History of Rock n Roll Dancing in Melbourne

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Rockhouse Dance Championships

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Rockhouse monthly dance on the 3rd Saturday of the month Bayswater Darts Club, 899 Mountain Hwy, Bayswater, was put on by the band Alive 'n' Kicking from 1991 - 1996. Rent for the venue was $120 including the cost of a barman, and entry was $10.  Around 300 dancers attended regularly.  The dance ended when the Darts club sold the building in 1996.

Dance competions were held each month with finalists dancing for the championship towards the end of the year.

Band member Len O'Connor designed the posters and hand coloured each one.  The posters were then given to the finalists at the championships.

Judging Criteria for Rockhouse Dance Comps - 5 Judges each awarded a possible 20 points for 1 Technique - 2 Originality - 3 Choreography - 4 Showmanship - 5 Dress - Making a total of 100 points - Couldn't be fairer than that for overall dancing ability regardless of Dance Style.

1993 finals competitors were, in order of appearance, : Jamie and Renee, John and Sue, Jason and Caroline, Adrian and Chris, Andy and Terry. 1st place Andy and Terri, 2nd John and Sue, 3rd Adrian and Chris. Winners all received trophy and dance posters 1st place also won blue satin embroidered jackets.   Cowboy & Tiffany - Alistair & Carol were the omissions although they're names appear on the poster.

Judges include Glenn and Rachel Delafiore

Alive 'n' Kicking band members : Ian Mair (deceased) - Damien Knott - Richard Lewis - Greg White - Len O'Connor - The Band started slowly with few gigs on offer so decided to start our own Dance (Rockhouse) - Sue Wilkinson was appointed Dance Comp promoter & organizer & unlike competitions at other Dances, we had individual couples compete solo in turn with 5 judges ( Technique - Choreography - Dress - Originality - Showmanship ) scoring out of 100 ( 20 points max per judge ) with monthly winners competing in an end of year dance off, with winners receiving Championship Silk Jackets The dance was held on the 3rd Saturday of each month and went from 60 attendees at the 1st dance to crowds of 300 & more from the 3rd month of operation. By that time the band had become quite popular & were soon regularly working 4 gigs per week at all major venues. The dance lasted around 4 years when the Bayswater Darts Club decided to sell the venue thus ending operations. No other venue could be found with the same unique atmosphere so the Dance expired but the memories live on.

Visit the History of rock n roll dancingin Melbourne Facebook page to see video's on some of the competitions and dance nights, plus video of the band playing.

The band Alive 'n' Kicking :  Ian Mair (deceased) - Damien Knott - Richard Lewis - Greg White - Len O'Connor

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Jim and Rhonda at the Rockhouse Dance championships in 1992 which they won.

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Minor dance competition at Rockhouse 1992

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Alive 'n' Kicking performing at Rockhouse JOK show

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Adrian Spadaro and Chris Black dancing in the Championships in 1993.  They placed 3rd.

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Carolyn McAlister and Jason Vargas dancing at the Rockhouse championships 1992

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.

Big Jive dance competition 1974

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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.

VRRDA Dance Competition 1993

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Held at Collingwood Town Hall.  Dorothy and Ray in gold outfits.

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Carolyn McAlister remembers

Posted by [email protected] on November 13, 2018 at 12:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Rockhouse dance comp poster from 1992 and 1993 (see below)

 The first poster Jim and Rhonda won (1992) - I remember because it was my first year dancing and I was amazed at them. The second poster Terri and Andy won. It was always a fun competition.  I remember when the scores were being added up all the competitors would get back on the floor and swap partners for a dance together.

Going by the date, the second poster is from 1993, & it would have been one of the monthly dances - not the final decider held at the end of year. Whoever won the monthly dance then went into the final at the end of the year. I'm not sure who won in that particular month

DJDingo is Jamie and is of course still on the scene but not sure what happened to Renee.

Bruce and Pat still go to Suzies dance and were part of the Mordi rock team.

 Video of Carolyn McAlister and Jason Varga dancing in the Rockhouse dance comp in 1993

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Carolyn McAlister

These Rockhouse posters were hand painted by Len O'Connor (Alive 'n' Kicking band member) and each competitor was given a poster to keep.

Competitors included Chris Black & Adrian Spadaro, Terri Moon & Andy Zammit, Carolyn McAlister & Jason Varga, Jamie and Renee, Cecilia and Lawrence, Barry and Nicki,Sue and John, Mark and Donna, Cowboy Paul and Tiffany, Alister and Carol, Bruce and Pat, Sue and John.

Dance Competitions

Posted by [email protected] on October 24, 2018 at 10:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Several dance competitions are held each year.

Alley Catz $1000 Shootout

Geelong Juke Box Rockers held in January each year at their festival

VRRDA State Championships, held in May each year.  See separate blog post for winners.

Competitions held in the past:

Boulders Rock n Roll Club, Interclub competition in 1999 was held at the Istra Club in Campbelfield.

Just Rock competition held in 1999 at 257 Colchester Rd, Kilsyth.

Rockhouse Rock n Roll Championships, Bayswater. 21st Nov 1992 competitors were Sue & John, Terri & Andy, Jim & Rhonda, Bruce & Pat, Carmen & Tony, Cowboy & Tiffany, Chris & Adrian, Alistar & Carol.  Live band was Alive 'n' Kickin.  Vene was unit 1/ 899 Mountain Hwy, Bayswater, entry was $10.

VRRDA Adult State Title Perpetual Shield

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VRRDA Championships Adult State Title Holders

Victorian Rock and Roll Dance Association hold the Victorian State championships in May each year.

For full results of all the competitions visit the VRRDA website http://vrrda.org.au/results.html

2019 Aaron O’Neill & Suzie Braumann

2018  Andrew Auditore & Caitlin Hooper

2017 Andrew Auditore & Caitlyn Hooper

2016 Joel Brian & Rebecca Mohr

2015 Jonathon Bell & Elizabeth Stride (NSW)

2014 Jon Hannon & Zoe Hannon

2013 Jon Hannon & Zoe Jones

2012 Jon Hannon & Zoe Jones

2011 Andrew Camp & Kendel Flannagan

2010 Peter Herbert & Jacqueline Morris

2009 Wesley Mitton & Libby Collins

2008 Nathan Massey & Libby Collins

2007 Karl Wendt & Greta Kuddihy

2006 David Liddle & Hayley David

2005 Nathan Massey & Libby Collins

2004 Nathan Massey & Libby Collins

2003 Jon Hannon & Alisha Krieger

2002 Melissa Panettiere & Nathan Firmin

2001 Scott Cupit & Fiona Daff

2000 John Jarman & Heather Jarman

1999 Lindsay Andrews & Glenda Andrews

1998 Barry Slater & Nicky Collings

1997 Sam Davis & Belinda Neumann

1996 Aaron Keenan & Melanie Cochrane

1995 Aaron Keenan & Melanie Cochrane

1994 Aaron Keenan & Melanie Cochrane

1993 Johnny Phung & Leah Clemson

VRRDA dance competition 2018

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VRRDA 2018 competion held at the Hungarian Club, Wantirna, May 2018.

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Adult state title fast song.

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Alley Catz $1000 shootout 2017

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Open entry dance competition held by Alley Catz at Lilydale.