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Louise. Lou. Loulabelle. Loulabelle44. Louby.
Proudly blogging about Strictly Come Dancing ALL YEAR ROUND since 2006. Always spoiler-free.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Book Review: Dancing Around Britain

Dancing Around Britain is a new book by Len Goodman, which looks at the history of dance from WWI through to today. Using archive photos, including a few from his own collection, Len charts how dance helped Britain through two wars, then led into the swinging sixties and disco. He also looks at how movies fueled dance fever in the 1970s and '80s, and a look at dancing on television.

Len talks about his own dance career, although if you have read Len's autobiography Better Late Than Never, his stories will already be familiar.

A nice feature of the book is 'Songs that got Britain dancing', which feature throughout the book. Dance crazes, and the songs that inspired them, include Lambeth Walk, Knees Up Mother Brown, Let's Twist Again and Oops Upside Your Head.

What sets this book apart are the wonderful archive photos. From old dance halls such as the Rivoli in south-east London and the stunning Tower Ballroom in Blackpool (which are thankfully still in use), to people letting off steam in the war and holidaymakers in post-war holiday camps like Butlins, the images capture various beautiful dancing moments in time.

If you're a fan of dance, you'll love this book. If you're a fan of modern social history and popular culture, you'll love this book. If Uncle Len can't get you bopping along to the Time Warp, I don't know who can.

If you're looking for Christmas presents, this is one your nan will love.

Dancing Around Britain by Len Goodman is out now, published by Trinity Mirror Sports Media.


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