Best Of 2019

Best Traveling Tea Party: It’s Time for Another Tea Dance

It’s Time for Another Tea Dance is one of the best ways to spend a Sunday Funday in Cincinnati. Once a month, these afternoon parties unfold at a different local bar, inviting the LGBTQ community and allies to get together for cocktails, dancing and to bolster local LGBTQ culture. The “tea dance” is a revived tradition that dates back to the 1940s and ’50s when it functioned as an event in which gay couples could openly interact with one another. “That’s how the tea dances really started, in these tea rooms where same-sex couples could meet, socialize and dance. Back then it was a refined affair,” says Cincinnati Tea Dance co-founder Richard Cooke. “Nice music, maybe a string quartet, there’d be some dancing and if the police came they would scramble and opposite-sex couples would be dancing.” It wasn’t until the Stonewall Riots of 1969 that the modern gay rights movement began to surface into the mainstream. And with it, the dances. In the past, Cooke says tea dances were mainly comprised of white, gay men. When he and his husband Marty decided to bring the tradition back in April 2017, they wanted that to change. One of the goals was to serve the underrepresented community in Cincinnati. And so far, It’s Time for Another Tea Dance has been a resounding success, introducing people to bars they might not frequent — and 400 to 500 new friends and peers. It’s Time for Another Tea Dance, facebook.com/teadancecinci.