Have you heard of the Pride of Erin, the Charmaine, or the Evening Three Step?
It’s old time dances like these that the Bendigo Bush Dance and Music Club is fighting to keep alive, by celebrating Australia’s heritage of colonial dancing.
Club members and visitors will take to the dance floor on Saturday to enjoy the music at Bendigo’s 23rd annual Dinki Di Old Time Ball.
Read more: Dance fever hits the Spring Gully Hall
Club president Dianne Pearse remembers going to balls all over before she got married.
In those days, they were all over the country, Ms Pearse said.
Sutton Grange, Inglewood, Huntly, Rochester all had balls.
People love the music. If they don’t dance, they just love listening to the old time music.Dianne Pearse
She sees the Dinki Di Old Time ball as a chance for people to relive these days.
“People love the music. If they don’t dance, they just love listening to the old time music,” Ms Pearse said.
“Our club is trying to keep all the old time dances alive.”
Music from the Emu Creek Bush Band and the Gay Charmers will fill the hall on the night of the ball.
You can expect quality, as the bands certainly aren’t lacking in experience. The bands each played together for respectively 30 and 60 years.
July Manypeney plays the banjo in the Emu Creek Bush Band.
The ensemble features a double bass, pianist, two button accordions, two banjos and two recorders.
“Real old-time dance music” is the band’s specialty, Mrs Manypeney said.
The Barn Dance, the Fox Trot, the Maxina, Swing Waltz, the Alberts and the Lancers are among their oeuvre.
Alongside the Bush Dance and Music Club, the band is trying to preserve the dances of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.
Mrs Manypeney said she believes it is important to keep this heritage alive.
“Most people enjoy doing this sort of dancing, and they always are happy and smiling when they’re doing it,” she said.
“It’s a really good social night.”
And with two bands playing, Mrs Manypeney is hoping she’ll be able to get down and have a few dances on the night herself.
To help beginners, the set dances will have callers explaining steps on the night.
- The 23rd annual Dinki Di Old Time Ball will take place in the Eaglehawk Town Hall on September 15, from 8pm, entry is $25 at the door