Swing dancing back to 1944 for Breakout Anniversary

We know lots about the Cowra Prisoner of War Breakout but how many people know what day-to-day life was like in town during the 1940s?

Well, the upcoming Breakout 75th anniversary commemorations have plenty of events planned that give locals and visitors alike a taste of Cowra during WWII.

What better way to get into step than by being part of the 1940s style swing dance on Saturday, August 3.

To be held in the Cowra Masonic Lodge Hall, a popular venue for dances and community events during the war, the swing dance will feature music of the era performed by the Cowra and District Band, including a special selection of popular songs perform by Cowra's very own big band, formed especially for the evening.

There's only one thing needed to go with the big band and that's the swing dancers, and that's where you come in.

In preparation for Cowra's return to the 1940s the Cowra Breakout 75th Anniversary committee is offering free swing dance lessons in the lead-up to the Breakout commemorations.

Lessons start at the Cowra Senior Citizens Rooms in Railway Lane at 7.30pm on Thursday, July 11 and will continue for four weeks in the lead-up to the Anniversary.

Dancers of all ages are welcome to come along and receive instructions from well-known local dance teacher Jennifer Thompson.

You don't need to have any dancing experience; the idea is to have fun and to make sure that your familiar with the dances and the music of the era so that you can come to the swing dance and have a great time.

Breakout 75th Anniversary Chair Graham Apthorpe and the planning committee are delighted to add the swing dance and free dance lessons to this year's activities.

"Dances were a regular feature of life in Cowra and district during WWII," he said.

"There were dances every weekend and even some mid-week as locals mixed with military personnel from the POW and Military Training Camps.

"It was a great way to forget the dark days of the war and just have a good time", he said.

Tickets for the 1940s era swing dance are on sale now at the Visitor Information Centre at a cost of just $8.

The ticket price includes admission, dancing, entertainment and a delicious supper.

The event is alcohol-free so its suitable for adults and young people alike.

If you'd like to learn more about the swing dance, or the Breakout commemorations in general check out the Breakout 75th Anniversary Facebook page or ring Breakout Anniversary secretary Lawrance Ryan on 6341 3337 or 0408 639 088.