History of Rock n Roll Dancing in Melbourne

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Posted by [email protected] on April 11, 2020 at 2:00 AM

What a year!!  2020 started off with bushfires everywhere. The 2019–20 Australian bushfire season, known as the Black Summer, began with several serious uncontrolled fires in June 2019. Throughout the summer, hundreds of fires burnt, mainly in the southeast of the country. The major fires peaked during December–January. By March 2020, the fires burnt an estimated 18.6 million hectares, destroyed over 5,900 buildings and killed at least 34 people. An estimated one billion animals have been killed. At its peak, air quality dropped to hazardous levels. The cost of dealing with the bushfires is expected to exceed the A$4.4 billion of the 2009 Black Saturday fires, and tourism sector revenues fell by more than A$1 billion. By 7 January 2020, the smoke had moved approximately 11,000 kilometres across the South Pacific Ocean to Chile and Argentina.  Source Wikipedia.

The rock and roll community got together and held several bushfire fundraiser dances.  Adrian Spadaro held several dances over February and March raising a total of $15,135 which was donated to the CFA on the 13th March at the Polish Club dance.

2020 saw the development of the corona virus Covid-19, which developed into a world wide pandemic.  By the middle of March all dances and dance classes had been shut down and Australia was put into a lockdown to try to control the spread.  Some performers like James Bookman, Rick Charles and Frankie Stevens started do live Facebook performances in April to keep the rockers entertained.  Some dance schools like Alley Catz, Adrian's Red Hot Rockers, Linda's Rockers, Hooked on Rock etc, started to use facebook to live stream dance classes to keep rockers moving and engaged.  These became must see events with many joining in at home to learn new line dances. Several isolation party nights were also organised on Facebook starting with an Alley Catz dance class, followed by live music from James Bookman and then various DJ's live streaming music.

The VRRDA state championships were postponed in May and recheduled for August.

Life in Victoria in 2020 with COVID-19

March 2020, the world slowed down, the roads were quiet, petrol prices were at a record low and the skies were empty. Weddings limited to 5 people, family celebrations banned, holidays banned, gatherings banned, funerals allowed only 10 attendees. No church services - worshipping online became the new norm. Schools were closed, but some stayed open for keyworker’s children only while our medical staff fought on the front line. Teachers were teaching online, keyworker employees still went to work everyday and a nation of homeworkers tried to keep the country going. Farmers kept farming, working to produce food for our tables. Carers carried on looking after the elderly and most vulnerable. There was panic buying of toilet paper, disinfecting supplies, paper towel, hand sanitiser and a whole bunch of foods. Social distancing became the new catchcry.  Supermarkets put tape on the floor to help keep shoppers 2 metres apart,and limited the number of people allowed inside stores. Non-essential stores and businesses closed. Hotels, pubs, club were all closed. Employees were put on unpaid leave or let go. Many jobs were lost and there was hardship for lots of people.  Cafes and restaurants could stay open but only to serve takeaway.Concerts, tours, festivals, entertainment events were all cancelled. Entire sports seasons halted. Olympics postponed by a year to be held in Tokyo, 2021. No gatherings, no social events - all cancelled. Playgrounds closed and no group sports.

We were allowed to leave home only to exercise close to home, get food and essentials, visit a doctor, provide care, or to go to work. Grandparents couldn't see their grandchildren.  Police started to book people for being out and about if they were not doing one of the allowed activities.  A huge amount of governement bailout money, in the trillions, was promised to try to prop up the economy. But the birds kept singing and nature carried on around us.  Smog cleared in India, in Venice the water cleared up so people could see fish swimming - some say the earth breathed again. We socially distanced from one another and stayed home.  Families were separated in isolation and quarantine. Relationships were put on hold, weddings cancelled, but technology has enabled us to stay connected with FaceTime - WhatsApp - Zoom - Messenger - Houseparty - TikTok. There was a massive demand for masks, gowns, gloves for our front line workers.  A desperate need for respirators for the critically ill. Manufacturers, distilleries and other businesses switched their production lines to help make visors, masks, hand sanitiser and PPE. Communities came together, looking out for neighbours, friends and strangers - doing what they could to help.  People put rainbows in windows to symbolise hope, left chalk messages on footpaths, recorded songs about corona, washing your hands and staying home. We did as we were told and followed the advice to ‘Stay at home,and save lives’ - it’s the least we could do. It all started in Wuhan, China in Nov 2019 and by March had spread all over the world. Sadly hundreds of thousands affected, dead, dying, critically ill.

This is the Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) Pandemic, declared March 11th, 2020.

What will come next for the rest of 2020????

Categories: Year by Year