The Night we Swung into Spring...

Hello shrewsbury friends, long time no blog, huh!?

Well, with the snowy, cold evenings well and hopefully behind us I figured what better way to bring myself back into the LoveShrewsbury blogosphere than with a story about a truely remarkable night I had, with some truely remarkable people...the Electro Spring Ball!

Before I go on to rave about the night itself, allow me to give a brief bit of background. 

The Electro Swing Ball was first put together in 2011 by Jo and David Rickard. With their kind hearted natures and a desire to share their love of vintage and dressing up, with 'big, theatrical oppulent entrainment' with the beautiful people of Shrewsbury, they decided to be the first people to bring the 'electro-swing scene' to Shropshire. So, in order to raise money for Shropshire Mind, Jo and David put together and hosted their first Electro-Swing ball in 2011! With the help of their good friend Andrea Profitt, the night was a huge success with a great range of ages in attendance and 'the atmosphere of pure love that we managed to create' (quoted from Jo Rickard). Since then, they hosted a number of smaller events, before deciding the January of this year to hold another big scale event! As Jo had just started working at the Red Cross in Shrewsbury and had fallen completely in awe of the work they do, it seemed ideal to raise money for them this time around. Which brings us up to speed with the who, what, when's and where's...now for the wonderful nitty gritty of the night in all it's glory!

When a good friend of mine first told me about this evening, I was instantly sold. It seemed like something completely new to me, and completely new to the town. With a night that promised Circus acts, tea and cupcakes, cocktails, burlesque beauties and wonderful Electro-swing Djs, I was literally counting down the weekends until I finally got to don a super girly outfit and get my dancing shoes on! The next few weeks consisted of me attending every Vintage fair, and scouring the finest vintage/charity shops that Shrewsbury has to offer, just trying to find THE perfect outfit for such a beautifully rare event. 

The night, for me, started with a small group of my closest friends getting ready together. The boys looking devilishly handsome in their waistcoats and braces, whilst my friend and I donned our vintage dresses and petticoats. We weren't even at the event and yet I knew I was in for something special. On arriving at the perfect setting for such a ball, The Morris Hall, we were greeted at the door with a warm welcome by Jo. The night was officially titled the 'Electro-Spring Ball' with a dress code described as: Vintage, 1950's, Springtime, Bunnies, Flowers, Chicks, Butterflies and Alice in Wonderland. The first thing that struck me was the effort that every single person had put into their outfit, it instantly made me feel as though I was in the presence of like-minded people-for the night at least, and it felt happy and warm. After welcoming in the evening with a beautfiul cocktail (bar lovingly provided by Gaz and Haley from Beerbuz) we headed into the fabulously decorated main hall where Isabel Rodriguez was leading the crowd in a lesson of Vintage Swing! My feet were instantly tapping and I eagerly joined in. In other situations, I may have been ashamed of my two left feet, but that thought didn't even cross my mind. Inabitions were left at the door, and with my friends and perfect strangers at my side, I let the night be my guide.

Following the lessons, the lights were dimmed and we officially welcomed by the gorgeous Compere for the night Liberty Pink who opened with a song before introducing throughout the night the extremely talented DJ's; DJR (Mr David Rickard himself, donning a fabulous penguin suit jacket with bunny ears!), [email protected] in the [email protected] and Bertie Dastard. For those who aren't familiar with 'electro-swing' it is, in it's simplest form, mixing the classic swing music of the 1930's/40's with the more modern techno/house beat. IT IS TRUELY FABULOUS! Sooo much fun to dance to and the lessons before hand definately helped! As the night went on, we were treated to acts of burlesque by the gorgeously talented (and from a personal confidence perspective!) mightly brave girls: Pixie Amore and Oh Carolina. These girls wowed the crowd and, along with Charlie Parker who was the fabulous circus god for the night were no small part in contributing to the true magic.

The night, for me, brought great cocktails, scrummy cakes (provided by Karen and Sam from Vintage Sound and Decor), unbelievable music, and super-duper entertainment. In all honesty though, all these elements were simply a bonus. The main thing that I take away from the night is an overwhelming sense of love and closeness. It felt like and giant family, and although I only rocked up with 4 friends, I felt as though I left with many, many more. It's a feeling that is extremely rare for an evening of any capacity and no amount of praise will ever be enough for the truely wonderful and selfless duo that is Jo and David Rickard.

Jo and David themselves would like to give a special thanks to The Morris Hall, Emma and Elle from the British Red Cross and their 'awesome circle of family and friends who worked tirelessly to help and support in putting on this event'.

I urge everyone to go to http://www.facebook.com/groups/302650846415686/?fref=ts and follow the Electro-Swing Ball on facebook for photo's of the event itself as well as regular updates and upcoming events...you don't want to miss out people!

So, in closing, thank you for a wonderfully magical evening, David and Jo...I salute you. 

(attached picture taken by the lovely Julie Lou Weston (iArtizan).

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Kerri Jones Kerri Jones
Freelance writer, fashion student and Oxjam Shrewsbury Takeover manager...and a general lover of our fair town of Shrewsbury :)

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