Rock’n’rollers get set to hit the floor

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By MATTHEW DAL­LAS

The clock will be bob­bysocked back to 1955 this Labour Week­end as the coun­try’s top rock’n’roll dancers get foot­loose in Porirua.

For the two-day na­tional cham­pi­onships at Te Rau­paraha Arena, hun­dreds of rock’n’roll en­thu­si­asts will dance solo and in cou­ples, triples and teams. When they hit the floor, they won’t know which song they will be danc­ing to, but they can rest as­sured that it de­buted be­tween 1955 and 1963 – the golden age of rock’n’roll and an era dom­i­nated by one hip-shak­ing su­per­star.

‘‘Elvis will be in the build­ing,’’ said Miles Coverdale, pres­i­dent of the Har­bour City Rock & Roll Club, which is host­ing the event.

Elvis at the Movies is the theme of the week­end. He said ne­go­ti­at­ing the rights with Elvis Pres­ley En­ter­prises to use The King’s vis­age was a ‘‘real bloody has­sle’’, but he got it done and the event is prov­ing pop­u­lar.

Last week, over 700 tick­ets had been snapped up by club mem­bers for the Fri­day night ca­sual dance, and 4000 sold for the com­pe­ti­tion days.

Mem­bers from over 40 of the county’s 55 as­so­ci­ated clubs will com­pete. All had to pass an as­sess­ment to take part. The Kapi-Mana Rock & Roll Club will be the best rep­re­sented, with over 100 dancers cut­ting a rug.

The event isn’t only about the dance­floor. There will be ta­bles of mem­o­ra­bilia for sale and the Western Bays Rod­ders will en­sure there’s plenty of ac­tion out­side, al­beit no drag rac­ing.

The only thing missing will be a Wurl­itzer juke­box. ‘‘ Ev­ery­one would be fight­ing over a 20-cent piece to put in it,’’ said Mr Coverdale. ‘‘Lo­cal DJs will be han­dling the mu­sic, so it’s a juke­box with legs.’’

He said the hal­cyon days of rock’n’roll clubs was 15 to 18 years ago, in terms of pop­u­lar­ity, but the stan­dard of danc­ing had never been higher – par­tic­u­larly in New Zealand.

Ki­wis have taken out the last eight world cham­pi­onships, and their dom­i­na­tion of an Aus­tralian event last year has meant a large party of Aussies are com­ing across the Tas- man for the week­end to watch the masters strut their stuff.

Mean­while, tele­vi­sion shows like Danc­ing With the Stars have led to new mem­bers, par­tic­u­larly young men.

In­di­vid­ual and cou­ples’ events will be held on Satur­day, with triples and teams danc­ing on Sun­day. Spec­ta­tor tick­ets are avail­able through Ticket Di­rect, at $6 for the day ses­sions (8am to 4.30pm) and $9.90 for the fi­nals (6pm to 11.30pm).

Best foot for­ward: Kapi-Mana Rock & Roll Club dancers Dar­ren Bai­ley and Odele Kings­ford will com­pete in the open and top team sec­tions at the na­tional cham­pi­onships at Te Rau­paraha Arena.

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