The first tea dance, attended by 650 people, was held in 1980 at Landmark Center in Saint Paul as a benefit for the center’s ongoing restoration. Arthur Murray taught dance lessons; food was generous; table decorations were lush and seasonal; and, above all, the focus was on first-rate fun. 


A tea dance co-founding member, Susan St. John, recalled growing up outside New York City, learning company manners and how to dance. Susan and other members wanted to provide an opportunity for multigenerational families to get together.