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What is New Vogue?
New Vogue is an Australian dance style that was born in the early 1930s. It comes from the old time sequence dances that were – and still are – so popular.
Indeed, sequence dancing has been around for a very long time – far longer than ballroom dancing. Indeed, throughout history there have been folk dances that were, in fact, ‘sequence dances’, insofar as everyone did the same steps and followed the same patterns. Formal sequence dancing, however, actually began in the courts of France and England in the 1600s, with intricate, elegant dances being composed for the aristocracy to enjoy, in their magnificent silks and satins.
Over time sequence dancing slipped out of favour with the upper classes, who came to prefer the ‘social dance’ style, with its partner-to-partner hold and freedom to move around the floor. Sequence dancing, however, came back into general favour in the 1900s.
Australia, as a ‘far-flung pioneering country’, came to be populated by people of all nationalities, all bringing their respective cultures. This, of course, included their folk songs and dances. Inevitably, it all became a beautiful melding as this giant island became a nation – and the folk dances, once separate, coalesced into a style of their own, based on the old style sequence dances.
New Vogue comprises a huge number of dances and many of these can be seen today on the social dance floors on Saturday nights any given city or town. For competition, however, only a few of the many are used, and these are selected from and showcase the Waltz, Foxtrot and Tango rhythms primarily.
Competitive New Vogue affords each couple the opportunity to interpret and express the music differently. For instance, one couple might express a Tango rhythm in a flamboyant Flamenco style; another might interpret the music in a sensuous, romantic way, while yet another might choose to be cheeky and playful. Similarly, with the Waltz and Foxtrot rhythms. It’s all so very individual, really – and that’s one of the most wondrous things about New Vogue; even though all the couples on the floor are dancing the same steps and all going around the same circle, they are each dancing their own interpretation.