History of Rock n Roll Dancing in Melbourne

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1995 Snapshot

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In 1995 the following rock n roll dances and classes were being held around Melbourne.  Large town halls were popular venues, line dancing was very popular, and Lindy Hop was starting to be danced.

Dance Classes

Andy's flipside, Tues nights at Springers in Keysborough.  $8 with Andy Zammit

Adrian and Chris dance classes, Camberwell, Coburg town hall, Clayton RSL $8.  Adrian Spadaro and Chris Black

Carrum RSL Tues nights with Joe and Marnie $3

Dance Away at Mt Eliza

Dance Tyme International in Croydon Sunday night

Glenys Southside Rockers, Frankston on Mon nights

Just Rock in Kilsyth Sunday nights $6

Rock n Roll with Lindsay and Heather in Mornington Wed nights.

Rock n Soul Boronia with Michael and Sheryl sunday nights $4

Rock Plus in Sunshine with Denise

Rock n Roll with Laurie and Claudette in Braebrook wed nights

50's Rock n Roll with Kevin and Carol Ross Burwood, Mon nights, $5

Rock with Us, Deer Park with John

Sebastians Rock n Roll & Swing, Preston Mon night, Moonee Ponds Tues night, Blackburn Thurs night and Glen Iris Sat arvo, $9.  Also line dancing lessons on the same nights.

Dances held in 1995

The Allstars played at Chelsea Town Hall

Derek Gray opened a dance at the Malvern Town Hall

Dave Rama started 50's rock n roll at the Monash Hotel

Lindy Hop started to become popular

Rockabilly dance at the Walzing Matilda Hotel in Springvale with bands and DJ Dr. Wolf cost $10

Elvis Presley Fan Club ran dances at the Chelsea Town Hall

Mordi Rock dances were held regularly at Warren Rd Community Centre, Mordialloc

Fabulous 50's Rock n roll dance run by Teresa held at community centre in Thornbury, $12 entry

Pitrone's on Springvale Rd Keysborough had bands and dancing every Wed night, $10 entry included a 2 course meal

DJ Jeff Pool played for social dancing every Thur night 8.30-11pm, after Adrians dance class in North Balwyn 

Line dancing / bootscooting classes and dances were held in many venues

Box Hill RSL had bands and dancing Fri and Sat nights

Clayton RSL had bands and dancing Fri nights with $8 entry

Old Dandenong Inn had bands on Fri and Sat nights with free entry

Aspendale Edithvale RSL had bands Fri and Sat nights

Cranbourne RSL had bands Fri and Sat nights

Just Rock in Kilsyth held dances once a month

Carrum RSL held monthly bands

Bands Playing in 1995



Calico Band

Country Brew

Cut Loose




Flying Tigers

Frankie and the Highlighters


Itchy Fingers

Jump & Jive

Kathy Raydings




Rebel Rousers


Rough Cut


Steppin' Out

Straight 8's

Teddy Boys

Texas Touch

Tony Dee

White Lightening

Wild Turkey


Posted by [email protected] on January 24, 2019 at 10:55 PM Comments comments (0)

2018 Highlights.

Flipside dance at the Hungarian Club closed after 5 years of fortnightly dances.

Speedsters band retired after 30 years of playing at rock n roll dances.

Adrian Spadaro held a retirement dance in April at the Whitehorse Club to say goodbye after 25 years of teaching rock n roll and running dances.

RocketApp was launched by Jon and Zoe Hannon

People of rock n roll

Posted by [email protected] on January 7, 2019 at 11:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Apart from those who have been inducted into the VRRDA hall of fame, there are many other contributors to the Rock n Roll dance scene in Melbourne and Victoria.

Contributions welcome.

Bruce Prest - 1st President of the VRRDA

Grant and Maryanne Richards – Team Richards are teaching kids to dance (and compete) for free in their home in Cranbourne on Saturday mornings, to promote dancing to a new generation.  Grant and Maryanne have also won many dance competitions all around Australia.

Paul Wan - Jitterbug, Moderator of vicrock.com.au. Paul videos many bands and dances to record the rock n roll dance scene, posts many reviews on vicrock.com.au and attends and supports as many dances and festivals as he can. A great ambasador for the rock n roll dance scene.

Philip Panache - creator of free website  http://www.coolcatsclub.com.au to list bands, dances and dance classes around Australia. Started in 2018

Ray Harris - Gorgeous Gear

Pennsylvannia 65000

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A popular Rock'n'Roll line dance frequently seen at Classic Rock venues in Melbourne Australia in the mid to late 2000's. The sequence was developed by Les Maslin and the music is "Pennsylvania 65000" by Brian Setzer.

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Jon Hannon and Irene Amos late 1990's

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Jon Hannon and Irene Amos were winners of the Le Classique dance competition at Adelaide's Rock n Roll Dance competition in the late 1990's.

Maltese cha cha

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Video of the Maltese cha cha line dance from the Jukebox Rockers annual rock n roll festival in Geelong, Jan 2019.

The line dance is a modified version of the "Stroll along cha cha" and was introduced to the rock n roll dance scene by Rhonda Watts from Renegade Rockers around 2016 after seeing it on a holiday to Malta.  It was one of the most popular line dances in 2016-2018 and was danced to the song "Last night"by Chris Anderson and DJ Robbie.

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Big Jive dance competition 1974

Posted by [email protected] on January 7, 2019 at 10:45 PM Comments comments (0)

To promote the release of the movie "American Graffiti " radio station 3UZ held a jive dance competition at Doncaster Shopping Town in 20th April 1974.

Michele Clay Van Sprang entered with her younger brother, with no rehearsal.  The competition was suppose to be on a Friday night but was cancelled and transferred to Saturday afternoon. They entered at the last minute as a joke on the say so of friends that they were good enough to win.

To see video f the competition go to the "History of rock n roll dancing in Melbourne" Facebook page.

Thanks to Michele for photos and information.

Adam Gardner (That's Rock Dance Studios) dancing doubles

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Adam Gardner dancing doubles with Iren Amos and Denise at Just Rock club, Kilsyth in 1997.

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Jitterbug dancing in Melbourne in the 1950's

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Karin and Erwin Schelling

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Vicrock.com.au - 2018 Social Dancers of the Year - Karin & Erwin

To me, it's not so much the showy dance moves you exhibit but how much joy & fun you have on the dance floor. And it's also about you supporting our various dance gigs week in week out that matters. Without your support there'll be no more R&R dances as we know it today. So many dancers I can mention that have supported our dance scene for many years and continue to do so today - Coral, Inga, Paul & Maree, Rob & Margie, Vince & Joyce, Laura & Manny, Italia, Glenda Raka, Maria Stolnik, Wayne, Mick, Bernie, Laurie, Jocelyn, Denise Winter, Irene, Denise & Les, Lynn & john, Linda etc. But to me, the social dancers I most admire and hope to emulate dancing right through my seniors years have to be Karin & Erwin. Just like the "Swingchesters" who have been dancing since the 1950's, Karin & Erwin have been dancing for so many years that I have lost count of. They have been featured in newspapers article and on TV so they are our very own "A list" rock & rollers in our dance scene.

Jitterbug (Paul Wan).  Copied with permission from Vicrock.com.au

Karin and Erwin are well know to everyone at dances in the Southeastern Suburbs.  They took up rock n roll dancing in 2000 after many years of ballroom and have loved every minute of it.

They were featured on Weekend Sunrise program in 2010 when they were in their 70's.  Erwin is now in his 80's and is still dancing several times a week.


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