If there is one thing the Mardi Gras BushDance is notorious for, it is the amount of attitude found among the partygoers at the annual event. Or lack thereof, as organiser Dennis Long proudly boasts.

We like to say we are the friendliest event on the Mardi Gras calendar, and I really believe we are, Long, who has organised every bush dance over the past 13 years, told the Star.

The fact there is a lack of attitude goes back to the nature of the dance, as it is very hard to be standoffish. If you turn up, you find you will be drawn into the atmosphere.

There are no wallflowers at the dance. Everyone ends up on the dancefloor and seems to get swept up in it.

The Mardi Gras BushDance is being held by the Southern Cross Outdoors Group (SCOG) at the Marrickville Town Hall on Friday 24 February.

The dance was moved to this new venue a few years back when increasing numbers required larger accommodation so that organisers would not have to turn people away at the door.

Every year we wonder if we will get to that point, and we almost did last year when 350 people turned up, Long says.

We only sell tickets at the door, so it really is a case of first in, first served. I just hope this is not the year we turn anyone away as I would hate that.

Popular bush band Skewiff play at the dance, and a variety of bush dances are taught through the night.

No one is left behind or has to walk off the dancefloor because they don’t know what they are doing, Long says. This dance is about involving people.

Long is also proud that women now make up one-third of the crowd, and believes the reason the bush dance remains a consistently popular event on the Mardi Gras calendar is because fun never goes out of fashion.

It works and always has, so I am reluctant to tamper with the formula at all, he says.

It doesn’t need to be turned into something else. We are on the go for four solid hours and it is over by midnight. At that point, it is time to stop moving the feet.

Mardi Gras BushDance is on Friday 24 February from 8pm at Marrickville Town Hall, Marrickville. Tickets are $20/ $15 and table bookings can be made with Dennis on 9559 6196 or John on 9907 9144.

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