“Sure he was great, but don’t forget that Ginger Rogers did everything he did … backwards and in high heels.”
The fabulous quote is often miscredited to the actress herself, but it featured in a cartoon in the Los Angeles Times alluding to the fact her job was harder than her silver screen co-star.
For Rhonda and Arthur Fletcher from Halcyon Waters, it’s truly a team effort and Rhonda said if it wasn’t for her husband – she probably wouldn’t have begun dancing in the first place.
“I had a girlfriend who was doing it and I wanted to give it a try, but I didn’t want to go by myself so I dragged Arthur along,” she laughed.
Nine years later the couple are fully immersed in the ballroom dancing scene, regularly having private lessons, attending classes each week and participating in their studio’s dance parties.
They have even travelled to Canberra to compete in the American Style Dance and Competition (ASDAC) Outback Crown, an annual event which sees dancers of all ages and levels descend on the nation’s capital to compete and participate in master classes.
“We didn’t go down to win anything, we wanted to experience it and see some amazing dancers who do a showcase,” Rhonda said. “It was terrific fun and well worth the trip.”
The couple attend classes at a local Hope Island studio, Fifth Avenue Dance, where they credit their teacher Maki Soto for her support and encouragement for their continued progress.
They have worked their way through dance examinations to Silver 3, one of the top levels of the ASDAC curriculum which includes styles such as foxtrot, tango, swing, cha cha, rhumba, merengue, bolero and most recently they learned how to do a Viennese Waltz.
“It’s just great exercise and it’s something we get to do together,” she said.
Arthur added: “It’s been a wonderful way to meet new friends, to socialise and to be able to do something outside of the gates.”
“And it doesn’t matter if you think you have two left feet, you can learn at your own pace and you’d be surprised at what you can actually achieve.”
What is American Style Dance and Competition?
Social Ease Standard
Social Ease is a standard that will allow you to dance to any music with any partner, without having to count or think, utilising five or six steps in every dance. This will make you ‘socially at ease’. You are a good dancer to someone who cannot dance.
Bronze is where we add style, technique and movement and is split up into four sections
Bronze 1: easy steps, introduce style and technique
Bronze 2: harder steps, polish, style and technique
Bronze 3: show steps, perfect style and technique (easy steps)
Bronze 4: more showy steps (introduce some silver) all steps to have full style and technique
You are now a great dancer, in the top 10 per cent on any dance floor
Silver and Gold
For those who do not want to stop, but also do not want to stagnate or get bored, we have Silver, where all the steps are eye catching and Gold, the top standard.