Batlow RSL Dance Group is thriving

Members of the Batlow RSL Dance Group. For more photos see the Tuesday, August 8, edition of the Tumut and Adelong Times.

The Batlow Dance Group has been samba-ing and cha-cha-ing for 31 years. Their secret? Widening the net and mixing it up a little.

“Over the years a lot of these little clubs in small towns have been dropping away,” said President John Vanscolina.

“It’s the same old story in all the small towns. The young ones go away to get their education or whatever and some of them come back but not all of them, and then people here drop off the perch.

“So what we’ve done here at New Vogue, which is old time dancing, is that we’ve brought line dancing into it as well.

“There’s a group from Tumbarumba as well who basically do the same thing, and they’ve joined us. So we’ve managed to resurrect the Batlow Dance Group.”

The group meets on Monday nights at the Batlow RSL. Line dancing takes place from 6.00pm to 7.30pm, with New Vogue going from 7.30pm til 9.00pm.

“New Vogue is an Australian version of English old time dancing – so it encompasses the old Vienna Waltzes, the jazz waltzes, tangos, rumbas, sambas, and cha-chas,” John explained.

They also have a monthly dance on the first Sunday of the month from 1.30pm to 4.30pm, all culminating in the Apple Blossom Ball on October 14. This year country/old time classics music star Geoff Evans will be playing the accompaniment, and the group has already sold 90 tickets.

They always welcome new members, and John said you never know who will fall into it – he’s a prime example.

“I lost a bet to my wife, so I came along,” he said.

“After six times trying to learn one dance I couldn’t do it, and I said I’d never do it again, but when Monday came around I thought, I’ll give it one more go, and I picked it up.

“It’s a social thing for older people. It’s important, sitting down and having a yarn. The music’s lovely too.”

Call John Vanscolina on 6949 1442 to get involved in the Batlow RSL Dance Group.