Tribute to Jimmy James

Jimmy JamesA young Greek, Dimitrios Skafidas, came to New Zealand in 1929. He was brought over by a Greek family who owned a restaurant. Dimitrios took on an apprenticeship as a chef to repay his passage and board, which he accomplished within two years.

Dimitrios was attracted to dancing and took lessons locally. In 1932 at the age of 16 he set up his first dance studio renting the dancefloor at the Brown Jug Cabaret in Courtenay Place, Wellington.

His name translated to James and he became know to all as Jimmy James.

Right from 1932 until his death in 1992 dancing was his life. We know him as the father of our society. In 1951 in his Roseland Cabaret Jimmy James organised the first New Zealand Championships. In that first year Clifford Howcroft and Ann Blewman won the Professional Title. Ann was to become Jimmy's wife and they had many happy years together.

In 2000 these NZ Championships celebrated their golden jubilee. The legacy given to us by Jimmy James lives on gaining strength year by year.

Jimmy James "Dance Man" of his time. We the current generation salute and honour him for what he has given us.


We dedicate our Society to Gentleman Jim - The Dance Man