Rock’n and roll’n to suc­cess

South Waikato News - - Your Paper, Your Place - LUKE KIRKEBY

Toko­roa’s Ni­cholas Tot­ton, Bri­die Mcneil, and Hay­den Mid­dle­brook are rock and roll stars but prob­a­bly not the kind you’re fa­mil­iar with.

The Toko­roa Rock ‘n’ Roll Club trio are all dancers who com­pete na­tion­ally and so­cially in a style which emerged in the 1950s fol­low­ing the swing move­ment.

Com­plete with at­tire fit for the pe­riod, they re­cently took part in the New Zealand Am­a­teur Rock ‘n’ Roll As­so­ci­a­tion’s an­nual Se­nior Cham­pi­onships at Ilmin­ster In­ter­me­di­ate School in Gis­borne and came away with mul­ti­ple plac­ings.

The com­pe­ti­tion was open to dancers through­out the coun­try who had passed var­i­ous as­sess­ments by na­tional judges and Mid­dle­brook said the tal­ent level was right up there.

The trio’s months of hard work lead­ing up to the com­pe­ti­tion also put them in good stead to be up with the best.

Mid­dle­brook and Tot­ton came sec­ond in the Open Same Sex Sec­tion.

Mid­dle­brook and Mcneil were sec­ond in the Plat­inum Sec­tion Danc­ing and Best Dressed Plat­inum.

Tot­ton and Mcneil were third in the Best Dressed Open Re­stricted Cou­ple.

Mid­dle­brook, who has been danc­ing for 26 years, said they all left ‘‘ev­ery­thing on the floor’’ dur­ing their per­for­mances.

‘‘We had a lot of fun pre­par­ing for it and we felt we danced re­ally well. We couldn’t have done any­thing more on the day,’’ he said.

He said they trained for nine months in the First Toko­roa Scout Group hall lead­ing up to the com­pe­ti­tion.

‘‘We started off do­ing a cou­ple of nights a week train­ing and ended up do­ing five or six nights a weeks in the last week be­fore it so it got re­ally full on but it was a lot of fun,’’ he said.

Mid­dle­brook en­cour­aged oth­ers to come along to the club’s Mon­day night gath­er­ings to check things out.

‘‘We meet ev­ery Mon­day night at 7.30pm in the hall and any­one can come along be­cause the first night is al­ways free,’’ he said.

‘‘The first hour is used for lessons and then af­ter that you can dance with who­ever and do what you want. We keep Mon­days very so­cial so peo­ple can just en­joy them­selves.’’

They thanked all those who helped them get to na­tion­als and the scouts for the use of their hall.

Toko­roa Rock ‘n’ Roll Club mem­bers Ni­cholas Tot­ton and Bri­die Mcneil take to the podium (3rd) at the 2016 New Zealand Am­a­teur Rock ‘n’ Roll As­so­ci­a­tion’s Se­nior Cham­pi­onships.

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