Dade Freeman
Photographer & Trainer
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Proud Ballroom Event

It has been some time since I have been to a nightclub on a Friday and Saturday night for fun, but this was business.

I was hired to photograph the goings-on at the Proud Ballroom over the weekend and what interesting and different nights they turned out to be.

The event evenings typically start with a sumptuous 3-course dinner, move onto the bar for liquid refreshment and finish with fabulous entertainment in many guises. Friday evening's compére, Paul Roberts, entertained the crowds with his crooning skills. That evening's burlesque performers offering titillation were Amaratease and Elsie Diamond. Emma Mcroy supplied the variety act by showing off her flexibility and the cool things she could do with a hula-hoop. The DJ for the evening was Gareth Jones. The finale was Gabi, who performed awesome angle grinding and fire-breathing which really warmed the place up.  GoGo dancing was energetically supplied by Crystal and Sophie.

Friday night at Proud Ballroom
Friday night at Proud Ballroom

Saturday was a very different evening with ‘Popkraft’ - Boogaloo Stu spun the decks, Dolly Rocket compéred, and the burlesque performers for the evening were Coco Deville and Cherry Bella. Angie Hula provided Saturday's variety act entertainment. An unusual side to the evening was that the guests could have their hair restyled by Dolores, who used enough lacquer to permanently damage the ozone layer. Size Zero Albino was the life model for the night. A pretty action-packed evening, I think you would agree.

Proud Brighton event
Proud Brighton event

So what was my role in all of this? I was there to capture the excitement, energy and entertainment of the evenings, photographing not only the patrons of the Proud Ballroom but also the wonderful acts. If you have never photographed in a night club, I can tell you it is no simple task - low lights, mixed lighting, smoke, little room and music that makes you want to dance more than work. Trying not to overpower the ambient lighting with my flash was my first task, as I wanted to capture the atmosphere. It was a pity all the images were required in B&W as it meant losing a lot of the lighting mixtures and effects, but so you can see those, effects I have included a couple of the colour images.

Special thanks to Nadine Burzler for the referral and opportunity :)