there a cabin associated with the Underground Railway located in the area as well?

      I found a Dean Martin version of Blowing Bubbles as well. My mom was a BIG Dean Martin fan and I’m surprised I had never heard the song.

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      • Add me to the “Yes I remember that song” list. But I wouldn’t have admitted it unless so many of your blog followers did first. Your museum trip was just the unexpected delight I love. When we were in Toronto I visited the Royal Onterio Museum, which featured many of the Xion Warriers: the Terracotta Army that is so amazing; every soldier’s face is different, and there are hundreds of them!

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