More dancers wanted to rock and roll

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Paper, Your Place - REX­INE HAWES

Rock and roll classes are be­ing held in Mata­mata, in the hope it will rekin­dle in­ter­est in the dance.

Teach­ers Paul and Jen­nifer McCor­mack have been rock­ing and rolling for 16 years.

They were both mem­bers of the Mata­mata Rock and Roll club, which dis­solved a few years ago, due to de­clin­ing num­bers.

Paul says many dance clubs closed around the coun­try, but some are start­ing to gain mo­men­tum again, and the for­mer past pres­i­dent of the dis­solved Mata­mata lo­cal club is hope­ful to reignite in­ter­est.

‘‘It used to be a big club. This is a test to see if we can get it go­ing again.’’

The en­er­getic cou­ple took up rock and roll af­ter Paul gave up smok­ing and started putting on weight.

‘‘I needed the ex­er­cise and I al­ways wanted to learn,’’ he said.

Paul and Jen­nifer, along with daugh­ter Court­ney at­tended lessons, and they were both hooked. But for Paul it’s the 1950s mu­sic that keeps him go­ing.

‘‘Elvis, Buddy Holly, it’s good, nice, happy mu­sic.‘‘

Paul says at its peak, the Mata­mata Rock and Roll club was well at­tended.

‘‘We used to fill this room (Rawhiti Room) once upon a time, you would have to see it to be­lieve it.’’

Rock and roll is de­scribed as a fun, happy dance, steps are small, fast and light. The man leads and it’s his job to di­rect his part­ner and make her look good.

The McCor­ma­cks have never com­peted, it’s not what danc­ing is about for them. Jen­nifer just loves the so­cial­is­ing it gave them, they made life long friends through dif­fer­ent clubs.

Jen­nifer says it’s the only way she can ever get Paul on a dance floor. Paul says it’s the only time he gets to be the boss.

There are plenty of compe- titions held reg­u­larly around the coun­try, there were a few for the Mata­mata club too when it was still ac­tive.

‘‘First prize was a big cho­co­late fish, sec­ond prize was a smaller cho­co­late fish,’’ laughs Paul.

Lessons started last Thurs­day at the Rawhiti Room of the Mata- mata Club, from 7.30pm, and con­tinue for five more weeks. Paul says it’s not too late for new peo­ple to go along and catch up.

About eight cou­ples took part in the ini­tial les­son learn­ing the first of 12 dif­fer­ent steps.

‘‘Once they get the basic steps, they will be away,’’ says Paul.

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