We wanted to take this opportunity to get in touch and share our plans for our virtual VE Day celebrations. We know you were all planning to mark this day, and have had to cancel or postpone those plans, but we hope you will join us in a virtual celebration instead.
On Friday 8 May, English Heritage is calling on the nation to 'Dance for VE Day' from the comfort (and safety) of their homes to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe. The charity will lend some swing-time spirit to the nation’s commemorations by giving people the chance to get up off their sofas and Lindy Hop 'til they drop in true 1940s style. Across its social media channels, English Heritage will offer lessons to help people get the hang of the popular war-time dance craze with a virtual dance class at noon. While at 5pm the charity will invite everyone to join in an online mass participation dance.
On 8 May 1945, in towns, cities and villages throughout England, people marked the end of the war in Europe by taking to the streets to celebrate with singing and, of course, dancing. As recalled in Melody Maker’s account of the revels, "From one end of the country to the other, people, relaxing after nearly six years of the most terrible anxieties wanted to dance” – and the Lindy Hop was the dance craze of the day.
On Friday 8 May, English Heritage will host on their social channels a Lindy Hop dance tutorial at midday before inviting everyone to Dance for VE Day at 5pm with the help of a swing-time dance troupe and band. Earlier that afternoon, English Heritage staff at its castles, historic houses and stone-circles across England will join in with the Nation's Toast to express their gratitude to those that gave so much.
English Heritage is encouraging everyone to mark the anniversary with their own commemoration at home, and our VE Day 75 pack includes 1940s recipes, dance steps and even a Spotify playlist: https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/inspire-me/ve-day/
We hope that those taking part in our Dance for VE Day at 5pm will share their videos and selfies so we can get a picture of the celebrations around the country!
English Heritage’s VE Day Commemorations
12PM: Lindy Hop Dance Tutorial with Nancy Hitzig
3PM: Nation’s Toast
5PM: Dance for VE Day with Lindy Hop Dance Troupe and Band