We Danced in Derby

We Danced In Derby

We Danced in Derby at Déda delves into the social history of Derby city in the 1960s. This visual archive has been created in collaboration with Roger Smith, a local writer and heritage researcher, whose latest book ‘We Danced In Derby’ chronicles more than 40 Derby dance hall, discos, clubs and pubs and other social venues during this period. Through the prism of ballrooms, discos and clubs, this nostalgic exhibition celebrates how the 1960s changed the way people danced and the music that inspired this transformation.

The 60’s was the era of the ‘teenage revolution’, during which young people began to assert their own identity rather than being clones of their parents, when high employment meant disposable income and money was readily available to spend on enjoying themselves. This new found independence and freedom was expressed on the dance floor, ranging from the Swinging Sixties, to the burgeoning Mod movement, to the rise of soul music into the mass-market.

This changing culture directly gave birth to Derby’s club scene with new venues popping up around town, such as the Locarno, Assembly Rooms, Trocadero, King’s Hall, Albert Ballroom, Corporation Hotel, Rialto, Black Cat Club, Stork Club, Discovery Discotheque, Clouds, Shotgun Discotheque, Magic of Ju Ju, Havana Club, Polish Club, Club Italia, and the Sherwood Hotel.

Written and oral memories accompany this rich archive of images, capturing the stories of the people who were actually there.

I wanted people to take their minds back to those magical, some might say innocent, days and share their thoughts with me. This work documents a piece of social history – the dances people did, the music they danced to, even the clothes they wore in those Derby dance venues of a truly remarkable, exciting decade.” (Roger Smith)

We Danced In Derby is taking place at Déda. Déda is a Centre for Dance, Movement and Creativity based in the heart of the Cathedral Quarter in Derby – connecting locally, nationally and internationally, delivering an exceptional programme of dance, contemporary circus and outdoor performance.

This exhibition forms part of a wider heritage project, funded by the National Heritage Fund, exploring the history of dance in Derby throughout the 60’s and 70’s.