1000 Dancers Needed for World Record Dance-off

The Blue Mountains needs 1000 dancers in 1920s-style costume to snatch a Guinness World Record back from England on Saturday, February 6.

The Hydro Charleston Challenge broke the official world record three years in a row but was thumped by the town of Bexhill in the UK in August with 503 people followed by an attempt with 975 dancers in London validated by Guinness in October.

Hydro Charleston Challenge co-ordinator Angela Corkeron said "We want that title back and we’re going to take it back in elegant art deco style.  Technically we need 976 dancers to reclaim the record but this is the Hydro Majestic, so let’s raise the stakes and aim for a thousand dancers to really smash the record.’’

The annual Guinness World Record attempt for the largest number of costumed people dancing the Charleston will be held at the Hydro Majestic Hotel on the lawn in front of the Belgravia accommodation wing at 11am.

"There’s plenty of room. If the lawn fills up or you prefer to dance on a hard surface, step into the historic tennis courts overlooking the exquisite Megalong Valley,’’ Ms Corkeron said.  "We’ll even spill into the carpark if we have to.’’

Anyone can take part in the Hydro Charleston Challenge. All participants need do is wear a costume and be able to follow the dance for five minutes.

"Assembling a costume could be as simple as wearing a boa, a drop-waist dress and some Mary-Jane shoes (the ones with the straps, buttons or ribbons across the top) for the ladies and a loose suit and a Fedora for the fellas."

Gold coin donations will be collected for the Rural Fire Service Blue Mountains district on entry.

Escarpment Group general manager Ralf Bruegger said "The Hydro Charleston Challenge is a chance to let your hair down and show off against the backdrop of this fabulous flamboyant hotel.  This is where Mark Foy held legendary outrageous parties, where the famous and the infamous came; this is where Australia’s first Prime Minister died; this was the centre of the Blue Mountains’ heyday.  The Hydro Majestic is definitely back on the party scene with all the flare and style of its first heyday.’’

The 2016 Hydro Charleston Challenge will be held at 11am on Saturday, February 6, followed by the Majestic Long Lunch from 1pm to 5pm when guests in 1920s finery will graze informally from picnic hamper boxes packed with regional delicacies, promenade on the lawns and dance the afternoon away to the strains of a `20s-style band.

The Roaring 20s-themed weekend will begin on Friday, February 5, with the Gangster Casino Night to celebrate the era of breaking with tradition, crooks and prosperity – and this time there’s no prohibition. Net proceeds from the adults-only event will go to CareFlight aeromedical charity.

The weekend will close with the uber sophisticated Shanghai Nights of cocktails and canapes, lights, lanterns and jazz music to celebrate on the eve of the Chinese lunar New Year.

The Roaring 20s Festival will continue throughout February at other venues around the Blue Mountains.

The Hydro Charleston Challenge and other Roaring 20s events at the Hydro Majestic Hotel pay homage to the decade when the region cut loose in an endless round of hedonism – sumptuous architecture, costume balls and high teas, saucy clothing, outrageous (for the time) dancing and jazz music.

Go to hydromajestic.com.au for more event, accommodation and dining option information and bookings, to register for the Hydro Charleston Challenge and watch a tutorial of the Charleston dance.

Photos: David Hill, Headline Publicity.

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