Red Hot Rockers

Red Hot Rockers

"Red Hot Rockers" is how Adrian Spadaro advertises his weekly swing, jive, and rock and roll classes. People must like it because some weeks there are 140 on the floor.
The last dance hall Adrian hired would get so full that sometimes people would be standing on each other’s toes! What attracts all these people to swing, jive, and rock and roll?
“These dances are fun. The music is fun, the steps are fun. It’s all just a joyful experience.”
Adrian has always danced. Growing up in an Italian family, there were always parties with Italian bands and dancing, and Adrian learnt to dance with his mum – the rumba, samba, tango and waltz, to name a few.
From a life of social and competition dancing, he has gone on to become one of Melbourne’s favourite dance teachers – a true red hot rocker.
“These dances are enjoyable. There is human contact, which we all need, but it is not threatening, especially for girls who are coming onto the dance scene for the first time. These dances are the easiest to learn for guys – they don’t have to get their footwork exactly correct the first time. They can still do the dance.”
Whereas ballroom dancing requires partners to be up close and personal a lot of the time, swing, jive, and rock and roll involve hand contact, occasional embraces, and are fun rather than romantic. For the guys, this is great!
The 1920s to the 1950s was an era of dance explosion in America, and then around the world. Jive was the first to take off. Simple dance moves based on triple and single steps had been the traditional dances of African American slaves. These steps bravely crossed continents and fast became the backbone of jive.
Then there was swing. Dance halls were playing jazz and the black community were dancing it, discovering and celebrating two of the most popular swing dances: the charleston and lindy hop.
Rock and roll waited until the 50s to explode and quickly took the teenage world by storm.
At the Red Hot Rockers, most of the Wednesday night dancers were in their teens when all of these forms of dance were becoming the hot thing. They may or may not have learnt them in the 50s and 60s, but now the time is just right and the dance school provides a way to meet people, make friends, and dance the dances of their dreams.
Swing, jive, and rock and roll could be some of the most fun ways to get fit, stay fit, and stay on your feet for a long time.
There is one couple around town who are well into their 80s – they are fantastic! Even Adrian wishes he was as fit as they are.
As well as being great for the body, dancing is also great brain food. The combination of learnt moves, rhythm and creativity are the perfect work-out for the whole body and both sides of the brain.
Adrian has always danced and probably always will. His favourite dance is not the most popular but perhaps the most suave. He loves to dance the west coast, a simple French jive-style dance which is easy to learn. If you can walk, right, left, right, left, right, left, you can do it. Adrian calls it walking with attitude!

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