Past events

There's nowt like a bit o' history ...

In the 1990s, ballroom dancing became increasingly fashionable in the lesbian and gay communities around the UK. As the trend spread out from the North, it was clear that an orchestra was needed to make dances come alive.

As the gay and lesbian people of the North learned to dance, challenging questions began to arise: could you sew sequins onto dungarees? Could you Cha Cha Cha in Doc's? Were 501's worthy of the ball-room?

YES to all three. Did it matter who you danced with? No, it didn't. Did it matter if you didn't know the steps? Of course it did, which is why there was - and is - always dance classes through each event so dancers can learn some MOVES!

Over the years, although the line-up of the Lavender Cafe was in continuous flux, the band's popularity increased and in alliance with the Victor Victoria dance troupe, began giving balls and tea-dances in Leeds City Hall and Saltaire. They became an institution.

The band took an extended holiday from 2003 but reformed in 2016 with astounding success.

Getting over the Covid times, we staged an "Absolutely Fabulous' themed ball in the Spring of 2023, with a bigger brass section, a rounder sound and more energy than ever before. We have picked ourselves up, brushed ourselves down and started all over again.

So we give you more, and our dances continue so the LGBTQ+ communities can thrill to the Charleston, flirt to the Gay Gordons and impress with sexy Rumbas. The Lavender Cafe Orchestra provides music and, may we say, an extraordinary amount of glamour.

What will we do next? We're planning a tea dance for Sunday afternoon, 17th March 2024.

Will you be in polka dots?

The trombone section.
Our very smooth singer, Steve.
Gillian conducting our final rehearsal.
Some of the string section
Gillian checking the score.
Glamorous guests having loads o' fun.
Interlude Tea Rooms set the tone
Quick-stepping the afternoon away
Lav Caf 11th March 2023 flyer v1
Lav Caf 11th March 2023 flyer v1
Masquerade logo
Masquerade logo