|May, 1999 Forum|
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Archive of Dance Forum Articles From July, 1999
This is the archive of DANCE FORUM articles which appeared during July, 1999
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Second Annual American Lindy Hop Championships
The Second Annual American Lindy Hop Championships (ALHC) will be held on October 29, 30, 31, 1999 featuring parties workshops and competitions with Norma Miller George Gee and The Jump, Jive and Wailers and DJs Mark Bernstein, Bill Borgida, Marie Lawlor , Simon Selmon. Halloween costume party and contest at the late night party October 30 Workshops taught by Lance Shermoen, Sylvia Sykes, Craig Hutchinson, Sing Lim, Chazz Young, Paulette Brockington, Stephan Joller, Simon Selmon and others!
Workshops offered - Balboa, St. Louis Shag, Airsteps, Swing era Jazz, Dips and Tricks, Shim Sham, The Madison, different styles of Lindy
Take part in all with a $100 weekend pass (in advance) ($120 at the door) PLUS $10,000 in prizes and awards
The event will be held at the Sheraton Hotel in Stamford, CT. A meal/hotel package $165. Call 203-359-1300 to make your reservation now!
About the Competition
All divisions except Cabaret and Team are only open to a couple consisting of one male and one female. Couples competing as a couple may do so in only one of the following divisions: Classic, Open Showcase, Blues, Masters, Strictly Lindy or Pro/Am. Contestants considering one of the above divisions may also enter Cabaret and Team. Contestants competing in the American Showcase Division may enter Classic, Open Showcase, Blues, Masters or Pro/Am. Individuals entering a couple's division may enter additional divisions with a different partner. Contestants entering American Showcase are only eligible for entry provided the couple qualified at one of the regional events.
Several regional rounds have been established across the country this year to bring some of America's best dancers to ALHC. There'll be more to come next year. This year's sanctioned regional rounds of competition so far have been scheduled for:
Each regional will qualify up to three couples doing lead/follow to music selected by ALHC. To participate in one of the regional rounds contact the region's host. For any other additional information call 800-64-SWING (in Michigan 313-869-9385), email PauletteBrockington@y ahoo.com or check www.artspectrum.org for up to date information, ALHC rules and a registration form to ALHC and other Artspectrum events.
I am the director of Swing Fling coming up July 30 - Aug 1 at the Sheraton Premiere Hotel in Vienna Virginia. This is a 6th annual event. It caters to many different forms of swing and of course Lindy is one of them. We offered Lindy last year and it didn't really attract much attention, probably because there were alot of events going on at the same time. This year - the weekend is pretty clean. This is a competition and workshop and open dancing event. There are 3 ballrooms at night Friday and Saturday - one for West Coast, One for Lindy, and one for Hustle so it will be a party. Each ballroom floor will be about 1800 square feet.
The Lindy competition is Saturday night and will be in a combined ballroom with about 3600 ft of wood. All the music all the nights is DJ. Working the event in the Lindy category are lots of great teachers. Jeff Booth & Tricia Reneau, Tom Koerner & Debra Sternberg, Paulette Brockington, Bill Borgida, Royce & Luke White & Laura Avery, and Leslie Coombs.
This event is also a qualifying event for the American Lindy Hop Championships and the World Lindy Hop Championships. We really could use some support to make it a success. The event itself always draws over 1000 people for the weekend and I really would like to make a good showing for Lindy this year.
Please visit our website at Swing Fling
I also am always interested in Lindy info and articles for our new dance magazine. We had articles in both the June and July issues on Lindy. Our magazine is 5678 Dance Magazine
Emerald Lindy City Exchange
Some of you may remember a weekend in February when a bunch of ravenous Chicago lindy hoppers descended on D.C. for a weekend of non-stop dancing, friendship, and fun. What you may not be aware of, is that this weekend was only one of an on-going Lindy Exchange 'program' that has been happening around the country.
It all started in December of last year when the Chicago folks went down to San Francisco. Please click here for a description of this event. It continued with the above mentioned visit to D.C. Then in April, dancers from San Francisco, Seattle, DC/Baltimore, and all over the Mid-west descended on Chicago for a "Reunio n Weekend". Frankie's B-Day in San Francisco was another exchange event, and there is one happening in Portland in July. There may be more that I don't know about.
Lindy Exchange are purely social dance weekends. The object is to dance non-stop from Friday night through Monday morning, meet a whole bunch of wonderful people from all over the country, and, of course, have as much fun as humanly possible.
The three exchange weekends that I have participated in have been the best weekends of dancing I have ever done, and this includes competitions like ALHC and ASDC/NADC.
There are no workshops-- only social dancing. You don't stay in a hotel -- you stay with a host from the host city. You pay for the plane ticket, for regular admission to dance venues, and for food when there is time to eat it.
The next big one is in Seattle on September 17th, 18th, and 19th. Those of you who have traveled at all for Lindy (Catalina, US Open) know that the West Coast is where it's at! Bringing places like San Francisco, Seattle, and Chicago together for a weekend of dancing is going to be nothing less than incredible!
Plane tickets from BWI to Seattle are around $220 -- practically a gift. I already have mine on United, leaving at 4:30 pm on Friday to arrive at 8:37. I am returning on Monday morning, leaving at 8:16 am and arriving BWI at 5:57 pm. One day off work.
If you would like to go, get tickets for those or similar flights and let me know that you are coming. I will coordinate housing and itineraries with the Seattle folks. [Or, you can write them directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org A>.
This may seem like a crazy thing to do, but, believe me, once it's over, you will only look forward to the next one!
Swing Salsa Sunday at Borders of Waldorf Maryland
I'm putting together an event at Borders Book Store in Waldorf Maryland on Sunday, August 8 1999 from 4 - 7pm. Borders offers a unique blend of books music and java, so what better ambiance for a little dancing for the crowd in southern Maryland We'll be playing lots hard driving swing and salsa with a couple of fun dance contests thrown in. If we can show Borders that these types of events are win/win situations, hopefully they'll get on board the dance wagon. Any suggestions or questions please feel free to call my at home at 301 292-3797.
Bought an old RCA TV cabinet (the guy gutted it to use for a TV "armoire," if you will...for $10 today at a yard sale. We're going to convert the behemoth into one of those fancy pet houses. Our kitty cat is worth at least $10 in materials and about $200 worth of effort, don't you think? Besides, I need a mind-numbing project right now.
Anyway....in searching on the Internet (where else) for possible sources for old knobs and dials, I came across a tantalizing site for the "retro" community:
They sell old tvs, they buy old tvs....THEY CONVERT OLD TVS TO RECEIVE COLOR SIGNALS! Yee-ha!
I'm going to drop 'em a line to see if they have old spare knobs, dials, etc... for an old (er) RCA console TV...I'd say veryearly 1960's because of the fake attempt at victorian styling, rather average veneer job and pegboard back (although the thing weighs a ton!) It did use tubes and what's left of the sticker on the inside tells you to use genuine RCA parts (accept no substitute!)
I've downloaded the Lil' Nipper logo and plan to replace Nipper with Sasha. Yes, I am rather obsessive, but when I'm done, I'll have a lovely cat retreat that doubles as a nice piece of furniture. When the cat goes to that great test pattern in the sky...you'll still be able to use it as a TV "armoire".
More Hair and Makeup Classes
Hello Again ladies!
Thank you for taking the May classes --- they were a lot of fun and it was really great meeting all of you! I've even seen some of you since the class -- lookin' sharp, gals!
Well, you asked for makeup and here it comes! The Midsummer Night Swing weekend will be here sooner than you can say ‘shim-sham’ and you know you'll want a great ‘do to show-off during the battle of the bands. Or maybe you’ll want to learn later this month, for the farewell to America at the end of July, with Indigo Swing. Why not either take a class, or leave that fabulous ‘do up to your friendly hair-gal, Chris?! Or do both! Here's the scoop.
Classes are $25.00 each. Only $40.00 if you are taking both makeup and hair together. Classes size is only 6 ladies per class.
Just print this article, circle the classes you will attend, fill in the blanks below with your name, email address, phone #, and make your check payable to Chris Santarlas, 4649-B South 36th Street, Arlington, VA 22206. Classes fill up quickly, so don't wait -- register today! See ya there!
Thanks, as always, for your interest!
Makeup and Hair classes will be taught in succession so you don’t have to make two trips if you want to do both classes. Please call me if you want to take a class, but can’t fit one into the dance class schedule for the day -- we'll set up an individual class for you later in that day. PLEASE NOTE: There will only be 6 ladies per class, so make sure you send your flyer in early.
Makeup classes will cover basic makeup application techniques, how to choose the right colors for your vintage look, how to choose the right colors for your everyday look, and how to apply false eyelashes for the truly glam gal look (not required, but will be taught)!
Each hair/makeup class is as different as the ladies attending the class, so don't assume that your short hair won't be addressed, or your impossibly curly hair won't get enough attention. Just come!
Note from Sue
As many of you know, I announced my pregnancy--suprising both Steve and all of you--at the dance weekend in Ocean City. Much thanks to Marianna Previti for being my "partner in crime"! As I had plans to continue my dancing with full force, I intended to start a little column called "The Pregnant Lindy Hopper" where I had planned to lament the woes of not being able to fit into all the vintage clothes I had purchased on e-Bay (pissing away any money that I could have saved for Junior's college education)....
'Twas not to be... A visit to the doctor this morning brought us some bad news. Yes, I was pregnant. I had developed a completely functioning amniotic sac but there was no substantial fetus inside. The cell division had stopped shortly after the egg was fertilized. For those of you who slept through that part of biology, let me put it to you this way: the nest was ready but there was no chick.
The good news is that I'm normal (ok...my BODY is normal) so we're able to try again. I won't have to have any fancy chemical alterations that might cause me to have octuplets...at least not yet. Who knows? Maybe it was a bad egg...maybe it was day-old sperm...maybe another serial killer was mercifully taken from us before we got to know him "gee...he was such a quiet guy..."
Steve and I are disappointed, frustrated and sad but we're trying to keep our spirits up. Of course we told the whole world, so of course there will be awkward moments from time to time in the future. We'll deal with that. I wouldn't have changed a thing. My pregnancy, as short as it was, was such a happy occurance that I wanted to share it with all the folks I cared so much for. You made it that much more special. This loss, as sad as it is, will pass and life will go on. I wanted you to know about this too and I wanted each of you to know that I appreciate all the kindness that you have shown Steve and I during this wonderfully strange time. And we hope to go through it again...only next time...more successfully.
Home schooled dancers step out to entertain elderly
"It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing." Duke Ellington wrote the song, but the Sixth Street Swingers, a group of about 20 East Valley home school students, are living their summer by the lyric. The group of teenagers wanted to learn how to dance and began taking East Coast Swing and Lindy Hop lessons in January to learn the steps. "We were all jazzed about what we were learning," said Bethany Lewis, 18. "So when the idea came along to share what we've learned with others, we got excited."
And share they have. Since finishing up their schoolyear, the kids have visited six senior care facilities, performing swing dancing numbers to entertain residents. The idea came when Janet Barr, the mother of dancers Joeland David Barr, ages 18 and 16, suggested the boys share their new dance skills with their grandmother, who lived in a residential care facility. "It was wonderful to share with her and bring something I was proud of to her and her friends,"Joel said. After Joel, David and their friends were a hit with the first group of seniors, it seemed only logical to continue to share their routines with other East Valley senior centers.
Recently, the group added juggling and singing acts to the lineup, giving the 60- to 90-minute performances a variety show feel. "At first, we just threw everything together, but it was just dance, dance and dance some more," Joel said. "Yeah, we wanted things to flow more smoothly, so we added the skits and stuff to make it more entertaining," Lewis added. "We try to do things that reach the people and bring back good memories of the past."
At a recent performance at Pines in the Park Retirement Community in Mesa, the group performed swing numbers to songs by Glenn Miller and Ellington and performed several skits, including "Who's on First," originally performed by Abbott and Costello. William Zendler, 78, watched the performance and was impressed by the teens. "They're great, especially for being high school kids,"Zendler said. "The music and the steps really take me back." The kids said that's exactly what they hope for. "
I think we're pretty normal kids doing something fun and sharing with others," Lewis said. The dancers agreed the performances are a way to show people that home schooled children are just like students who go to public school and a means of being recognized for their abilities. "We're not socially deprived kids, like so many people think," said Rachel Burnham, 14. "We have friends and do things just like everybody else." The dancers are supported by their parents, who have helped the kids find costumes for the shows and transport them to and from the facilities. The kids plan to continue performing through the end of the summer.
Virtual Battle of the Bands
Hello - Please go check out our virtual battle of the swing
bands, featuring Bill Elliott versus Tom Cunningham. You need
real audio, but we have a cut off the new, not-yet-released Bill
Elliott album, so it's worth the download.
New York's Hosting the Champs!
The World Lindy Hop Championships will be held in New York City on November 7th. The site is The Supper Club on West 47th Street. There will be regionals in September and October. The Eastern Regional will be held in Virginia. The Mid-Western Regional will be held in Chicago. Two Western Regionals will be held in California with another slated for Arizona. For more information, log on www.yehoodi.com and go to Monday's news.
"Hosting" in Seattle
This is an invitation that goes out to the entire Swing dance community in D.C. The Lindy Hoppers and Swing dancers in Seattle are having a "hosting" week-end,, where we are inviting and hosting anyone from out of town in order to come to Seattle and DANCE!
This will be occuring the week-end of Sept. 14th ect..
If anyone is interested and can journey to the great and beautiful Pacific Northwest email me and I will get the details.
So far, we have people coming in from NY, San Fran, Portland,
LA, I think Arizona, Chicago and I don't know where else...
Charleston Steps Taught by Erik and Sylvia
I was one of the many dancers who attended Erik and Sylvia's Charleston workshop. They were fun and informative, as always. When I got home, I compiled a list of the moves we learned, which I am passing on in case it is helpful to anyone else.
the asterisked moves were demonstrated but not taught.
I hope that if I forgot to mention anything, that another of
your readers will point out what I overlooked. My memory is
good, but not perfect.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Hour by hour, cars and trucks back up to the Salvation Army's warehouse loading dock on the edge of the prosperous East Side here and disgorge clothing. Skirts and parkas, neckties and tank tops, sweat pants and socks, a polychromatic mountain of clothes is left each week, some still with price tags attached.
Inside the warehouse, workers cull the clean and undamaged clothes, roughly one piece in five, to give to the poor or to sell at thrift shops. They feed the rest -- as much as 4 million pounds a year -- into mighty machines that bind them into 1,100-pound, 5-foot-long bales. Rag dealers buy the bales for 5 cents a pound and ship them off to countries like Yemen and Senegal.
Nearly a decade of rising prosperity has changed the ways that Americans view and use clothing, so much so that cast-off clothes have become the flotsam of turn-of-the-century affluence. Americans bought 17.2 billion articles of clothing in 1998 -- a 16 percent increase over 1993, according to NPG Group, a market research concern in Port Washington, N.Y. -- and gave the Salvation Army alone several hundred million pieces, well over 100,000 tons.
And because so few people make or mend their clothes anymore, among the changes has been this one, in 1998: The Bureau of Labor Statistics moved sewing machines from the "apparel and upkeep" category of consumer spending to "recreation."
The clothing glut is a boon to the many charities like the Salvation Army that sort and sell old clothes. "You choke on sweaters," said Capt. Thomas Taylor, administrator of the Salvation Army's Providence center, one of the three or four busiest of the organization's 119 across the country. No one in the United States, Taylor said, need ever without being properly dressed.
At the warehouse, Judy Keegan was unloading a cargo of dresses, jeans and shirts.
"I do this regularly," Ms. Keegan, who has four children, ages 6 to 15, said of giving away family clothing. "I grew up with hand-me-downs, but if they need something, we go buy it."
Joanna Wood, a social worker who had an excess of linens, brought in a blanket and comforter. "The frightening thing," Ms. Wood said, "is I'm a nonshopper."
Beyond clearing their closets, donors have a monetary incentive for giving away clothes here. They can claim a tax deduction if they ask for a form when they pull in. Ms. Keegan took one, Ms. Wood did not.
"The majority don't," Taylor said. '"The majority of people just give." Clothing is easier than ever to buy, not only because incomes are up and unemployment is down, but also because clothes are getting relatively cheaper. Clothing prices have risen just 13 percent in a decade, while the average for all consumer goods rose 34 percent. Prices of women's clothes are lower now than six years ago.
But the greatest boon to shopping and shedding may be the fast-changing fashion styles, and not only for women. Few children settle for their older siblings' outdated jackets and baggy jeans. Elementary school principals routinely complain of overflowing lost-and-found departments.
These phenomena have swept across the spectrum of the retail economy, from boutique shoppers to bargain hunters. Conservatively attired in beige, Susan Brenneman, a 30-year-old software executive, seemed a model of reserve, moderation and thrift. Then she popped open the trunk of her Volvo sedan. From Nieman Marcus, Banana Republic and Lord & Taylor shopping bags, she plucked six suits, eight pairs of shoes, 10 pairs of pants, five blouses, 10 belts, two sweaters and a raincoat.
The clothes, all spotless and neat, were up to two years old. Ms. Brenneman said her company's shift to more casual wear put an end to the suits. Still, wincing at the size of her load, Ms. Brenneman said she was revising her priorities. "More quality and less volume," she said.
In buying and scrapping clothes, Ms. Brenneman had nothing on a 42-year-old woman who was rifling through the racks at the 18,500-square-foot Salvation Army thrift store next to the warehouse. She was wearing last week's acquisition, a shimmering Navy blue tanktop embroidered with the Wilson sportswear logo, which had cost her $1.
"Clothes, I go through them like water," said the woman, who identified herself only as Casey. "I change my outfits all the time."
The tank top, like everything else she buys, is eventually destined for donation, she said. "But why pay $25, when you can pay 25 cents?"
In another aisle, Sarah Demirjian, a retired widow, held up a pair of printed Rafaella slacks. They started at $6 and now, on sale, were $1. "The person probably wore this once or twice and junked it," she said. ""t's the disposable society."
In their different ways, these women are all cogs in a large, little-known industry that helps sustain organizations like the Salvation Army that recycle clothes so they can recycle people, from the street into the work force.
Each of the Salvation Army's centers combines a warehouse and an Adult Rehabilitation Center. Seventy-one recovering addicts, or "beneficiaries," as the organization calls them, live and work at the Providence center. "We deal with them spiritually, socially, rehabilitatively and with work therapy," Taylor said.
For the six weeks to the many months they are here, beneficiaries are tightly regimented while the center feeds them, houses them in spartan dormitories, trains them for work and steers them into jobs beyond the centers. For their work in the warehouse, they are paid a "gratuity" of $5 to $15 a week, depending on their progress in the program.
Three teams of beneficiaries, about 10 sorters and taggers, confronted the great clothing glut on the second floor of the warehouse, an old textile factory. Terrence Mitchell, 41, a resident here for three months and a sorter, tore open a donor's black plastic bag and spotted a denim shirt turned inside out.
"Inside out, throw it out," Mitchell said. Most inside-out clothing has something to hide, usually dirt and stains. He picked up a black leather handbag, still in its protective plastic cover, still with its price tag. "That goes to new," Mitchell said, sending it to a crate with other items with their original tags.
A Bugle Boy windbreaker was soiled on one side. "Out,"he said, tossing it into a bin that would feed it to the baling machines. Next, a bag with 20 new-looking bras, in lavender satin, red lace, a leopard skin print, all the same size. "Maybe someone died," Mitchell said. They went to taggers like Laura Whiteside, 34. "We get Jones of New York, Evan Picone, Christian Dior," Ms. Whiteside said. "Here's a Stafford shirt. That's Penney's own brand.""
After three weeks here, Ms. Whiteside had become a lightning-quick tagger, thrusting item upon item into a table-top machine that pins on a blue, yellow, green or white price tag -- one color for each week of the month. The color coding lets the thrift shops, which price the clothing, know when an item has been on their racks and unsold for a month. If it has been, it is sent to the baling machines, or "ragged out," in the parlance of the workers. Twice a week or so, the bales are loaded into the rag dealers' 18-wheelers and often into containers for shipping.
"They can go to Guatemala, Mexico," said Fletcher Fisher, the warehouse supervisor and a former beneficiary. "A lot can go overseas to Africa. We ship a lot to Canada, and from there they ship it all over."
Leoson's International in Toronto specializes in trade with the Middle East. "We just sold a container to Yemen," said Leo Ohanian, the company's export director.
A container is 40 feet long and takes 32 bales, Ohanian said, or nearly 18 tons of clothes. "There are two classes in the Middle East, high class and very low class," he said. "The very low class can't afford the clothing they have there."
Update on Swing in Ann Arbor, Michigan
Every Sunday night at the Blind Pig, downtown, there is a swing dance night with lessons from 7 to 9 and dancing from 9 to midnight. There is a competent and friendly DJ. His tastes run to rockabilly (he does the local rockabilly music radio show) but he plays lots of big band and western swing, and it's all danceable. Once a month he brings in a band. This place is usually packed.
At the Heidelberg, also downtown and walking distance from the Blind Pig, the II-V-I Orchestra plays big band tunes including lots of swing from 7 to 9:30 on Sunday. A lot of people go to the Heidelberg first then to the Pig. It's a more sedate scene, not as loud or smokey as the Pig. Sometimes it's dead and sometimes it's packed. This is the place to see people who learned swing dance in the 40s.
On Wednesday there is dancing to a DJ at the student union at the University of Michigan. Sometimes this is held in the ballroom, a large beautiful room with a very nice floor. Thursday there is DJ dancing at the Tap Room in Ypsilanti. The floor there is very small. The second Saturday of most months there is a no-smoking, no-alcohol Lindy dance to recorded music at the Pittsfield Grange, sometimes with lessons. You can find more info on regular weekly events at AASwing.
A local band to watch for is the Imperial Swing Orchestra. They play at various places in the Detroit area, including Mill Street (Clutch Cargo), Blind Pig, and Cross Street in Ypsilanti. Check the weekly Metro Times. We also get frequent visits from Mighty Blue Kings, Squirrel Nut Zippers, Royal Crown Revue, etc. Sometimes the bigger acts will play the Majestic in Detroit, the oldest movie theater in the country.
Other places to dance within an hour or two drive include the 24 Karat in Westland, the Velvet in Pontiac, the Brickhouse in Utica, JD's in Mount Clemens, and the Citi Lounge in Toledo. See the Detroit and Toledo sections of this guide.
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