Saturday Night at the Hop

The joint was jumpin’ when the 2023 Rock’n’Roll State Championships took over the St Savas hall in Greensborough on Saturday 20 May.

The strength of competition across all age categories once again demonstrated that this is one of the premier R’n’R Dance competitions in Australia.

Twenty youth competitors and 53 adult competitors took part, from Rock’n’Roll clubs and dance schools all over Victoria, Adelaide and Sydney.

More than 300 teenyboppers and veteran rockers were there to watch the event and rock on with Gippsland-based band, Who Was That Cat. They played for the social dancing breaks as well as a two-song set for the three State Title events – Youth, Senior and Adult.

VRRDA President, Rob Ewart said having a live band for the top-level events is unique and really adds to the competitive atmosphere.

There’s no Rock’n’Roll without good music and a live band gets a whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on.

Rob Ewart
Youth State Champions 2023. Photo by Margie Ewart.

Youth State Title (under 18s)

1st place: Aiden McMurdo & Kayla Gagatsis

2nd place: Madelyn Stonehouse & Alexis Jackson

3rd place: Zacc Green & Adele Gillam

Adult State Title (18 and over)

1st place: James Star & Monica Kroehnert

2nd place: Samuel Jones & Kirsten Lewis

3rd place: Chris Cannel & Beatrice Jainz

Senior State Title (45 and over)

Ist place: Stuart Smith & Janine Smith

2nd place: Rodney Golding & Robyn Golding

3rd place: Keith Andrews & Helen Andrews

You can check out the full list of category winners on the VRDDA website.

New Hall of Fame Inductee

Another highlight of the evening was the induction of Susan Dodson, known in R’n’R circles as “Rockin’ Suzie”, to the Victorian Rock’n’Roll Dance Hall of Fame.

Suzie is a dance teacher who creates a great sense of belonging among her students. One of the initiatives she was being recognised for was the creation of an annual Good Friday Appeal fundraiser, with bands, clothing and food stalls, plus a hot car and bike show. The event has raised more $100,000 for the Royal Children’s Hospital so far.

Well done Suzie, and congratulations to all of the newly-crowned 2023 Victorian Rock’n’Roll State Champions!