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New Year's Eve Bush Dance

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by Vanessa ★ (subscribe)
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Monaro Folk Society (MFS) is proudly presenting their annual New Year's Eve Bush Dance on Saturday 31st of December, 2016.

Held in the historic Yarralumla Woolshed, this special event will feature a special performance from 'Franklyn B Paverty', Canberra's best-known bush band.

The event will kick off at 8pm and guests will enjoy an evening of traditional bush dancing.

In the very early days of settlement, dances from England, Ireland and Scotland were popular in Australia. Over the years, dances from other parts of Europe, including France and Germany made it to Australia. From the ballrooms of cities and towns, these dances would quickly spread to the rural areas.

Known as bush dances these events would often be held in woolsheds and shearing sheds due to their large size and hardwood floor. In fact, the lanolin from the sheep wool would make it possible for dancers to 'glide' on the floor. The bushdances were a great way to meet the locals and in some cases, were the only way of meeting a possible partner in life.

The late Shirley Andrews of Melbourne noted that in recent years bush dancing experienced a revival in country areas around Australia.

"From the time of earliest settlement, the older country dances were rapidly replaced by new dance fashions constantly arriving in the colony and adopted by all classes of society. As early as 1820, the waltz and quadrille had been established alongside these country dances, jigs and reels. By the 1850s the scene was dominated by further quadrilles such as the Lancers, Caledonians and Parisian, with the Alberts, Fitzroy, Waltz Cotillion and others to follow. Also fashionable were the Waltz, Galop, Polka, Schottische, Polka Mazurka and Varsoviana.

In a few country areas some of these dances have survived and are still being danced by local communities. Fortunately they are being preserved for future generations."

During the New Year's Eve Bushdance all dances will be taught, so no experience is necessary and all are welcome to join in. Plus as they event is being held in the Yarralumla Woolshed, it will be an authentic and memorable experience for all.

Originally built in 1904 by Frederick Campbel of Yarralumla, the Federal Government resumed construction of this historic property in 1913. It has served as the residence of the Governor-General and during WWI, it was used to store building materials for the construction of Canberra's main sewer and other public works. It was later partitioned with galvanised iron to form sleeping areas for labourers on various building sites in the new city.

In 1917 local farmers asked that the shed be used again for shearing.

Since the 1970s, the building has become an important Canberra community social venue, particularly as a focus for bush dances and folk music activities.


Don't miss this very special event on Saturday 31st of December, 2016. It's a great way to welcome in 2017 with family and friends and experience dances from decades long gone.

All guests are advised to wear layers of clothing as it may get humid. Women often wear a skirt and casual shirts are common dress for men.

Guests are invited to bring a plate of supper to share. BYO drinks or buy a cup for $1 and enjoy as much water, cordial, tea or coffee you like.

Tickets are now on sale and are priced as follows: $24 for Adults, $22 for Group Entry and Concessions, $19 for Monaro Folk Society members, Students half price, under 18s Free. Mention this article to receive the group entry price.

For more information on this exciting New Year's Eve activity, please visit mfs.org.au.


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When: Saturday 31 Dec 2016, 8pm until 12.30am
Website: mfs.org.au
Where: Yarralumla Woolshed, 208 Cotter Rd, Weston ACT 2611
Cost: $24 for Adults, $22 for Group Entry and Concessions, $19 for Monaro Folk Society members, Students half price, under 18s Free. Mention this article to receive the group entry price.
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