History of Rock n Roll Dancing in Melbourne

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Dance teachers, past and present, plus dance schools / clubs

When did they start and/or stop teaching, where did they teach, dance styles, venues, did they run dances, styles taught etc.

Adam Gardner and Deanne – That’s Rock


Adrian Spadaro 


 Adrian’s Dance Classes, Adrian's Red Hot Rockers, 1991 - 2017 , Vic Lindy Hop, 1996-1997, Retired 2017. 

 

Adrian Spadaro started teaching rock’n’roll in 1991, and continued to teach each week in many areas around Melbourne, including Camberwell, Burwood, Coburg, Surrey Hills, Forrest Hill and Wantirna until 2017. In the early 1990s, Adrian and Chris Black were a well-known competition couple, and together built up one of the biggest Rock’n’Roll dance schools in Melbourne. Adrian won the 1992 South Pacific Triples, and 1993 VRRDA Open Doubles with Chris Black and Terri Moon, and the 1993 VRRDA Open Teams event.  Adrian introduced Lindy Hop to Melbourne on 20 August 1995 with the first Lindy Hop workshop held in Melbourne at Two’s Company, with dance teacher Rob Bloom (who had moved from London to Sydney). This workshop was organised by Adrian and Chris, kicking off Melbourne’s swing revival. Adrian also hosted Catrine Ljunggren, from Sweden's dance company ‘The Rhythm Hot Shots’ in December 1995, when she taught workshops with Rob Bloom. Next came a workshop and dance with Sylvia Sykes from California. In March 1996, Vic Lindy Hop was formed, run by Melbourne teachers and dancers, including Adrian, Pat Noakes, Claudia Funder and Steve Octagon. Adrian’s initial contribution to the swing dancing world in Melbourne was an important step in establishing this dance style. Many of the current dance instructors started their teaching careers with Adrian when he mentored them, encouraged them to teach and also employed some of them. Jonathon Hannon of Alley Catz, Debbie Krause of Swing Dance with Debbie, Pat Noakes of Swing Central, Rhonda Watts of Renegade Rockers, Dave Dooley, Wendy Gapper and Gavin Preston are all well-known teachers in the rock’n‘roll scene who were mentored by Adrian.   Adrian ran many successful dances around Melbourne for over 25 years. Adrian started the first Rock’n’Roll dances at Coburg Town Hall, and the Whitehorse Club, and holding other dances at the Furlan Club, Glen Eira Town Hall, West Coburg Bowls, Clayton RSL, CAV and many other venues.  Some people, like Little Maria, Debbie, Angelo and Jonathon, helped him run his dances, and then went on to run their own successful dances. Over a period of 25 years, Adrian has taught thousands of people to dance, not only rock’n’roll, but also swing, jive, salsa, cha-cha, westcoast and line dancing. He has enabled thousands of people to enjoy a love of dancing, and has encouraged people from many walks of life to get up on the dance floor, and have fun! The VRRDA inducted Adrian into the Hall of Fame in 2017.


See video clips in right hand column.



Alex Tan - Swing Dance with Debbie


Alisha Krieger

 Alley Catz

Together with dance partner Jon Hannon, Alisha founded Alley Catz, teaching from 2005 - 2010. Alisha and Jon were the Victorian State Champions in 2003. Ran Gorgeous Gear 


See video clip in right hand column.


Andrea Beckett - Musicland 2018 -


Andy Zammit


Andy’s Cats.

Andy (the Guru) Zammit, has long been recognized as a pioneer of Rock and Roll Dance in Melbourne. From 1982, with dance partner Terri Moon, Andy made his mark on the rock n roll dance scene.

Some of his achievements include: Interclub Championship 1990 - 1st place : Victorian Championship 1991 - 1st place : Easy Music 3MP Rock and Roll Championship Moomba 1992 - 2nd place : South Pacific Championship Sydney 1992 - 2nd place : Rockhouse Rock and Roll Dance Championship 1993 - 1st place, Champion of champions.

Andy has danced in Floorshows all over Australia. Some of the bigger venues are: NBL Grand Final, Tennis Centre, Melbourne : For Melbourne Magic with the Melbourne Magic Dancers : Hyatt Grand Ballroom, Melbourne : Regent, Melbourne on New Year’s Eve : The Entertainment Centre, Melbourne : Penthouse Nightclub, Gold Coast, Queensland. Andy has been backed by some famous Australian Rock and Roll bands such as: The Allstars, The Premiers, Frankie and the Highlighters, Yeah Yeah and performed with famous Australian Artists such as: Grantley Dee, Bobby and Laurie, Marcia Jones, Ron Blasket and Jerry Gee, Merv Benton, Colin Cook, Denise Drysdale, Kevin Lee and Bobby Valentine. He has been seen on TV on the Steve Visard Show, Sale of the Century, New Faces Rock and Roll Special as a dancer, and on New Faces Country Special as a Judge. Andy danced in the opening of 'Shout' at the Melbourne Entertainment Centre, and had a Rock n roll show at Crown Palladium in June 2002. 

Andy is responsible for introducing the now famous Progressive Cha Cha routine, which is still danced at every rock n roll dance, as well as routines such as Hand Jive, Grease, Falling of a Log and In the Mood. He ran Mordi Rock dance for many years with Terri Moon, then later Ringwood Swing monthly dance. His dance school Andy’s Cats Corner ran for many years with Terri Moon, then later Gudie helping teach. Andy taught rock n roll and later swing, as well as the disabled for well over 30 years. His swing dance classes at Forest Hills finished in 2016.


See video clip in right hand column.



Anna – Rock n Roll Rebels


Annette Rook - Harro's Hoppers, 2005 -


Antony (DJ Antony) - Swing n Rock 1997 - 2007


Barry Slater - Fourmost 1996-1998.  Victorian State Champion 1998


Bonnie McKenzie - Red Hot Rockers 2019 -  Bonnie learnt to dance as a teenager when her parents got involved with rock n roll dance club in Warrnambool.


Brian and Marj Coates – Be Bop Dancers


Brian McElhenny – Rhode Island Rockers


Bruce Prest - Rock n Soul, Boronia


Carol Ross - Fourmost  teaching 1996 – 2011.  Ran the Strutters ball at Chelsea, judged for VRRDA,  VRRDA hall of fame inductees in 2014.  See details in the blog section of VRRDA.


Charlie Lancaster - Just Rock, 1990's


Charles Spiteri - Red Hot Rockers, Surrey Hills 2018-


Cheryl Hartnett - Rock n Soul, Boronia


Chris Black – Red Hot Rockers


Clint and Jenny – CJ Rockers


Courtney Stammers – Slydog Rockers, Red Hot Rockers


David Harrington - Harro's Hoppers, 2005 - 


Dave Dooley Red Hot Rockers


Debbie Krause – Red Hot Rockers, Swing Dance with Debbie, 5,6,7,8  www.swingdance.com.au


Denise & Charlie Lancaster - Just Rock 1990's


DJ Antony - Swing'n'Rock


Gail Carl – Juke Box Rock


Gavin Preston – Red Hot Rockers


Glenis Forth – Southside Rockers, teaching 1990’s -


Graham Heath – Sylvester Swingers, Top Cats, Sylvester Dance Group


Graham Wood - Rock n Soul, Boronia


Gudie  - Andy's Cats


Harro (David Harrington) – Harro's Hoppers, 2005 -


Heather and John Jarman – Lakeside Rockers, Sale, teaching 1995 –


Heather Siliveri - Sylvester Swingers


Irene and Tom Amos - Just Rock.  Irene frequently served as a competition judge and as a VRRDA Committee Member.


Jamie Suppa - Rock n Soul, Boronia


Jenny Hartskeerl – Just Rock, Rock n Soul


John Payne and Anne Linden, Mi style Dance Studio, The Basin.  John was Vice President of VRRDA , and also Just Rock in 1999.


Johnny Phung - Johnny's Rockers


Jon Hannon 


Alley Catz

Jon first taught with Adrian's Red Hot Rockers, ( -2004) then formed Alley Catz in 2005 ( with Alisha Kreiger until 2010), then with wife Zoe, running the largest dance school in Melbourne. Dance classes at Lilydale (from 2007- ), Glen Waverley, Sunshine, and Epping, monthly dances at Sunshine (from 2005) and Lilydale,  annual dance competition and 8ww performance class.  Jon has  achieved the following : Victorian State title holder (with Alisha) 2003 : Australian South East Champion 2002, 2003 : ‘Best of the Best' Sydney Australia – 3rd place : Pan Pacific Rock 'n' Roll title holder – 2004  : Australasian Championship title holder – 2004 :  Victorian State Tile holder (with Zoe) 2012, 2013, 2014.  Started up Bop Johnnys retro clothing and dance shoes.


See video clip in right hand column.



Kevin and Carol Ross


Fourmost Dance school, teaching 1996 – 2011.  VRRDA hall of fame inductees in 2014.  See details in the blog section of VRRDA.


Lana Scragg and Mick Gardiner – Just Rock 1989 -


Les & Sue Maslin.  Choreographed the Cha Cha Capers, and Shoelace dance routines which Les and Sue taught at various dance classes as guest teachers.


Linda Smyth – Linda’s Rock n Roll - Teaching in Ringwood.  VRRDA Hall of Fame inductee for 2019. Teaching rock n roll since late 1980's.


Lou Mingaars – Top Cats.  Ran Mordi Rock dance from 2008 - 2012, then Menzies Hall dance until mid 2014. Retired 


Lynette Nash – Top Cats


Mary – T-Bird Rockers


Miriam – Flaming 50’s, Hoppers Crossing


Nikki and Barry Slater. – Fourmost, teaching 1996 – 1998


Pat Noakes – Red Hot Rockers, Vic Lindy Hop, 1996-97, Swing Central 2001- 2016,


Peter Middleton – Slydog Rockers, Red Hot Rockers 2016 - 2018, Cherry Popping Swing


Rachael & Glenn - Hop 2 It


Rhonda and Jim Pollock


Rhonda Watts – Renegade Rockers


Roz Burton - Swing'n'Rock , Rock with us


Sarah Jane Lenko – Sylvester Dance Group, teaching 2017 – Clayton Bowls Club, Stamford Hotel Rowville


Sebastian Riscica – Sebastians, teaching 1987 -


Sue Dobson – Rockin Suzies, Pakenham, Cranbourne, Berwick.  Good Friday Appeal 2006-2018, monthly dances 2003 -


Steve Octigan


Terri Moon


Andys Cats.

Terri taught rock and roll with Andy Zammit at Andy's Cats.  She was an early pioneer of rock n roll from 1982 onwards. Some of her achievements include: Interclub Championship 1990 - 1st place : Victorian Championship 1991 - 1st place : Easy Music 3MP Rock and Roll Championship Moomba 1992 - 2nd place : South Pacific Championship Sydney 1992 - 2nd place : Rockhouse Rock and Roll Dance Championship 1993 - 1st place, Champion of champions.  Andy and Terri also danced in Floorshows all over Australia as members of the "Bobby Soxers" rock and roll dance troupe.  Some of the venues they taught at included: "Uncle Sams diner" at Carrum in 1992/93,  White St Mordiallic.  They also danced on Bert Newtons New Faces. Terri and Andy ran the Mordy Rock dance for 11 years from the 1990's to mid 2000's.  Terri passed away in 2019.

See photos on the right side of page, and video on the home page.



Tom Amos


Tristen Cocking - Red Hot Rockers 2019 - 


Wendy Gapper – Red Hot Rockers   - 2018


Zoe Hannon (nee Jones) – Alley Catz

Video's on Youtube

Early rock n roll dancing on Bandstand in 1957

 

Adrian Spadaro and Chris Black (in gold) competing in the VRRDA dance championships in 1993.

Adrian Spadaro, Chris Black and Terri Moon (in black and leopard print) competing in triples in 1993.

Adrian Spadaro

Alisha Krieger and Jon Hannon teaching 8ww 2010.

Andy Zammit and Gudie dancing on stage at the Palladium in 2002

Andy Zammit dancing 1997

Jon Hannon and Annette (in purple), winners junior VRRDA championships 1997

Jon Hannon and Zoe Jones competing VRRDA championships 2011

Jon & Zoe VRRDA championships winners 2013

Jon and Zoe Hannon - Alley Catz

Andy Zammit and Terri Moon - Bobby Soxers dance troupe 1992.

Poster from 1992 with Jets and the Bobby Soxers dance troupe.  Couple in teal are Gavin and Ann (Helen Ann Gemenis), couple in pink are Terri Moon and Andy Zammit, in red, Nicki and Barry Slater

Terri Moon, dance teacher, on the cover of Rock and Roll News March 2015

Kevin and Carol Ross.

Linda Smyth