Professionally trained 1960s go-go dancer with more than 30 years professional experience. 

 
 

Dances of the early to mid 1960s are often considered by some as silly or idiotic.  However, they are my greatest passion.  Thanks to this passion the Little Miss Go-Go! web-site (formerly known as The Hipster Go-Go Dancers web-site) was born, helped along with a box load of dance notes I had made whilst a go-go pupil some 30 years ago at a 'gone-forever' Yarraville ballroom.

The object of the initial web-site was to convey my experience and demonstrate my style of go-go - the original and authentic 1960s style as seen in the television music shows of the era - Shindig!, Hullabaloo, Ready Steady Go!, The Go! Show, Australian Bandstand, etc.  I also wanted to hand out some tips on movement, appropriate hair-styles and costumes for achieving the authentic 1960s go-go dancer look so the web-site was pretty much aimed at purists like myself.  I put the web-site together fourteen years ago and had a look around the WWW to see if there were any other web-sites on 1960s go-go.  There weren't.  I couldn't find anything at all on 1960s go-go dancing and the only articles relating to go-go were those where they referred to strippers as 'go-go dancers'.  So .... to my knowledge this became the first go-go web site concerning the 1960s. 

These days you will find '1960s style go-go' web-sites but they're generally hybrid (their own style of go-go) troupes selling their classes or videos.   I have a 'Go-Go Today' page, but eventually that will disappear.  Basically, the girls today just copy from You Tube videos and are nothing like the originals.  I don't believe any of today's go-go dancers (including the aging me) will ever compare with the original dancers and today's go-go is not in the scope of this web-site.

Today's go-go is known as 'hybrid go-go' or 'neo go-go' because the dancing and go-go classes are based on 1960s dance moves mixed in with made up moves from the presiding teacher.  Be assured, however, that all dance instruction on this web site is genuine and is a 1960s dance move.  No dance here has been made up or invented by me, mixed with other dance forms or been re-invented from an original.  Everything is pure and authentic.  If a move hasn't been documented on screen or stage, executed on the dance floor during the 1960s, or been a part of my professional learning, then you won't find it on the web site.  There are dances mentioned on the pages that were performed prior  to the 1960s, such as the Shimmy, but they are documented here as they did re-appear again during the 60s.

 
 

I was born in the early 60s and was introduced to go-go dancing back in 1969 by Fredd Bear of Fredd Bear's Breakfast A Go-Go so I can very much remember the tail-end of the 60s.  Fredd Bear's Breakfast A Go-Go was a morning children's programme on the Australian O-Network.  I loved waiting until the end of the show to watch Fredd dance.  I also remember owning two frocks in the 60s with the word 'Go-Go' embroidered on them.  One, a white sleeveless dress with a pleated skirt that reminded me of a tennis dress and was the same as the white pleated skirt that the television go-go dancers wore and the other a pink or mauve ensemble with white spots.  One of the dresses may have had 'Whisky-A-Go-Go' on it and the other just 'Go-Go' with a set of traffic lights.  I also lived across the road from one of the Whisky A-Go-Go night clubs.

My interest in the 1960s began in my early teens around the time of the mod revival of the late 1970s.  Clothes and hairstyles from the 1960s have been a part of my life ever since with short white Courrege-style go-go boots becoming my trade-mark footwear over the decades along with a back and forth journey of fringed bobs, flips, up-styles and even a cropped hairstyle.  

 
 

I was professionally trained in 1960s go-go by a dance teacher named Denise, under respected dance principal Pat McGuire at the Pat McGuire Dance School.  Mr McGuire ran the Universal Dance Classes at the Yarraville ballroom.  The school operated right through the 1960s so I was very fortunate to find the school still operating in 1985.  I learned the same authentic dance steps that Melbourne teenagers had in the 1960s and early 70s.

I was the last go-go student at the school but the previous person to be taught 1960s go-go at the school prior to myself was back in 1972 so that gives you an idea of when the dance style died out.  Our local Whisky A Go-Go closed down around the same time.  I was at the school for 4 years before they ran out of 1960s dances to teach me.

It's sad to say that the Pat McGuire Dance School no longer exists.  The old theatre that housed the ballroom and school was a victim of an arson attack in March 2006, the year after Mr McGuire passed away, and is now part of an apartment complex.  I have kept up the dancing all these years and in today's resurgence of go-go classes I am actually in a unique position to be in the possession of that professional training. 

 
 

If you break go-go down into different styles mine would be based very much on the1960s television pop show dancer of the mid 1960s.  Sometimes subtle, sometimes wild.

When it comes to 1960s popular dance I'm a definite purist and have often been mistaken as being one of the original dancers from the 1960s.  "Straight out of Carnaby Street!  Love it!"

I love the early go-go of yesterday and keeping to how it was: original moves and an accompaniment for bands and DJs.  It's all jerk and no thrust.  I don't involve myself nor promote the removal of clothing types where the dancers today have become an act within themselves.  My idea of go-go is good, clean fun, where there is no eye contact.  You shake your entire frame and are where you are for yourself and don't care whether there is anybody in the room with you or not.  It's all about getting up on a stage, podium, or out on a dance floor, taking the music into your head and letting your hips, arms and legs take over! You can be a complete fool with it as long as you have some rhythm, style, balance and knowledge of the moves. Go-Go is very much acting out different actions whilst your body at times goes into convulsions.

 
 

I have 37 years experience with 1960s go-go: 31 of them as a professional with go-go performances and associated activities, dancing mainly as one half of The Hipster Go-Go Dancers - Australia's longest running 60s go-go troupe.  However, the start really goes back to good ol' Fredd in 1969.

I have choreographed routines for The Hipster Go-Go Dancers, 1960s cover bands, and had input for ideas with local dancers.  I've provided floor and stage demonstrations of 1960s moves, including the unique Jamaican Ska moves of the mid-60s and the later Rocksteady.  Performances have been anything from backyard parties and corporate functions to hotels, nightclubs, large entertainment centres and festivals.  I have contributed to 1960s dance projects, advised and corresponded with other authentic dancers, and liaised with show organisers and even a playwright. I also designed and made the Little Miss Go-Go! and The Hipster Go-Go Dancers' dance costumes.

Some of the shows I have danced for have featured Australia's original 1960's bands and singers including: Alison Durbin, The Allstars, Bev Harrell, Bobby and Laurie, Buddy England, Colin Cook, Daryl Cotton, Denise Drysdale, Doug Parkinson, Glenn Shorrock, Grantley Dee, The Groop (original formation), Johnny Young, Little Pattie, Marcie and The Cookies, The Masters Apprentices, Normie Rowe and The Playboys, Peter Doyle, Peter Robinson (The Strangers), Ronnie Burns, Ross D. Wylie, Russell Morris, The Thunderbirds, Tony Worsley, The Town Criers, The Virgil Brothers and Wayne Duncan (Daddy Cool).  Also Jamaican band leader Carlos Malcolm.  Unfortunate circumstances saw misses with The Easybeats Reunion in 1987, Davy Jones (the Monkees) in 1991, and Owen Gray in 2004.

Local bands with a 60s flavour that I've had the pleasure of dancing for have been The Beatnix, The Fabs, Daryl Cotton and The Rock-a-fellaz, The Futuras, The Melbourne Ska Orchestra, The Moonhops, The Shimmys, and The Ska Vendors.

Special appearances have included go-go demonstrations for the UDC Ballroom, The 60's Appreciation Society - Happenings, annual Beatlefests, Soul-a-Go-Go for PBS FM radio (including Melvin Brown), The Blow-Up Go-Go Club, demonstration/tutorial for Anna's Go-Go Academy, general 1960's days and weekends, benefit shows, corporate functions, product launches for records and hair care products, and primary school demonstrations.

In the latter years when not dancing with The Hipster Go-Go Dancers I performed solo as the regular feature dancer, Little Miss Go-Go!, for Melbourne ska band, The Ska Vendors, where I demonstrated original 1960s ska and rocksteady moves to the audience. I also did a few stints with The Melbourne Ska Orchestra and a couple of gigs for rocksteady band, The Moonhops.

I've been offered dance gigs on home soil and overseas, choreographic work for caberet acts, dance work and even a stint on a cruise ship!  Longevity and professional training in 1960s go-go or popular dance are my selling cards.  These days I'm happiest putting together my own dance projects.

 

Gear! 

 
 

Thanks go to:

Josella at Tack-O-Rama for offering splendid period fonts, shapes and graphics to help with web-site construction.

Clint at Sixties City for a very informative 1960s web-site and featuring everything you can think of regarding the 1960s;

Steve Phillips and Steven Montgomery of The Ska Vendors, Lloyd Dewar, Pierre Baroni and The Shimmys for providing gig flyers, Emma Peel for gig flyers and photo permission and Tim Chmielewski for photo permission;

The Sun Newspaper, The Age Newspaper, Leader Newspaper, Beat Magazine, Inpress, TV Week, and Memphis Flyer for either historical information or gig information and articles featuring The Hipster Go-Go Dancers or myself; and Channel 31's Asylum television program for featuring The Hipster Go-Go Dancers on The Melbourne Ska Orchestra special.

Printed publications: Australia in the 1960s, Fandemonium!, Mondo Weirdo - Australia in the Sixties, Long Way to the Top, Courreges for interesting subject resources;

and web-sites Milesago, IMDb, TVacres, Bobby Sherman, The Banana Splits, Chicago Television, BBC Television, Pan's People, Go-Go Tytot, Girl Trouble, Ronnie Spector, David Winters, Streets You Crossed, DJ History.com, Old Lyrics, Lyrics Download, Tights Are Forever, The Video Beat, Brian's Drive in Theatre, Rockabilly Central, Rock and Roll Movies, Old Cars, Mikeymars, TV.com Australia, Scott Shaw's Odd Ball Comics, Batfink, The Ultimate Flintstones Site, Johnny Rivers, Chicken On A Unicycle, Whisky A Go-Go, David Patrick Columbia's New York Social Diary, Joey Dee's All Star Rock and Roll Revue, Entertaining Vietnam and the Australian War Memorial for providing excellent web-site information.

 
 

This web site operates under copyright laws as stated at the bottom of each page.  Sorry about the limited number of images and instructions but the site had to be condensed due to profiteering theft.  So, as mentioned earlier,  the object originally was to demonstrate but what follows now is just bits and pieces of the original web-site.

You MAY use text passages AS LONG AS credit is given; you MAY NOT use the photos unless permission is given (some of the copyrights don't belong to me but I have myself obtained permission); you MAY NOT duplicate my signature dance costumes (there are plenty of books on 60s fashion for you to copy or get ideas); and due to image-less and simplified dance instructions it will now be up to the individual to interpret them.

 
 
 
 

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Tack-o-rama