Club History

Australiana Dancers opened on Sunday 29th April 2012 with a Special Opening Dance. Peter Humphries was the special guest caller for the dance, sharing the calling with club caller Jaden Frigo. Peter's help on the opening dance and beyond was integral to getting the club up and running. The opening dance saw over 10 sets of new dancers in the afternoon and 5 sets for M/S in the evening. Over the next few months, the club hosted several special events (Disney Night, Christmas In July Dance etc) all of which were very popular, along with lots of great club nights! Numbers for most of 2012 were around 5 sets of learners and 3 sets for M/S.  The clubs final dance for 2012 was our Christmas Break-Up Dance, which was a hugely successful night with over 7 sets of dancers enjoying a great night!

 

The club resumed in 2013 with a Hawaiian Beach Party Night (on 6th January) and also hosted an Australia Day dance and BBQ on  27th January). The learners continued to progress through the movements with all 35 of them were getting close to finishing their M/S. Tuesday 29th January was a historical night for the club as it opened its Tuesday night dances. The format on Tuesday nights is F/N Rounds, F/N Plus. The first few Tuesday night dances saw excellent numbers (including 41 people on a round dance night). 

 

In March 2013, 35 learners graduated after having successfully completed the M/S program. This included 9 people who were under 18 at the time of graduation. 

 

The first weekend in April marked a significant milestone for the club as it celebrated its 1st Birthday with a terrific weekend of dancing. Barry Wonson (NSW) was the feature caller for the weekend, sharing the calling with Peter Humphries, Colin Dandridge and Jaden Frigo. Over 100 people enjoyed a fantastic weekend with lots of great dancing, friendship and delicious food! Phoenix Squares provided a lot of help during the weekend, which were are very appreciative of.

 

Many of our dancers attended the 2013 National Convention in Gosford, which was a super event! One of the highlights was our club caller (Jaden Frigo) being programmed for the first time at a convention!

 

2013 has been another great year with events such as our Combined Dance with Phoenix Squares, Christmas In July Dance, Springtime Dance etc all being successful events. The club regularly dances 4-5 sets on a Sunday night. Another class of learners have graduated now, with 11 people going through  to M/S. 2013 finished with over 7-8 sets dancing at our Christmas Break-Up Dance, and a very succesful Christmas Eve Dance and BBQ with Phoenix Squares.

 

2014 started with a Hawaiian Party Night, which was well attended with everyone enjoying a great night. We look forward to what should be another terrific year of dancing! 

 

We enjoyed very successful nights for our Australia Day Dance,  Chinese New Year dance and St Patricks Day Dance with lots of visitors joining us including international visitors from Germany! Australiana currently dances 4-5 sets each week with everyone enjoying the terrific dancing!

 

Our feature event for 2014 was our 2nd Birthday Weekend with Paul Bristow (UK) together with Colin and Jaden. With crowds of over 15 sets at times enjoying terrific dancing and calling, delicious food in a great, friendly atmosphere. On the Saturday night, almost every caller in Victoria was in attendance, something which was fantastic to see. On the Monday after the weekend, the Victorian Callers Association hosted a callers workshop day with Paul Bristow, which was also a great success. Overall the whole event was superb and planning almost immediately started for the 3rd birthday weekend in 2015.

 

Several of our dancers attended the 55th National Convention in Canberra, with a great time being enjoyed by all. Club caller Jaden Frigo did a super job on his calls over the weekend, and congratulations were extended to the committee for a fantastic convention. We came home to the first VPAC festival with another very good weekend being enjoyed. Jaden was one of 3 callers programmed across the full weekend and it was great to see good crowds across the weekend. 

 

In May/June we started our new learner classes for 2014 with a good amount of dancers working through the moves. In July we held successful theme nights for 'American Independence Day' and 'Christmas In July.' 

 

We added new theme nights to our calendar with a 'Teddy Bears Picnic' and Halloween Night. All the dancers got involved with dressing up etc and lots of fun was enjoyed. 

 

More then 12 new learners graduated into M/S in early December, with several dancers under 18! The year finished with a fantastic Christmas Break-Up (with almost 7 sets in attendance) and a super New Years Eve Dance. At the end of 2014 Australiana Dancers had in excess of 50 club members.

 

2015 began with fun theme nights (Hawaiian, Australia Day and Chinese New Year) and lots of great dancing. Following the success of the previous year, we again ran a round dance class with several dancers enjoying learning a new skill. 

 

April saw an incredibly busy month starting with a good national convention in Adelaide with Jaden enjoying his busiest National so far - programmed for squares, rounds and at the youth session. We then went onto our premier 2015 event - Australiana's 3rd Birthday. Paul Bristow returned from England and joined Colin and Jaden to call a superb weekend. Dancers from all Australia came to enjoy the jam-packed lineup of squares and rounds. The following weekend Colin and Jaden did a super job calling the VPAC Weekend, another very good dancing event.

 

New Learners were started at Australiana in late May, with more then 20 people starting their square dancing journey! New learner classes in Plus and A1 were also started during the winter months. More successful theme nights were held later in the year with Teddy Bears, Springtime & Halloween Party Nights all enjoyed. 2015 ended with over 7 squares at our Christmas Party Night.

 

The new year of 2016 begun with a Hawaiian Party Night - over 6 squares enjoyed a relaxed, fun time. Australiana expanded again with a new night at Rosebud. New learner intakes at Rosebud, Mornington & Somerville netted a large amount of new dancers with over 60 people going through the classes. 

 

Australiana's 4th Birthday weekend was a very successful event with feature caller Mike Sikorsky doing a super job and proving very popular with the dancers. It was announced on the Saturday night that major changes will take place ahead of next years event, with two feature callers, and two halls running during the daytime sessions. Jaden also advised dancers of the clubs intentions of hosting international & interstate callers for other weekends during the year - starting with our Winter Spectacular in June with Ken Ritucci. 

The weekend with Ken Ritucci was a very successful dance with everyone enjoying top quality calling from Ken & Jaden. After this the National Convention was held in Queensland with several of our dancers in attendance. 

Jaden was away calling at a number of weekends & conventions through September and October, with Colin Dandridge regularly filling in - keeping everyone on their toes and having fun. Over 60 learners went through and completed classes - a total of over 120 dancers on the Mornington Peninsula at the end of the year!

The year finished with packed halls for our Christmas and NYE events. 3 new groups opened in February 2017, bringing Australiana up to 6 dances per week, all with world-class caller Jaden Frigo.

2017 saw another big year of development. The Mornington Peninsula Square Dancers participated in local parades and events - becoming a well known organization across the Peninsula. Good learner intakes saw all clubs well-stocked for the future. 

The first major event hosted was the 5th Australiana Spectacular. Almost 200 dancers participated in the weekend, dancing to Paul Bristow, Barry Wonson, Colin Dandridge & Jaden Frigo along with lots of special guests. This was our first spectacular at the Monash University - a superb, modern venue.

In May a round dance group was added on Saturday afternoons, further developing the choice for Peninsula dancers. 

Club caller Jaden Frigo undertook a 4 week international calling tour during October

 

 

Thanks to all dancers who have supported the club so far, and we look forward to welcoming many more dancers in the future!

 

 

Club Caller Jaden Frigo (left) with club

hosts Carol and Kevin Frigo.

Callers/Cuers who have called at Australiana Dancers:

Callers:

Jaden Frigo

Colin Dandridge

Peter Humphries

Barry Wonson

Paul Bristow

Janice Alexander

Frank Kennedy

Sharon Lacey

Ralph Weise

Paula Wright

Di Ashton

Emily Fry

Laurina Collyer

Ian Bell

Kevin Richardson

Sylvia Drew

 

Cuers:

Fiona Callaghan

Ann Dugdale

 

Callers at Australiana Dancers 1st Birthday

weekend: (L-R) Barry, Jaden, Peter, Colin.

Callers at Australiana Dancers 2nd and 3rd Birthday

weekend: (L-R) Jaden, Paul, Colin.

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