Dinosaurs Dancing
in the
Country

Don Herbison-Evans
( donherbisonevans@yahoo.com )
(updated 31 March 2003)

There is something relaxing about country ballroom dancing competitions where competitors have names rather being just numbers. Greg and Lynne Smith's "ACT and Region Ballroom Dancing Classic" on 25th August 2001 was the epitome of this classic country comp'.

Despite our not knowing many of the dancers or people there, we were overwhelmed by the support we got when we danced. It was held at the large Queanbeyan Bicentennial Function Centre which is not actually in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) but in New South Wales, and it attracted coach loads of entries from as far afield as Wagga and Sydney. There was lots of dancing for everyone. The Seniors got double, being able to dance both Adult and Senior. The Dinosaurs (over 45's) got triple if they could cope, which we couldn't, our arthritis etc being rather selective about what it let us dance.

There were more Adults than Seniors (which is rather different from many big city comp's), and rather more Individuals than either. Other popular sections were the "Class Trained Unregistered" and the "Bronze Medalist" events. However, the most popular event of the day was the "Parent and Child" Evening Three Step.

The Open Modern and Latin were both 5 dance, but split 2,2,and 1, so as to allow winners to avoid elevation. It also allowed dancers to compete in the dances with which they felt most comfortable. The "Waltz & Quickstep" proved more popular than "Tango & Slow Foxtrot", for example. Even fewer were prepared to tangle with the "Viennese Waltz".

The Latin-American was similarly split, with no-one initially prepared to try the Adult Paso Doble. This was the last event of the day, and meant to be the highlight of all the dancing. However, Bruce and Rebecca Southwell said they had a new routine and would put it on the floor if another couple would come out with them. None of the other Adults wanted to do it, so Anna and I said we would help them out. Would you believe it, with only 2 couples on the floor, we still ran into each other. Of course, Bruce and Rebecca won, and in the process qualified as the only Adult couple to dance all sections of the Modern, New Vogue, and Latin Opens (actually they won the Open English Old Time as well), and so won the huge Adult Overall Winners Trophy.

Greg and Lynne: you put on a lovely show: the venue (Lynne: thanks for putting on the heaters in the change rooms) and the music were great, and the work you put into getting sponsors added a wonderful local flavour. Anna and I still have to revisit some shops in Canberra to claim our vouchers that came with our prizes.

Many thanks,
Don Herbison-Evans and Anna Piper.

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