|January, 1999 Forum|
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Archive of Dance Forum Articles From January, 1999
This is the archive of DANCE FORUM articles which appeared during January, 1999
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New Vintage Store
Dear Frank and Carole:
Lindy in Kiplingers (I)
Frank and Carole,
Lindy in Kiplinger's (II)
You know swing is hot when it appears in a financial magazine.
When I sat down to browse through the February '99 issue of
Kiplinger's, I saw an article on swing dancing. Forgetting
all the other articles for the moment, I skipped straight to the
swing article. They interviewed Janice Saylor of the WSDC and
there's mention of Glen Echo although the latter isn't mentioned
by name. Essentially, the article talks about the health benefits
of swing dancing and how to get started in swing. The worst thing
about the article - it ends with the warning that disco is the
next hot dance trend. The article doesn't appear to be online
(www.kiplinger.com) yet, although I imagine it will be before the
end of the month.
Help the Engels Move
Gonna be in town over MLK weekend with nothing to do? Wanna move heavy boxes for a few hours in return for all the pizza you can eat and all the beer you can drink (AFTER the boxes are moved)? (snacks and non-alcoholic beverages will also, of course, be provided)
Come help Jim and Elizabeth Engel move from their tiny Adams-Morgan pied a terre to their spacious new Capitol Hill townhouse.
Saturday, January 16 is the big day. If you can help, please respond to Elizabeth at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org or 202.483.2512 (day) or 202.986.6548 (evening). Details (addresses, phone numbers, times, etc.) will be provided at that time. If you have any extra friends, partners, spouses, etc., hanging about, bring them too. Many hands make light work - or so they tell me.
Tell everyone that a cool event is coming up. Mickey Rooney is starring in an upcoming stage production of the Wizard of Oz at the National Theater in D.C., Feb 25-March 14. (Theater dark Mondays & Tuesdays) To get tickets, call 800-447-7400.
The Big Flea
Hi Frank and Carole.
American City Diner, R.I.P.
Frank and Carole,
If anybody cares to write a eulogy, please don't fail to
mention that the diner had very good chocolate ice cream
[Editor's Note: there is a branch of the American City Diner located in my neighborhood (corner of Connecticut and Morrison, near the Avalon Theater) for those of you who still desire this cuisine. The Tastee Diner is also open 24 hours a day at the corner of Cheltenham and Norfolk in Bethesda]
Suavecito Zoot Suits
I was looking over your website and really enjoyed the information and pics. I just wanted to make a suggestion to you regarding zoot suit stores. There is a store out in Denver, Colorado called Zoots by Suavecito. They carry the "heppest zoot suits and accessories, at half the price of other zoot stores. I have shopped around and bought many zoots from many different places, but Suavecito zoots are the nicest. Their website is www.suavecito.com. I think you should check them out and also add them to your webpage. By the way, they are cool cats to deal with.
Letter from Chicago
Frank and Carole,
Myself and some of my friends have begun planning a weekend trip to taste the lindy which your city has to offer. This would be our second weekend "binge". Our first was a trip to San Francisco, and that was quite honestly probably the best weekend of my life. The dancing and the people.....we made life long friends in a matter of two days. You can catch a glimpse of our trip at this site: http://members.tripod. com/~lindyhop
After we got back from this trip (and recovered for about two weeks!!), we started looking for where to go next time. After some discussion and debate, we had it narrowed down to New York or DC. Well, some of my friends attended Swingout NorthWest, and met some wonderful people from DC while they were there, and that was the deciding factor. Word around here is that DC is going to be the next destination. Now here's a general idea of what our group is like, and therefore what the trip would be like...
Fanatics....that's the only way that I can describe the Chicago Lindy scene. Our trip to San Fran brought a total of 18 Lindy Hoppers out west, and we've been told that the energy and excitement and emotion that we all brought has given their scene a boost. This next trip could even bring more than 18 people! When we arrived in SF on friday night, we went straight from the airport to a place called Ashkenaz(??). We closed that place and then went to Lori's diner for food and more dancing. I got back to my host's apartment at about 5:30AM...now, keep in mind that myself and most of the Chicagoans had to work this day, so we had been up since 5 or 6 that morning Chicago time! the next day, saturday, we did some exploring around the city, then had a potluck dinner at a person's house full w/ music and dancing. from there, it was off to the Doghouse for dancing from about 7 until after midnight. after that it was off to Spencer's for afterhours dancing until around 3am. then it was off to Lori's diner for more food and dancing. finally home and sleeping by around 6am. Dancing at Lindy in the Park by 11am on sunday until about 4pm. then off to Jive@Five at the Metronome until around 8pm. back to our hosts apartments for quick change of clothes and food if you had time. then off to Top of the Mark for dancing until about 12 or 1am. finally off to the Hi-Ball lounge where they were closed, but opened back up for us as almost 20 Chicago Lindy Hoppers and about 10 SF hoppers pulled up at the door. Spencer stayed spinning until way past his bedtime. from there it was....off to Lori's for food and dancing! finally, it made no sense to sleep as it was about 4am Monday morning, so we went to the airport to catch our 6am flight. Non-Stop lindy. We wore each other out, but loved every second of it.
I hope that this brief description makes your mouth water!!!
In order to pull off a visit to your city, we need help from
locals. If you or someone you know could help us plan this
trip, we would be incredibly greatful. who knows the scene
there better than the people who live there!!? So I just wanted
to send this letter early so that you could be aware of the
potential impending invasion of your city by 20-30 "Windy
Hoppers". From what i've been hearing, the potential date
is sometime in the end of February or beginning of March. Feel
free to contact me or any of the people listed below with any
thoughts or comments. Thanks for reading!!!
Charlie Wyler's Classes
Starting Jan. 20th and continuing for six weeks on Wed. nights Charlie Wyler and Jane Ford will be teaching Lindy at Experimental Movement Concepts, 3618 Falls rd. in Baltimore. The phone number is 410-366-2626. We will have two classes, Level 1 at 7:30 and Level 2 at 8:30. The cost for the six week session is $70 per person or $120 for a couple. The level 2 class will include a 1/2 practice session. You may also contact me at email@example.com. I am also available for privates in Lindy, Hollywood Style, East Coast and West Coast.
Big DC ROCKIN' event!!!!
ATTENTION!!!! The Big 6 will be gracing us with their presence at the Black Cat Club in DC on Thursday, February 18th!!!!
Direct From England- the hottest, most exciting live act anywhere, If you like jumpin' swing and Bill Haley style rock & roll don't miss The Big Six. The Big Six have combined originals with a selection of numbers from the 1940's to the 1990's across swing, r'n'b, jump-jive, rockabilly, and ska to produce their own sound. The group is made up of members from The Big Town Playboys, The Stargazers, King Pleasure and the Biscuit Boys, The Chevalier Brothers, Sugar Rays Flying Fortress, Ray Gelato's Giants, etc. In a rare east coast appearance, this is the group that tore 'em up at the Desert Inn Hotel in Vegas for the Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekender!!! Their on-stage antics and loud plaid suits and bowties will entertain you!!! For you swingin' and lindyhop people, they are danceable!!!
I URGE YOU ALL TO COME SEE THIS BAND!!!!! You will not be disappointed!!!!!
The Frankie Manning Workshop
For those of you that might have missed him when he was here in October (or even if you didn't) the Avalon Studio in Catonsville, MD is celebrating its second anniversary with Frankie Manning. Frankie Manning is known throughout the world as one of the originators on Lindy Hop and is credited with the first aerials or air steps. He danced, choreographed for and toured the world with Whitey's Lindy Hoppers in the 1930's and later with his own troupe. Please join us for a rare opportunity to learn from the Master!
There are two workshops on Saturday, January 30:
Another two workshops on Sunday, January 31:
In addition, there is a Saturday nite dance at the Avalon Studio with Brooks Tegler's Hot Jazz. Advanced registration is required for all events. For more information, contact the Avalon Studio at (410)869-9771. They are located 30 minutes from the beltway at 624 Frederick Road, Catonsville, MD.
Videos from Terry
Frank and Carole,
I hope the video quality is acceptable and that it does not take too long to download. It's a long and tedious process with me.
Unusual Dance Partner Request
I want to learn to be an adequate follower, starting with East Coast Swing, and one other dance, such as salsa, cajun, or perhaps 8-count lindy. I think it would improve my lead--and I have also been thinking about giving lessons at the shore this summer. There is no dancing at my beach and perhaps the existence of swing lessons would cause a critical mass to form. But I would have to be prepared to play both sides of the rotation. So far, I have been unable to find a partner. So I turn to you.
As a final note, if anyone goes to the central Jersey shore and would be interested in helping to create a dance scene, as teacher or as someone who shows up and dances, please contact me.
Yallopin Hounds in Connecticut
Hey Frank and Carole!!!!
The author is correct, Velvet Lounge in Pontiac is the main venue for swing. It is still loud and smoky, but there are an increasing number of regulars, and the quality of dancing is greatly improving. I learned under Tom and Debra in Washington, and the instructors, although not the championship caliber of T and D, are quite good and teach a great deal of variety and complexity, ranging from simple and complex turns to styling hints. There is a small group of us (growing larger by the week) who Lindy Hop, and in fact we had a weekend long workshop just prior to the holidays. A second workshop with Frankie Manning is scheduled for March 5 - 6, 1999.
Velvet Lounge opened a second dance floor on the second floor. The dance floor is about the same size as on the first floor, but more square and with a higher ceiling. The main attraction is that this area is smoke free. There is a bar on this level. So over all there are two dance spaces, three bars, and lots of good dancing. The regulars dress to impress, especially on Friday and Saturday, with "Best Dressed Contest" on Saturdays. Lessons are Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 8:30 to 10:00. Monday is intermediate/advanced, Tuesday in Latin/beginning swing, Wednesday is styling.
Doors open daily at 8:00 PM. and the bar closes at 2:00 am.
Clutch Cargo is unchanged, and offers several dance venues from swing to hip hop on one of four dance floors. In general it is for the uninitiated swingers, but a good bet for a group of people with diverse interests musically.
A relatively recent edition to the Detroit swing scene is the 24kt Club in Dearborn. They play a mix of swing and Rock-a-Billy. Lessons are on Tuesday and Wednesday beginning at 8:00 PM with intermediate/advanced on Tuesday, and beginning swing on Wednesday. They have live bands on most Saturdays including Tuxedo Junction, and on occasion Indigo Swing! The crowd is energetic with a good mix of ages and experience. The dance floor is BI-level with plenty of room to jump, jive, and wail. Again, Lindy hop is just getting going here, so mostly swing's the thing, although you will see some west coast, and a bit of hustle thrown in for fun. Overall a good experience.
That's the big update. There are a couple of other spots that offer swing, but they are just getting started. I can update you as they develop, although I will be moving to Chicago in July, and will be joining that swing set.
Janie and I decided to spend the period between Christmas and New Years in London - seeing the sights, enjoying the food and theatre, and dancing the Lindy at night.
The flight on British Airways was crowded but arrived at London's Heathrow ahead of schedule and the morning greated us with bright sun and 50F temperatures. We walked most of the Queens walk and across the Tower Bridge to the Tower of London. That nite, we attended the Zoot Suit Riot at the Improv Club which is a great venue for dancing -- live band and elegant surroundings.
We met Claire and Robert (the hosts and instructors) who were kind enough to invite us to a New Years Eve party in Wallington (south of London). We joined a large group of locals at their party and had a grand time trying to learn LE JIVE which is their speciality and is very popular in London and Paris. We did not learn the dance but purchased the tee shirts.
One of the highpoints of our trip was High Tea at the Savoy Hotel. My recently acquired "History of Swing" states the Savoy in New York was named after the Savoy Hotel in London. We quickly discovered the Lindy is not permitted during High Tea especially when the pianist is playing "Gershwin".
We tried to see all of the sights of London including the Tower, British Musuem, Buckingham palace, Harrods, Leichester Square, Covent Gardens and Picadelly circus. We also enjoyed lunch in a British Pub with some friends of ours who were recently transferred to London. They live in Chelsea, a few doors from Eric Clapton, who did not join us for lunch. He does not play the right kind of music, anyway.
We returned to the frozen tundra of DC with little money, very expensive tee shirts, more enthusiasm for the Lindy, and very slight British accents which will probably disappear completly with the snow.
Free Lindy Hopping?
We are making our Friday Open dance time after lessons ....FREE! Open dancing in Centreville at the Centreville Dance & Fit on Friday nights is now free. Come dance to DJ Lindy Music from 9:30 until 11:00. We may move that to 12:00. Here are the directions. We're starting this Friday night January 15th and every Friday after. If it gets too crazy we may start charging, but for now it's free.
You can get on our email list which goes out if weather is too inclement and we are closed. Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org and put the words "Add Me To List" in the subject field only!
Lindy Gets It's Own Stamp
Themes of 1940s Stamps Revealed
Big bands and the jitterbug, the baby boom and Slinky, antibiotics and the GI bill are among the subjects included in a new set of postage stamps recalling the events and people of the 1940s.
The stamps will be released Feb. 18 at Dobbins Air Force Base in Georgia, postal officials said Wednesday.
The set is part of the Celebrate the Century series, in which 15 stamps are being issued to commemorate each decade this century.
Stamp subjects for the 1940s will be abstract expressionism in art, World War II, antibiotics save lives, baseball pioneer Jackie Robinson, President Harry S. Truman and women support the war effort (based on Rosie the Riveter).
Other subjects will be Orson Welles' movie "Citizen Kane," jitterbug sweeps the nation, the GI Bill, the big band sound, TV entertains America, postwar baby boom, the Slinky craze begins, international style of architecture and the 1947 Broadway hit, "A Streetcar Named Desire."
For all of you who are loyal listeners to HOT JAZZ SATURDAY NIGHT and THE BIG BROADCAST, WAMU-FM (88.5) will be having its Spring membership campaign the week of Saturday March 13 thru Friday March 19. They will be needing volunteers to answer pledge calls from listeners. The HJSN shift will be 6:45 pm to 10 pm on Saturday March 13; the BB shift will be 6:00 pm to 10 pm on Sunday March 14. Dinner will be provided by local merchants. As Assistant Phone Room Manager, I will be providing training for anyone who hasn't volunteered before or would like a review of the process.
Volunteer and help ensure that HOT JAZZ SATURDAY NIGHT and THE
BIG BROADCAST will remain on the air. Call volunteer coordinator
Sue Boucher at (202) 885-1254.
And so they danced
I teach swing in Apple Valley, CA with Bruce Malcolm. We spent Christmas in Vegas with Bruce's grandparents. They had swing bands playing in practically every hotel. Bruce and I are only 19 and what we did not know about Vegas was that you have to be 21 to go dancing anywhere. That is of course, unless you are as dedicated Lindy Hoppers as we are. On one particular evening (after several unsuccessful attempts to talk our way through the doors of clubs) we found a band that was playing at one of the casino bars in NY, NY. We walked in during a slow song, sat down, and pretended to be 21. It took them all of 5 minutes to throw us out. So we waited. And waited. Shift Change!!! The next fast song, we mustered up our courage and ran into the bar; I threw my purse and Bruce tossed his hat onto a chair, and we began to Lindy. Not only did everyone watch, but everyone that was dancing stopped to watch us. We didn't give security the opportunity to ask for our ID's. As soon as the song ended we left. And so we got to Lindy in Vegas after all.
***It is to be noted that security recommended that we find some fake ID's.
Is there a gene that relates to enjoying the stuff that's
pictured on the '40's stuff part of your site? If there is then
I've got it...much to my wife's dismay, as we have no storage
space anywhere for anything! Some interesting stuff taking up the
I was looking at your 1940s curiosities page, and reading up on the blender thing. The only comparable blender you can get these days, power-wise, to your Hamilton-Beech is a Waring bar blender. Heavy-duty metal base, glass cannister, serious motor that only has off, low, and high, weighs a ton. The only place that I know of that sells them is Williams-Sonoma, and they go for about $120. And yes, we have one, as we *do* drink and are quite fond of frozen margaritas. We got one of those plastic types with 9 million settings as a wedding gift, found it totally useless, gave it to Goodwill, and bought ourselves a real blender.
This all goes to say that $20 for a *serious* blender (much less a working vintage blender) was an EXCELLENT deal.
Letter From Peaches
Hello my favorite jive kids, its Peaches O'Dell here....say,
if you dolls have a calendar, could I get a listing for a Glen
Echo dance 2/6? Geez, I sure appreciate it. We are still 8-9
dance lesson, 9-12 dance. I appreciate it so...and hear nothing
but good things about your website. Yer Pal,
Annapolis Swing Dance Announcement
The Annapolis Traditional Dance Society is having a Valentine's Swing Dance on Saturday, February 13, 1998, featuring the SUNSET ROYALS!! Beginners are welcome and partners are not required! A Swing (and maybe a Lindy) Workshop will be taught from 7-8pm by the Flying Feet of Marc Shepanek and Ellen Engle. The Dance is from 8 to 11pm. Workshop and Dance for $9.00! Location: The Meeting Hall of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), Lodge 70, 1311 Generals Hwy (Rt. 178), Crownsville, MD. Only 5 miles north of the Annapolis Mall on MD Rt 178, on the right, just past the High's and Amoco. Soft-soled shoes are required for use on the wood floor. For More Info: Call Marty Dobbs @ 410-268-5540, or visit the ATDS website
Hi from Toronto
I was having a look at your website (which is excellent) and took a peek on what you had to say about Toronto. What I found was a whole lot of information on the Toronto Swing Dance Society and nothing on Lindy Hop. The Toronto Swing Dance Society is a group that dabbles in all forms of swing but I thought that I should send you the information that would be most beneficial to travelling Hoppers.
In Toronto, the dance teachers to contact are:
The dance community here is in the process of unifying under the basic title of Toronto Lindy Hop. We have a mailing list --
Out of towners are welcome to contact us if they want to billet or be shown a night out on the town. I can also be contacted at my personal email address if anyone has any questions.
It would be great if you could add this information to your
Psychoboy is Moving
John "Psychoboy" McCalla's Friday evening Lindy classes are moving from Gaithersburg to Bethesda Dancesport (4916 St. Elmo Ave.) as of January 29. The first class of the new (8-week) session was Jan. 22, but he will take sign-ups for the beginner session through next week, as well as the intermediate. The place is supposed to be 4 times as big as the dance center in Gaithersburg.
heck his web site to make sure of the details and to check for directions -- www.psychoboy.com
The American Heart Association Presents "My Lucky
A night when the dice roll, the dance floor swings and Hearts are Wild!
A Swing and Casino Night Friday, February 5, 1999 7 p.m. - Midnight; Swing dancing lesson from 8 - 9 p.m.
Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites - Historic District 625 First Street, Old Town Alexandria
$50 per person
Price includes gambling chips, food and beverages, live entertainment by the J Street Jumpers, swing dancing lessons, a silent auction (romantic gifts just in time for Valentine's Day), and a front row seat for some of the greatest swing dancing and toe tapping in town!
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