Tea Dance: 9 queer spaces keeping these historic soirées alive

A group of smiling men lean over a wooden balcony railing
Photo via theboatslip.com/gallery

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.

Big Top Circus T-Dance

Get ready to get rowdy

Palm Springs

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!

Hot Tea Pride

One of the best parties in town!

316 11th Street, San Francisco, CA

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!

Twilight T-Dance

Party in Wine Country

La Crema Estate at Saralee’s Vineyard, 3575 Slusser Rd, Windsor, CA, United States

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.

Escapade Tea Dance & Sunset Cruise San Diego Pride

Cruise around the waters of San Diego

Hornblower Cruises & Events, 1800 North Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA

5. Tropical Heat: Famous Tea Dance

Tropical Heat Key West hosts the most insane party in the Conch Republic. Five days of non-stop partying from clothing-optional cruises to karaoke and snorkeling! The Famous Tea Dance at La Te Da is definitely a highlight of the event.

Tropical Heat

5 of the hottest days Key West can offer

Key West

6. Classic T-Dance

There is almost nothing classic about this t-dance, which is held at Hunter’s Nightclub in Wilton Manors. More light festival circuit party than t-dance, this soirée is a great choice for those who need just one more day of dancing and drinks before starting the week.

Classic T-Dance

Sprawling dance floor with a lively crowd

Hunters Nightclub in Wilton Manors, 2234 Wilton Dr, Wilton Manors, FL

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.

Tea Dance Cincinnati

Party by the fountain!

All over Cincinnati

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.

West of 50 Tea Dance

A Tea Dance geared towards the 50+ crowd

The Center on Colfax – LGBTQ Colorado, 1301 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO, United States

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!

Boatslip Tea Dance

Time for Tea!

Boatslip Resort & Beach Club, 161 Commercial St, Provincetown, MA, United States
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