The AFL has Aussie Rules Grand Final at the MCG, the English have their cricket at Lords but for devotees of 1950’s style rock & roll dancing, music and fashion coming from metro Melbourne and country Victoria, and those coming from interstate, it was a special night at the Epping Heritage Centre as they gather together for the annual “Mecca” of Rock & Roll events – the 2011 VRRDA Rock & Roll Dance Championship.
For those uninitiated and not yet “born again” into the 1950’s style rock & roll culture and fashion, to them it would seem a surreal environment as if transported back in a time machine to re-live the sounds and sights of the 1950’s era of rock & roll music & dancing. If you were not there last night, then you would have missed a night filled with a highly charged atmosphere of competitive spirit and top class rock & roll dancing but most of all, a night out of fun for families and friends.
The Vincents – one of Melbourne’s top 1950’s style rock & roll bands, kept the whole night rockin’ not only playing live for the selected premier dance event categories but also kept everyone happy & rockin’ on the dance floor during social dancing interspersed between the dance events.
As in past years, dancers were competing in several dance categories including the premier State Open Title (with lifts option) and the State Junior & Adult Titles (with and without lifts). Other dance events were the Beginners & Teams events, Triples and for the inaugural State Seniors Title which I think is a great idea considering the current age profile of the majority R&R dancers today. As usual, there were also the “fun” events like "Jack & Jill" and the “senior & junior” dance events.
The Epping Heritage Centre is a top venue with an excellent “sunken” dance floor, good parking and bar facilities and really not difficult to travel to if one access the various Freeways and Link roads to get there. The VRRDA again should be congratulated for holding its annual R&R dance championship. It’s a not for profit organisation, and the committee members have given freely of their time in the endeavour to keeping alive and promoting 1950’s style music and dancing. May it continue to flourish into the next century so that present & future generations will continue to enjoy the music and dancing that we have grown to love so much.
Well done also to all the volunteers who had helped to organise the event and to all the dance judges. And finally, to Rob - top job in doing the MC for the night, and also Margie playing the perfect host in meeting & greeting patrons at the door. It was a top night for 1950’s style music, dancing & fashion.
Victorian Adult State Title: Andrew Camp & Kendel Flannagan
Victorian Senior State Title: Robert Woodforde & Julie Secker
Victorian Youth State Title: Kara Munn & Samantha Jacobson
In lots of the events the scoring was really close. For instance, the Teams Event results were on a knife edge. Both teams showed clever choreography plus skill, discipline and a touch of humour to round out the spectacle. The Chevrons did not "lose", they were fantastic! It was just that the Be Boppers squeezed enough points to take first place.
The new event, Senior State Title, was strongly contested. Twelve couples took part the Heats in the afternoon to produce the six couples that fought out the Final on the evening.
A huge THANK YOU to our sponsors:
Alleycatz Dance Classes N Social
Be Bop Dancers
Cobram River Rockers
Colac Rock’n’Roll Club
Geelong Jukebox Rockers
Hooked On Rock
S’cool House Rock & Swing
Top Cat Dancers
And to The Vincents, Rock’n’Roll News and VicRock, Kerry & Margie our special volunteer helpers, the Judges, Mike and the staff at the Heritage and Clive from the Northside dance. Thanks also to the Rockin’ Daddys who were to play but who had to step aside.
What a fabulous night it was for all who were there. Thanks VRRDA.
I can't remember seeing so many smiling faces. And of course, what can one say about "The Vincents" except that Shepparton Cool Cats booked them on the spot for our dance after next. Great music guys. Rob had warned me about the MC's jokes and he managed the very difficult job of keeping everything moving smoothly and, apart from the jokes, a magnificent job Rob. I'm surprised that your voice didn't play up earlier in the evening!
The Heritage, with its sunken, circular floor is one of our favourite venues, even if it is a fair few miles to get there. If you haven't been there yet, do yourself a favour - as they say - and get there. I hasten to add that I have no financial or other involvement in the place.
The junior competitors were just bloody wonderful. Talk about having fun! I couldn't stop grinning while watching them performing and collecting their well-deserved awards. Talking of awards, I thought the judges did a great job under very difficult circumstances. Beats me how theymade the same choices I would have. Well done judges.
Talking of proficient dancing, what about the winners of the adult lifts and senior state title - Julie and her partner (whose name is lost in the crevices of my mind) from WA. Julie's dress was just gorgeous with her coloured petticoat a superb contrast, But what about their lifts and stuff! What can one say except Enjoy your marriage guys.
My final congratulations have to go to the couple who won the Jack and Jill. What a performance! As the MC in his white jacket asked, 'Why weren't you competing in the other events??'
Thanks Jitts for posting the video clips. It gives people a good idea of how the night was run and how exciting it was. Well done to the committee of the VRRDA for a job well done. My only disapointment is that competitor numbers have dropped off compared to previous years, particularly in the junior section. We need to entice more young people to dance and enter the comps as this is where the future of rock and roll lays. Perhaps more families need to become involved and take their kids along , that`s why rock and roll clubs are such an important part of the culture , and country areas are an important part as well. Maybe one day the VRRDA will return to country regions to run heats in local halls. This was one of the reasons the Lakeside Rockers had so many junior champions in the past. Congratulations to all the place getters and our own member Andrew Camp & his partner Kendel Flannagan who are now the Victorian Adult State Title Holders. And congratulations to all those who had the gutts to get out there and have a go !!!