Canowindra has become an epicentre of sorts for dancers who perform in the New Vogue style. New Vogue is an Australian style of dancing practiced across the country.
“It is kind of like ballroom dancing,” says Cathie Slattery, makeshift teacher for Canowindra dancers. “But the dances are set. It is sequenced dancing with a set number of steps which repeat.”
Cathie became a stand-in teacher after the dancers struggled to remember the sequences due to a break last year thanks to COVID regulations. She insists she is not a trained teacher but the students are very grateful to have someone guide their practice.
Most of the students are older than Cathie, who has been a New Vogue dancer for eight years, and indeed have been dancing a lot longer than her, with most of the members having over 60 years of experience. Even so, Cathie insists anyone can learn.
“It is pretty easy to learn,” Cathie says, adding that dancers are always able to improve and the dance itself remains dynamic. “It is for anyone of any age.”
Practicing on a Tuesday between 1pm and 3pm, the Canowindra dancers do it all for their Sunday dance days where they host dancers from across the region.
“A lot of people come to Canowindra to dance,” said Cathie, herself hailing from Orange. “There are people from Grenfell, Cowra, Dubbo, Forbes, Parkes, Orange and Bathurst who come to dance here. We have even had people from Oberon and Canberra come and dance. This is the best hall in the region.”
Dance begins at 2pm every Sunday at the Canowindra Services Club. Due to COVID restrictions, the usual buffet lunch is on hold, with dancers being asked to bring their own food for now until the restrictions ease. Cost is $10 for dancers and free for spectators. Everyone is welcome, young or old.