I sit and listen to them by myself,
todays music aint got the same soul,
I like that Old time a rock’n’roll.
Bopping away in my car this afternoon a song came on that I haven’t heard in like a BILLION years. ‘Old Time Rockin’ Roll’ being belted out by Bob Seger. Classic? Hell yes, but that’s not only why I love it. For me, and all my Grade six classmates it brings back the days of the Jim Welsh Dance Studio; and ten weeks of dancing lessons every Friday for two hours. Gosh it brought the hugest smile to my face.
Grade six was, in no doubt at all, the best year of my school life. I loved that year. I loved my friends but more so my Bestie, we were inseparable; sleep overs every weekend. Trips to I have no clue where with her Mum and old Bill in his chariot and out to Card Nights or Bingo in Ballarat. We would perch ourselves up on the bench seat in front and sing all the way to Ballarat. The vinyl seat smelled of plastic, it was hard and cold at night. The dash lights lit up the front seat, we’d push the square buttons on the radio to find a station.
My grade six teacher Miss Wilson, was the first lesbian I ever knew as it turned out. Yeah sure, I knew she was different, but back then you just didn’t think about that sort of stuff. She wore the coolest of clothes, bright fluro multi-coloured shirts and loose pants. I look back now and see it clear as day, but to me she was just Miss Wilson who took no shit from anyone. I looked up to that, and to her and credit her for part of my back bone. She was fucking awesome. While other kids hated her, I thought she was cool.
Marge Welsh our dance instructor, who was the coolest old chook ever. She could seriously DANCE! She had a bit of Flash Dance going on. The studio was upstairs and very un-air-conditioned! It would be stinking hot up there. The class would climb the old stairs into the huge room. Light flooded in through the windows. The old wooden floor was worn from millions of trods and clops over it. It smelled of sweat and wood. Partnering up standing in a great big circle we would fox trot, waltz and rock’n’roll. I always had the same partner, who back then was my boyfriend – who is now my brother in-law. Ha, sounds so incestuous and naughty, but I promise you there was a good 15 years between those dances and the one he danced with my sister on their wedding day. I remember dancing with my future hubby too, he was always happy to grab hold of me back then, but I never really realised until later on that he had a thing for me all the way back then. There was always that awkward space between the dancers and Marge would have to encourage us to come together. “Come on” she would say “They wont bite!” as she flicked around the room pushing couples together.
I remember the hot summer at the local pool, melting choc buds on the scorching hot metal plate that covered the pool filters. We practically lived at the pool, the whole town centred around it. It was the social hub, the place to be. “Bombing” competitions where the local hunk what’s-his-face-Millar always won. He was stunning back then, bronzed, muscled… groooowl! All the boys were something to look at back then. Days of not worrying about sunburn, or anything else except Cath giving you a free dim sim or two at the end of the day.
Not a worry in the world back then, just listening to Bob Seger belting it out in the background on Risky Business while Tom danced his way to stardom with a mop and sunnies to star in Top Gun; Wham was waking us up before we go-go and fucking John Farnham pre retirement six times wasn’t the “Retiring Jack!” he was apparently Whispering and the rest of the worlds artists came together and sung We Are The World; Grease was still a staple flick and BMX Kids were burning up the arse of the late cast of Stand By Me; rah-rah skirts bounced and hair bows held back a spiral perm while we danced to Madonna in tulle before she morphed into a talented, pointy titted old lady. Those were the days.
Vale Marge Welsh. I am saddened to learn that Marge passed away last month. She must have taught thousands of children and adults to dance. What a great loss her passing is.
Make sure you turn the teapot twice clockwise and once anticlockwise!