History of Rock n Roll Dancing in Melbourne

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Adrian Spadaro, Chris Black and Terri Moon dancing triples at Mordi Rock

Posted by [email protected] on June 23, 2019 at 10:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Dance demo at Mordi Rock.  Adrian, Chris and Terri won the over 45's triples competition at the Pan Pacific Dance competition in the early 90's.


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VRRDA Dance Championships 2019

Posted by [email protected] on May 24, 2019 at 12:45 AM Comments comments (0)

VRRDA Rock 'n' Roll Dance Championships - Victoria's premier event to showcase all that we love about our rock 'n' roll dancing, music & fashion. The VRRDA in Melbourne has been an institution specifically dedicated to promoting our beloved 1950's dancing and music and it has been doing a great job in this regard. Its annual dance championship draws competitors from all over Australia including a strong contingent from Sydney Swing Cats, dancers from Brisbane and in the past also from South Australia, WA and Tasmania. I believe dancers from NZ had also competed in previous years.

The dance competition was also well supported by dance schools including Alley Catz and dance schools from Albury and from different parts of country Victoria. Sponsors for the event came from numerous R&R dance schools including the Lakeside Rockers, Geelong Jukebox Rockers, S'CoolHouse Rock & swing, Johnny's Rockers, Alley Catz, Gippy Rocks and Colac R&R Club. Other sponsors were Rockabilly Babes and Rock n Roll News.

This year's event was held at the St Sava Church Hall in Greensborough. Close to 400 patrons and dancers attended the event. The venue was decorated in party like splendour with ballons etc to suit the occasion. Many came dressed in their 1950's clothing to celebrate our love of the 1950's dance and music scene.

This year the VRRDA inducted Bill & Maree Oldham from Bendigo's Rockin' 50's R&R Club to the Hall of Fame for their long 30 years service in promoting R&R music and dancing. Also inducted into the Hall of fame was Linda Smyth who is a household name when it comes to teaching R&R especially to those who are learning R&R for the first time. Linda has also been teaching R&R for close to 30 years and her style of teaching is unique in that she creates a fun and friendly atmosphere in all her classes. She has been introducing hundreds of new R&R dancers every year and therefore contributing in a great way in supporting our 1950's dance scene and community.

Once again, top level R&R dancing was evident right from the first event featuring about 30 junior dancers till the ultimate feature events which was the Senior State Title and the Adult State Title which incorporate lifts. Dancers from Queensland this year were very successful in winning all the Junior Titles and the Sydney Swing Cats winning Adult State Title. Grant & Maryann Richards again won the Seniors State Title.

Another fantastic achievement by VRRDA in keeping Victoria (and Australia) rockin' to the 1950's sound. The event was, as in previous years, fully booked out. So be early to book your tickets for next year's event if you don't want to miss out. Here are some videos taken during this year's VRRDA R&R Dance Championship......


Paul Wan.  Copied with permission from Vicrock.com.au


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  Adult state title


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 Senior state title


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 Nifty fifties


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   Newcomers event



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

Posted by [email protected] on January 3, 2019 at 7:50 AM Comments comments (0)

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

Posted by [email protected] on January 3, 2019 at 7:25 AM Comments comments (0)

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15 year old Jonathan Hannon and Annette

Posted by [email protected] on December 21, 2018 at 12:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Video clip of 15 year old Jon and partner Annette practicing at Just Rock in Kilsyth.  See Tom Amos youtube channel for many other clips.

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Tom Amos remembers

Posted by [email protected] on December 21, 2018 at 12:25 AM Comments comments (0)

In 1963 Irene and I attended a 50/50 dance ( Old time and Ballroom) at Box Hill town hall. About halfway through the night the band played " In the Mood" so we could not resist breaking into a swing routine and were promptly approached by the bouncers to cease and desist this style or they would toss us out.  So we left and went on to the Box Hill RSL who had a Rock N Roll band called the Casuals playing. Fun memories.

Tom Amos.


Video clip of Irene and Tom at Two's Company in 1995.

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Tom and Irene Amos competing in the VRRDA Masters at Moorabin Town Hall in 2000

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Progressive cha cha at Little Maria's dance 2012

Posted by [email protected] on December 21, 2018 at 12:10 AM Comments comments (0)

A progressive cha cha is danced at every rock n roll dance.  It was first introduced by Andy Zammit in the 1990's. 

This clip is from Little Maria's dance at the Whitehorse Club in 2012.


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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.

Rockabilly dancing in 1993

Posted by [email protected] on November 13, 2018 at 12:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Youtube link of Darren Elliot dancing - from Long-Gone Wendie.  At Glen Eira secondary collage ( was Caulfield Sec college) Caulfield Melbourne, maybe in 1993 . Dance was organized by the Australian Rockabilly Association.  

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