Can you imagine a place where you can have hours fun on Saturday night for $20 and under? Or how about an environment, without the smell of beer and cigarette smoke, or the clang of poker machines, where you can actually meet people and chat? What about a place where women act like “ladies” and prefer the “gentlemen” to treat them as such? Can you perhaps remember what it was like to hold the person you are dancing with as you move around the floor to live music? Sounds good doesn’t it!
The Central Coast Bush Dance and Music Association, a not for profit organisation, was formed in 1998 with the objective to “provide a bush dance on the Central Coast”. You could say that we are one of the Central Coast’s Best Kept Secrets.
Our Dance is run monthly, on the second Saturday of the month, in the East Gosford Progress Hall, corner of Wells Street and Henry Parry Drive, East Gosford. It starts at 7.30 p.m. and finishes at 11.00pm. The admission price of $20.00 includes a light supper ($15.00 for members).
Bush Dancing in essence is Australian Folk Dancing – the dances of the people – reflecting influences from settlement, our Colonial days, Federation, through two World Wars and the Depression, right up to the present time. They include Irish Dancing, English Country Dancing, Scottish Dancing, Contra and traditional Australian, with new dances written every week.
Sound dull and old world? A little bit old world perhaps, but far from dull. Just stand for a moment and watch the faces of the people as they gallop down the set for “Virginia Reel”, glide gracefully across the floor to “Margaret’s Waltz” or join hands around the circle in the “Pride of Erin”. Can’t possibly be dull with all that laughter going on.
Our live music is provided by a leading Sydney or Newcastle bush band. Each band has it’s own proficient Dance Caller and all the dances are taught, then walked through and called. Most are reasonably easy. They have to be – they are the dances of the people after all.
We see ourselves as a “serious” dance. Not for us is the “throw the girls over your shoulder, fellas, and race down the other end of the hall”. It’s more like, “Please take your partners for the Heel and Toe Polka.” And there are lots of bows and curtseys, too. It’s all part of the Australian tradition of bush dancing. That’s not to say it’s not energetic, though. Fitness levels tend to rise considerably after a couple of months of regular bush dancing.
A couple of years ago, we introduced our Theme Nights, where all the dances on the program are taken from one particular genre. They proved to be immensely popular and will be continued and expanded.
Being primarily an adult dance, we don’t encourage small children – it’s too easy for them to get in the way and be trampled – but older children are welcomed, subject to our “Guidelines for Children, their parents and others”.
Nor do we encourage alcohol. Most people find it’s too hard to drink and dance and people are far less likely to be injured. Ask any of our regulars, lack of alcohol hasn’t stood in the way of a good night yet.
Our bush dance is a true Aussie experience - and every Australian knows Aussie experiences are a bit thin on the ground these days - so why not give it a try? Central Coast people are renowned for their friendliness. Bush dancing is great exercise and you don’t need a partner to come along. Not bad for $20.00.
For information on our coming dances please contact