• Belfast Between The Wars

THE CARLTON HALL: AMATEUR-PROFESSIONAL DANCERS

Belfast News-Letter, Saturday 16th February 1929


A warm, softly-lighted, and yet well-ventilated room, set with flower-decorated tea tables, the hum of voices, the aroma of Eastern cigarettes, and, in the centre floor, swaying figures dancing to infectious music. Does not such a picture suggest the acme of comfort on a freezing afternoon?


Perhaps this is one of the reasons why the weekly dance tea in the Carlton always proves so attractive. The hall, as well as being one of the best dance halls outside London, is always the embodiment of cosiness. Yesterday afternoon every table was booked considerably beforehand, in spite of the fact that there were many other attractions. Among those present were Mrs. St. Clair Boyd. She was accompanied by her son and daughter, and a party from “The Desert Song”, at present being presented at the Grand Opera House. It included Mr. Sanders Warren and other principals.


The feature of the programme was the appearance of Miss Florence McMurray and Mr. Robt. Vance in ballroom dances. Miss McMurray is a Belfast lady well-known in dancing circles here. But she is not a professional dancer in the strict sense of the word, for she took up the art simply for pure love of it and with no idea whatsoever of making it her profession. It has been to her rather an “outside line” and she has not studied under famous professors as those who are taking it up seriously are in the habit of doing. Miss McMurray is best described as an amateur-professional. Mr. Vance comes from Dublin. He, too, is a young dancer who has only taken up the work professionally very recently.


Miss McMurray wore a frock of wine-toned georgette, and she and her partner were accorded an enthusiastic reception. Their numbers included the waltz, slow foxtrot, and quickstep. They certainly demonstrated admirably what can be achieved simply by a great love for the work and incessant practice. At the close of the demonstration the applause was so vociferous that they responded with another dance.


View images of the Carlton Café and Restaurant on National Museums NI's website.