Cool cat finding her groove

By Madeleine Caccianiga

Endless memories spring to mind when I think about family events which have included my parents’ embarrassing rock and roll style dancing in the middle of the dance floor.

I say embarrassing because as a young teenager everything my parents did was embarrassing.

But as time progressed I started to respect them for the way they took to the dance floor hand in hand and showed up everyone else’s free-style dance moves.

And we just accepted that was what they did.

Now as mine and Dave’s wedding date grows closer so does the question of a creative first dance — or lack of.

Going back on my teenage word, I decided I wanted to become the embarrassing couple on the dance floor showing people up.

Since joining the Shepparton rock and roll group Cool Cat Rockers, I’m sorry to say I have yet to find my groove.

Starting in February I have attended weekly lessons where I have been shown the ropes by dancing duo Rob and Kaye Rossignoli.

Learning progressively, the each lady moves around the circle hoping to find a man to lead her out of her mistakes. Only to find it’s not as easy as that, with wrong feet stepping out of place and falling into repeated mistakes.

I am proud to say I have the basics under control but I’m a bit hit and miss with the new moves.

I have learned many new dance phrases and my favourite so far is ‘‘spanish arms’’ which always makes me giggle, closely followed by ‘‘monkey grips’’.

Feeling like the men in the group have more of a responsibility within the dance to take the lead, it’s the spinning that gets me — so much spinning.

Determined to find my groove, the dancing lessons have continued at home.

I had never anticipated how hard attending these lessons alone would be.

I went in with the plan that I would learn the steps and come home and teach Dave.

From my first lesson I realised again it was going to be harder than I first thought — for me to be able to teach Dave, I needed to know what I was doing.

And my feet were all over the place.

Admitting defeat, I complained to Dave and asked him to dance with me — now that was interesting.

We were able to focus on my moves and I felt a shift in my confidence and became excited to return to the following week’s lesson.

Having more fun with my moves and starting to make friends within the group, I have learned Rome wasn’t built in a day and I’m not the only one learning.

Like true dance instructors Rob and Kaye keep their eyes on the group and pull out misplaced footing throughout each lesson.

Now as a regular occurrence at the end of each lesson, Rob politely wanders over to lead me back on to the dance floor to go over the moves one step at a time.

Becoming a part of the Cool Cat Rockers is a first for me in the line of community groups and I feel it will form into a new rockin’ me. Madeleine Caccianiga is a journalist at The News.