Matt Lominga and his dance partner Miss Maisie Foggit were one of the main starters of Ballroom Dance in Queensland.
Opening a studio in the late 1920s and committing to teach and compete along with their students helped to build the enthusiasm which saw the dance community thrive.
noted by Aub Panton in his memoirs:
Matt was an ambulance drive in World War 1 served in France when occupation was close. His unit was stationed in Paris and when on leave would go to the Dance Halls. He found very attractive what he saw, the new style of dance.
When he returned to Australia made enquiries about dancing, met up with teachers of the Victorian Society of Dancing, had lessons, gained his teaching certificate, returned to Brisbane and opened a studio.
Aubrey notes he first met Matt in 1929 at his studio in Goerge Street Brisbane.
Matt was a good dance teacher with a clear ability to impart knowledge to his students, in such a way it was completely understood what was expected of them.
Matt was regularly mentioned in the news of the day for dance-related information.
When comparing styles and ballroom dance as was fledgeling at the time, each state had its own set of steps, music and deportment.
Noted in 1925 – Altogether Sydney dancing seems to me’ to be more showy and spectacular than in Brisbane.”Up north we are very much handicapped because there is little opportunity to see good dancers and copy deportment and style. There are few really good jazz palaces, and there is little, Inducement to dance. If we danced in Brisbane as you do In Sydney— with the Intricacy of stops, and our frocks swinging out as we spin and pivot along the floor, we would be thought brazen.”
1926: Miss Maisie Foggitt and Mr Matt Lominga, winners of the Queensland dancing championship competition, Which, was decided at the Trocadero on Tuesday evening when the four finalists met to decide the issue. The winning couple are to appear at the Tivoli tomorrow and for a week. The following week the successful pair will display their terpsichorean arts at the Valley Theatre.
Miss Foggitt and Mr Lominga ran second in the Interstate championship competition decided at the Palais Royal, Sydney, last November, and
undoubtedly are two of the finest exponents of Terpsichore in the Commonwealth.
This win led to dancing engagements at the Picture theatres at the time, which was a windfall, and shortly after opening their studio adjacent to the Trocadero. So popular was this studio it had to move by May 1926 to larger premesis! Occupying the whole second floor of the Sun Newspaper Building in Adelaide Street Brisbane opposite the new Town Hall. “everything has been built and furnished with the convenience and comfort of the dancer in mind.
With the emergence of the dance fraternity, suitable venues were well patronised:
Popular Queensland Dance Venues
Like so many treasures, as time goes by, photos fade as do memories, so whatever treasures you have, from whatever era, in whatever condition, please don’t let them be lost. You are the story of Australian Dance History.