History of Rock n Roll Dancing in Melbourne

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Jocelyn's memories

Posted by [email protected] on March 21, 2019 at 11:45 PM

I first stumbled on the rock n roll dance scene in 2004.  I was asked to dance at our local club by James Wing, who had come along to watch a band called Shindig.  James taught myself and 3 girlfriends how to do a couple of basic rock n roll moves and told us about the dance lessons at the Waltzing Matilda hotel in springvale. He also showed us a copy of the Rock n Roll News, opening our eyes to the rock n roll dance scene.  We were all excited to learn that there was somewhere we could go to learn to dance, so the next week we went along to the "Waltzy" and started lessons with Glenis Boyd's Southside Rockers.  That became a regular girls night out every Tuesday and Sunday night for the next 2 years.  Our husbands came a few times but weren't interested in dancing, - I think they were secretly pleased to have a night at home in charge of the TV remote.

It wasn't long before we heard about "Little Marias" dance at the Whitehorse Club with a live band, and we soon became regulars there until Maria closed down in 2013.  Devastated at loosing our regular fortnightly dance I pursuaded Milton and Sue from Flipside music trivia into having a go at running a rock n roll dance.  The Flipside dance at the Hungarian Club was born, running twice a month for 5 years until it sadly closed at the end of 2018. In 2012 I created a website for Adrian's Rd Hot Rockers Dance classes and have continued to update it ever since, helping promote the dance classes and rock and roll. In 2018 when Adrian retired from teaching I took over running Sunday nights at Chatham with Charles Spiteri.  In 2010 I organised a rock n roll flash mob dance in the city and again in 2012 at Doncaster Shoppingtown, to promote rock and roll.

Over the years I've enjoyed dance lessons from Glenis at Southside Rockers, Graeme and Heather at Sylvester Swingers, Pat Noakes at Swing Central, Adrian Spadaro at Red Hot Rockers, Lou, Lynette and Graeme at Top Cats, Andy Zammit at Andy's Cats, Jon Hannon at Alley Cats, Swing Patrol, Rusty at Ashburton Swing, as well as several other one off classes and numerous workshops and festivals.  All of the teachers have put lots of effort into spreading their love of dance and helping their students to learn new moves.

Some of the places I've enjoyed dancing socially at include : the Waltzy, Whitehorse Club, Heritage in Epping, Sunshine City Club, Springvale RSL, Dandenong Workers, Cheltenham RSL, Dandenong RSL, Mordi Rock, Mentone RSL, Mitcham RSL, East Malvern RSL, Bentleigh RSL, West Coburg Bowls, Alley Cats Sunshine and Lilydale dances, Flipside, Little Maria's, Clayton RSL, Eddies Bandroom, Highett Bowls, Linda's dances, Swing on High...

Over the past 15 years I've met lots of wonderful people, travelled to suburbs I'd never heard of, danced to many wonderful bands and had a great time.  I've also sadly said goodbye to many characters who have passed away.  We are so lucky to have great dance teachers, bands and dance promoters who are willing to take a risk at putting on dances for our enjoyment, as well as so many places to dance and hear great music.

I decided last year that it would be worthwhile creating a website to record some of the history of the dance scene so that it doesn't get forgotten.  I hope you enjoy reading people's memories and I hope they keep rolling in so together we can continue to record the stories of Melbourne's rock n roll dancers.

Jocelyn Bloye

March 2019

Categories: Stories / Memories

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