Ukrainian House

3-11 Russell St

Essendon, 3040

Enter the hall via Russell St main door

Getting Here...


Dance Etiquette...


I'm essentially someone who likes to dance alone whenever I connect to a piece of music that inspires me to get on the floor.  In 2012 and in my mid-50s, I had to give up that individuality to learn formal partnered dancing. My first attempt at this, was by joining strangers in an Argentine Stroll lesson. Imagining I'd be reasonably ok at dancing, I was stunned by the L/R brain, memory and balance skills needed, let alone the coordination with numerous partners! The overall fun and challenge gave me the impetus to persevere. However, after learning countless NV/sequence dances, it began to feel mechanical and the music repetitious. I realised that feeling the music to inspire me how to dance was missing. I wasn’t interested in medals or competitions but I wanted the capacity to express my connection to music. By taking group lessons and random privates with various trained teachers helped me to find that capacity as well as to be a better dancer to partner others. For me, Ballroom Dance Night is about the music and as the alternating MC, I'm sure you'll still find me dancing on my own! 


In 2001 I was invited to go ballroom dancing for the first time and I went thinking "Hey, I can “bust a move!", yet soon realised it looked great but I didn’t know a single step. How did I get to 45 years old and not have been exposed to ballroom dancing before? My first lesson was the Tracie Leigh and it took me a long time to get that lock step into my brain/feet! For these past 20+ years, I've done countless group classes, including having a go at medals and a spattering of private lessons with professional teachers, but although I encouraged many of my friends to do competition, I've never desired to pursue that path. For me it's about the fun and seeing people's enjoyment on the dance floor and hearing their laughter is music to my ears. That's what I hope Ballroom Dance Night will be - people having fun dancing as well as they can and being part of a community of like-minded people who support and encourage each other in this wonderful common interest. Dancing is constant learning and after all these years, that lock step in the Tracie Leigh is still a killer!....... More lessons!


competed with Australian amateur champion, Graham Thomas in 1971, and turned professional soon after. They opened a dance studio in Highpoint and ran various classes in several suburbs and rural towns. Meryl regularly travelled overseas to study, gain international qualifications and to dance, including at Blackpool. They entered and continuously won Ballroom and New Vogue championships, remaining undefeated for six consecutive years in New Vogue. Meryl opened Vogue Studio and successfully ran it for 26-years until handing it over to her daughter in 2023; enabling her to become our resident teacher. Meryl credits her achievements to mentors Norma Connelly Ellis, Max Bond, Cedric Meers and other, but her best teacher was Graham who started her dancing career.

For more information, contact Kathleen or Geoff via:  OR  0474 061 863