Jubilee tea dance kicks off Barking and Dagenham dance festival

Proud residents celebrating the Queen’s Diamond jubilee kicked off a dance festival with a tea party in the grounds of Barking Abbey ruins.

Partygoers enjoyed a contemporary tea dance, a may pole dance, a choir and a modern performance called One Giant Leap in honour of the Queen on Monday.

The Jubilee tea party launched the month-long Barking and Dagenham Dance Festival, which will feature a Bollywood evening at Valence House in Dagenham and a production of Alice in Wonderland on Barking Town Square.

Jubilee dancer Donna Walsh, 24, said: “It’s bringing the community together. We’re not going to have a Diamond Jubilee again.”

Dennis Jerrom, 60, of Alfred’s Gardens, Barking, said: “I was nearly two years old went the Queen came to the throne. She has done pretty well for the country. I’m very patriotic.”

The party near St Margaret’s church in the Broadway also featured stalls from community groups.

Bill Smith, 72, of Barking Photographic Society, said: “We started in 1948. We’ve had our Diamond Jubilee. We like to show our faces and our support.”