Tea Dances has come a long way since its Victorian Era namesake. Initially, these dances served literal tea, as it was illegal for gay venues to serve alcohol. These tea dance events were safe spaces where people within the LGBTQ+ community could meet one another and make connections. Today, they serve as another reason to throw parties and spill tea more often than we drink it.
We wanted to give a shout-out to 9 places and events that are keeping these dances alive while reinventing them for the next generation…
1. Big Top Circus T-Dance
If you’re a fan of White Party in Palm Springs, then mark your calendars every year for May. That’s when White Party Palm Springs hosts its highly anticipated annual T-Dance parties outdoors with state-of-the-art sound and light systems. A variety of famous DJs provide music while you enjoy drinks and the desert heat.
2. Hot Tea Pride
Toward the end of Pride Month in San Francisco, Cecil Russell presents its annual HOT TEA party. This iconic party has been blessing the streets of San Francisco for over five years. Get your tickets early next year, they sell out fast!
3. Twilight T-Dance
What’s better than a weekend of wine? Ending it with a boozy tea dance, obviously. Jokes aside, this tea dance was the signature event of Out in the Vineyard’s Gay Wine Week. The Twilight T-Dance is a lounge and dance event fueled by wine and set in California’s scenic wine country. Check out their website for even more wild fun!
4. Escapade Tea Dance & Sunset Cruise San Diego Pride
Escapade is hosting a yacht party, including a t-dance (of course) and a sunset cruise. Set during San Diego Pride, this is a great way to mingle and take a break from the back-to-back parties with internationally recognized DJs and surprise performers.
7. Tea Dance Cincinnati
The Queen City has recently resurrected the social excitement that is a classic t-dance! Every week Tea Dance Cincinnati hosts a casual soiree to bring together the community and our allies. From movie nights to food truck gardens, check the Facebook page for a constantly updating calendar.
8. West of 50 Tea Dance
This inclusive rooftop celebration is geared towards supporting our elder gays and making sure they are surrounded by the same love and community that the younger generations have access to. With drag performances, plenty of tasty drinks, and a plethora of experienced eye candy, everyone regardless of age, will have an amazing time.
9. Boatslip Tea Dance
The Boatslip resort is an LGBTQ+ hotspot and has been an international favorite for over 25 years. The Tea dances here are absolutely legendary. Unlike many events, this one starts in May and doesn’t stop until November! Starting in July it is a daily extraveganza with pool parties, themed evenings and 90s nights!