Lindy Hop Dance Forum Archive for March
1999March, 1999 Forum
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Archive of Dance Forum Articles From March, 1999

This is the archive of DANCE FORUM articles which appeared during March, 1999

This is the place to review and savor all of those interesting articles written by our erudite readers.

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  1. Denver Lindy Hop (Lisa Schwartz)
  2. Upcoming Psychoboy Dances (John McCalla)
  3. Maxie Dorf on Balboa (Maxie Dorf)
  4. Richmond Swing Site (Warren Vietoris)
  5. Norwegian Dance Camp (Sue Fedor)
  6. Dance Lessons for Charity (Alison Torrillo)
  7. Royal Crown Review in New Jersey (Lenny Lelinko)
  8. Swing Comes to Georgetown (Cullen Kowalski)
  9. Lindy Classes at the Silver Spring YMCA (Misha Akkerman)
  10. Hollywood and West Coast (Chris Bamberger)
  11. Playing Music for Swing Dancers (Charles Wyler)
  12. 12-Foot Rule (Bob Roxbrough)
  13. Big Sandy and the Fly-Rite Boys (Dawn Rutherford)
  14. More on the 12 Foot Rule (Cherri Harris )
  15. Yet More on the 12 Foot Rule (Jim Titus)
  16. Playing for the Dancers (Charlie Wyler)
  17. Lost Watch Found at Nick's (Alicyn vanDijs)
  18. More Windy Hoppers Tribute (Kathy Armstrong)
  19. Beantown Lindy Hop Summer Camp Update (Tony & Aurelie Tye)
  20. Cystic Fibrosis Benefit (Kaaren Agnez)
  21. Charlie and Jane's New Classes (Jane Ford)
  22. Pay Your Tab (Chris Bamberger)
  23. Oklahoma Twisters at Glen Echo (George Welling)
  24. The Rhumba Bums are Coming to D.C
  25. Report from Richmond (Teresa Egan)
  26. Havana Street (Danielle)
  27. LWIR as a Resource (Rachel and Amy)
  28. Vintage Weddings (Fritz Hahn)
  29. Directions to Valencia (Marty Lau)
  30. Swing Marathon at Zones (Greg)
  31. Clothes in Nashville (Iver Cooper)

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Denver Lindy Hop
From: Lisa Schwartz

Hey Frank and Carole -
I am recently back from Denver and have some travel tidbits for my fellow Lindy lovers.

After phoning 9th Ave. West, a club in Denver and being told that Lindy is "HUGE" on Saturday nights, I was looking forward to Lindy Hopping into the wee hours. Upon arrival, I was disappointed to hear a blazingly fast Western Swing band and only two men who were sort of, kind of, Lindy Hoppers. The rest of the men were doing the frat- boy-wrench-her-arm-as-hard-as-possible-and-hopefully-it-won't-bre ak-off-as-she-turns dance. Drat. I was, however, pleasantly surprised to meet up with two D.C. Lindy enthusiasts, Sarah and her partner (so sorry - I'm blanking out on his name - help me here, Sarah) who braved the fast pace and danced away. 9th Avenue West, 21 and up, $5 cover, dance lessons lesson @9:00. Per Frank and Carole's sage advice, call first (and hopefully you'll get accurate information).

On Tuesday, I had far more success and a terrific evening at the Mercury Cafe. Had a great time dancing a good bit with Victor Ward of Denver's Flying Aces ( who teaches the pre-DJ/band class. Fun, fun dance partner! Plenty of nice folks to dance with - I enjoyed trading moves. I brought two of my non-Lindying friends and I think I scored a conversion; they'll be taking an 8-week Lindy class. The MERCURY CAFE, 2199 California Street 303-294-9281. All ages, $3, lessons at 6:30, DJ Music at 7:30.

I wasn't in town on a Wednesday; however, I heard from virtually everyone that a bar/restaurant called THE CHURCH is the place to be on Wednesday evenings. It's a large old church which has been converted into a really interesting space (I didn't eat there, so I can't vouch for the grub). 1160 Lincoln Street 303-832-3528.

For antiqueing/junking, I fell in love with South Broadway - the entire street! There were TONS of great places to shop. For vintage clothing, I found two places that I REALLY loved; American Vogue at 10 S. Broadway and American Aces on the next block. For a vintage clothing lover there is no more beautiful sight than an entire store full of primo vintage duds. Neither store is fabulously inexpensive, but both were reasonable by D.C. standards. If you like bowling shirts, each store has quite a stash of beauties. Vintage Western wear, naturally is readily available. American Vogue has loads of beautifully cared-for women's clothing while American Aces stocks great men's fashions. I managed to giddily buy stuff at both.
--- Lisa Schwartz

From: Susan Canaday

Hi Frank and Carole

It's me, Susan from Denver-gone -NYC, etc etc so on and so forth---

It was so great to read Lisa Schwartz's article about Denver and especially the bit about Victor Ward---I miss him so much!! Victor is certainly a splendid dancer and one of my all time favorite partners, if not my favorite, period. I don't know if he's on your mailing list, but I'll pass the word on to him.

I also wanted to make mention of two other excellent places to go vintage shopping at in Denver----Not only for their wonderful selections and merchandise, but for the awesome contributions as people that they've made to the whole swing/rockabilly/lindy/lounge/whatever-everyone-wants-to-call-the mselves-now community. Anyone who visit Denver will find it well worth their time and effort of visiting these places:

Rave's Uptown Antiques
3201 E. Colfax (@ Steele st)

Raven carries some high quality merchandise at some really awesome prices. Her place is so durn friendly too! (Be sure to pet Bob, her golden retriever who tends to lounge around on the antique furniture). I was at her store atleast 2-3 times a week when I used to live in Denver, buying whatever I could on my measly budget--her selection is so rich and amazing, one can't help but be addicted. Most of my dresses came from there, and when going out, most of my compliments have come to those dresses (Even here in NYC, people are constantly asking where I get my dresses!) Anyone who visits Denver NEEDS to go to Raven's if you don't you truly have missed out on a premiere experience in Denver.

Boss Unlimited
301 E. 57th Ave.

Ron and Cynthia are (sadly) selling this space, so this information may not be current. I know that they are in the middle of negotiating deals for a spot on Broadway which would be supreme because as Lisa said, Broadway in Denver is a great spot to go looking for vintage wear too. I remember meeting Cynthia after my partner and I had just competed in a local dance competition. She had approached me about my dress and complimented it (thanks Raven!) and then told us that she and her husband owned a little vintage spot on I-25 called Boss Unlimited. Needless to say, she was being very modest, as Boss is the biggest in town. Ron and Cynthia truly love what they do and find themselves travellingout to California and Lasvegas for shopping, dance festivals, etc...their clothes are used in movies (I think some of their stuff was used in [the film] Pleasantville), and are frequently showcased at the annual Rock & Rhythmbilly (hope I go the name right, I was never too hard into Rockabilly) festival in Denver. I know that they're big favorites with the locals, and know pretty much a lot of people on a first name and personal basis and visitng bands love to stop by (Indigo Swing are favorites of theirs). They are great people and I can't think of any other place besides Raven's to go visit. They have a very very large selection of everything and anything and will most likely join you for a drink if you're both out dancing that night.

okay, that's about it....I'm still here in NYC, drawing cartoons and what not---be sure to watch for Daria episodes on MTV with my name!

your friend from the rockies somewhat liking it now in NYC,
Susan Canaday


I forwarded Lisa Schwartz;'s evaluation of her trip in Denver to my friend Matthew Donelan, who is the manager of Ninth Avenue West in Denver. Apparently, and rightfully so, it hit a nerve with him. Understandably as I have known Matthew since I began dancing, and I can certainly vouch for what he and many of his colleagues have done to support the "scene" in Denver. He works very hard at what he does, and is very dedicated and it is a deep love for him.

Now this is not to say that Lisa was wrong in her comments, or that she was not validated in being disappointed in Ninth Avenue West. I can completely understand the want and basic need for areas that are Lindy-friendly and Lindy accurate. Perhaps Ninth Avenue ISN'T the best place to Lindy if you are a true hard core dedicated dancer, but dancing at Ninth Avenue is indeed accurately described as HUGE, and it encompasses all types from Lindy to Merengue to snapping fingers to even, yes, the 'frat-boy-wrench-her-arm-as-hard-as-possible-and-hopefully-it-won 't-break-off-as-she-turns." You have to realize that ALL of it's happening there. It's frustrating because you want to be able to lindy effectively to good music, You want to have a good time. Well, everyone wants to have a good time. But the reality is that Ninth is a very popular venue for Denver and has emblazoned the way for many national bands to get a foothold in Denver by exposing people to the music.

I've had a wonderful time at Ninth Avenue on many occasions and still very much recommend it to friends of mine. The last time I was there, I was lindying with Victor to (of all things) the Avengers soundtrack for a promo party they were having there. But, you have to have a sense of humor and tolerance with the place. If you open yourself up to it, you can have a good time. With as popular as Lindy and Swing is now, venue-reading is crucial so you can figure out where to set your good-time barometer. Sometimes, it's a great night, sometimes it's not...but I certainly hope that none of your readers will avoid it from what was said about it.

PPS...Here is Matthew's reply.

Well. thanks for the forward, Susan

I guess 9th Avenue is just not the place to lindy, although as someone who must be there every weekend, I would differ. Often the place is veritably crawling with lindy hoppers. Last weekend, a poor jitterbugger couldn't get an inch of dance floor. I guess it all depends on what you are looking for. For us, its all about the music. And still every weekend we get in the best national acts, but if people are looking to Dance for dancing sake, they are probably better off listening to a DJ at the Mercury, or doing the foxtrot to the Hot Tomatos at the Church. I don't mean for this to come off as bitter, but it is VERY hard to please everyone. I love the lindy, and a number of the lindy hoppers. (Although, no matter what his rewritten biography says, Victor learned his first steps a mere 2 years ago, and they weren't Lindy!) The people who have kept swing alive in denver for the last 10 years, and have taken the personal and financial losses associated therein, are not doing it for the fashion and the Dancing, It's ALWAYS been about the music. 9th itself is a viable and growing business concern and as such, it tends to be busy and crowded. 3 years ago we would patiently wait for good music to come to town, sometimes months, but until 9th took the risk to become what it still is, Denver's ONLY all Swing club, few people knew or were interested in it. Count how many people would be at the Blue Room on a Saturday and you can see what I mean. The poor establishment had to close for lack of interest. People tend to forget history, In 1941, more people saw Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys than saw Glen Miller. I am going to stop ranting, sorry.

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Upcoming Psychoboy Dances
From: John McCalla

March 6, 1999 at the William Talley Rec. Center (Bentz Street Armory) in Frederick: Free Lindy Hop Lesson from 8-9pm and Dance from 9-midnight to the Big Band Sounds of the Bill Eliot Trio. Admission is just $12.00 at the door.

March 14, 1999 at Hood College in Frederick Free Shim Sham Lesson from 7-8pm and Dance from 8-11 to the Big Band Sounds of the Bill Eliot Trio. Admission is just $12.00 at the door!

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Maxie Dorf on Balboa
By: Maxie Dorf

It's nice to know that there is much interest in "bal-swing" and appreciate your interest. Explaning to accomplished dancers, as yourself and many others, it's much easier to write about it. So below is a capsule size version of the past.

I started in 1935/36. I was only 14. I was around when Bal started, but know from talking to the dancers at the time, it developed from the Charleston. Charleston was big at the time, from the Flapper days, but took a lot of room on the dance floor. The ballrooms were so crowded, the dancers had to shorten their steps and little by little became the Balboa. Originating at the Pavilion at Balboa Island in Southern California. So no one really invented the dance. It was a group thing.

I came on the scene when the dance was growing. It was pure bal at the time, with no breaks. The ballrooms didn't allow breaks--again too crowded. Everyone had their own space. In late 1937, the ballrooms became more lenient and allowing breaks. Bal was too boring for me so started inventing breaks, which you have seen on the tape that I sent. The Purest Bal dancers refused to change over. But the progressive dancers, such as myself moved forward and invented many dance breaks and steps that the swing dancers of today are doing, little knowing where it came from. Pure Bal was very boring to me, altho it was great fun at the time. As you know the "dance" will always progress in many ways.

Unfortunately there is only one movie that I can recall that has a little Bal-Swing. And that is "Start Cheering". Right after the tap dancer is finished, Lolly and I come downstage doing Bal Swing turns. Most of the movies at that time and into the 50's, the dancers were doing Dean Collin's Lindy. That all died during the sixties and eventually became West Coast Swing. I am very happy to see the Lindy and the young kids really swing out.

Mary McCaslin and I did the original live animation for a cartoon that showed two grasshoppers doing swing. I have never been able to find a copy. Our type of dancing was called "Swing" and thru the years, kept its name for the various styles of dancing you see today.

As you probably know, I taught Sylvia and Jonathan and very pleased with what they have done the last 10 years. They are the only ones that I know of that has broken down the Balboa. Balboa was a street dance and never was taught. You had to watch the dancers and practice at home. My main purpose of teaching them was to keep the dance going. And thanks to their tapes and personal teaching throughout the world, I know now that it won't die. That is, teaching my style.

Hope the above will help and want to add that "love is in the eyes of the beholder"---meaning there are many styles of Bal that's progressed thru the years. My style is just one of them.

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Richmond Swing Site
From: Warren Vietoris

Hi Frank and Carole:
This is Warren Vietoris down in Richmond. My website called Richmond Swing is now running as: soho/cafe/1467

My domain name is on the way and the URL will change in the future.

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Norwegian Dance Camp
From: Sue Fedor

OK...So you missed Boogie Baren. Catalina is out. Forget about Haraang. What's a Lindy Hopper to do?

GO TO NORWAY. Go see Europe before the Euro makes the whole place homogeneous and they learn to speak English well. Here's the latest Scandanavian buzz from Baerbl Kauffer:

Hello again.
Here are some more information for you, there will soon be more.

Dear dancing enthusiast

Bergen Dance Camp is the biggest dancecamp in Norway, where dancers at all ages participate. We continue the success, and last year there were about 150 dancers here, coming from Sweden, Finland, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Russia, America, and all of Norway that danced to instruction from some of the worlds best Steppers, Swingdancers and instructors. Since this is an international Dance Camp, the official language will be Swinglish. And that's good, for the English knowledge were not the best among all the participators. The dance has it's own language, and that's a language that everyone understands. Bergen Dance Camp has been laid to one of the sunniest weeks of the year (in west Norway)? Week 31 and the place is Agotnes.

The start of the camp will be an outdoor dancing in Bergen centre Saturday 31.of July with The Boogie Woogie Duo + guest-artists + Swing Jockey. Sunday 1. of August will it be arranged a big international swing-competition, Bergen Grand Prix, which is unique in Norway. The jury is divided into two parts. It exists of celebrities (musicians, media people, politicians' etc...) and some of the world's best jury-members (instructors from Bergen Dance Camp). This is a competition for all levels, with participation from several countries, and big prizes. There will be a dance-party without equal, with a competition and a show. After the competition there will be transport to Agotnes. When we get to Agotnes we will have a meal, a "get to know each other" party, and a presentation of the instructors.

The first lessons will start at Monday morning, the 2. of August and the teaching will continue to Sunday the 8. of August There will be about five lessons each day (each lasting for about an hour), there will be a joint breakfast and dinner, info. meeting in the evening, in addition to dance/entertainment afterwards.

There will among other things be a "history-lesson"/video-display about the development of dance. You can experience/join a fantastic cabaret, and a Jack and Jill competition. Since we've got so many outlandish participators, and there are so many troll-legends, this is the right occasion to prove that there in fact are such things, and that they actually know how to dance. In Troll Party you are changed into a dancing troll, elf, goblin or something very much alike. There will also be "fresh air hours" day with volleyball, swimming, mountain-walk (among others). As the first arranger in the world (?), this year we have a course for adolescents and children. For those even younger, and needs for mother or father to be present while they dance, we've constructed a place where children can be.

The Summer Camp will be concluded with a conclusion-party, with a grill-party, and were the classes can perform what they have learned. Agotnes, will be the centre for the event, and Agotnes is the perfect Dance Camp place, because everything can be centred to a little area, and still be central. We hope that You are ready for a different summer-holiday, with lots of dancing, entertainment and FUN!! This is the event of the year, it will be a social and good enjoyment, that you will never (ever) forget.

Swing regards from Halvard
Halvard Mage

[Note from Sue....Politicians judging a Grand Prix dance contest? Are we talking the Prime Minister here or just a local big wig? If we're talking high level elected officials, this just might be worth the price of admission alone....when we find out how much that is. I did a quick check of air fare to Oslo...I have no idea how close Oslo is to Agotnes....and Island Air is running around $500 off season. I'm sure it will be more in July/August.]

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Dance Lessons for Charity
From: Alison Torrillo

Hi Frank and Carole:
I am on the committee for the American Heart Association's biggest charity event, the 12th Annual Heartthrob Ball, to be held at the new Ronald Reagan Building here in DC on Saturday, March 27. It's a black-tie event sponsored by young Washingtonians to support the worthy research, clinical and outreach efforts of the AHA. Last year's massive effort broke attendance and revenue records, and this year we expect to outpace even that stellar performance.

One of the things which I volunteered to help out with was getting some swing into the evening, in various ways (and how could I say no to that?!). The band that night will be playing some swing (in addition to other varieties of music, to keep everyone satisfied), but I was asked to put out some feelers as to whether any of the fabulous instructors here in DC would do either of both of the following:

A. Donate a swing class (any night, any variety, but preferably a full 8-week class) for the Ball's Silent Auction.

B. Donate about 30-45 minutes of their time to give a basic swing lesson AT the event itself, probably around 8 pm. (There is also a slight possibility that, in addition to, or in lieu of a lesson, they might want a Mini Swing Expo, which would basically be an extended Jam of some of the DC dancers...just think of it as a place to dance for free for about an hour on a Saturday night! ;-)

Both are great opportunities for publicity, especially for those folks who are new to the DC swing scene and those new instructors in the area. Of course, I'd love to get some of the more "established" pros involved, too! If anyone could help out, I would appreciate it.

Please let me know. I can be contacted at
Thanks in advance,
Alison Torrillo

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Royal Crown Review in New Jersey
From: Lenny Lelinko

Hey Frank and Carole!,
It's been a long time, but I'm still here pluggin' away in NJ. I now have my own swing club inside the Club Bene called The Leopard Lounge. I put on live swing shows every Friday (all ages), and Saturday (18+) nights. I writing to inform you of some of the things I have going right now -

First of all I'm doing an all ages show with ROYAL CROWN REVUE in the Club Bene on Wenesday, March 17th.

ROYAL CROWN REVUE!! That's right!! RCR will be making their first New Jersey appearence at The Club Bene on Wednesday, March 17th (St. Paddy's Day). This is an ALL AGES SHOW, with GOTHAM CITY SWING, and the BLUE SARACENS opening up for RCR. There will also be a post party at THE LEOPARD LOUNGE after the show. Tickets are just $15 and went on sale Saturday, February 13th at the following locations - Ticketmaster/Ticketmaster Charge by phone, Vintage Vinyl in Fords, Almost Live in Belmar, Soundwaves in Manasquan and the Club Bene Box Office. For more information call The Club Bene at 732-727-3000. Don't delay... This show WILL sell out!

Check out ROYAL CROWN REVUE's website at

The Next thing is... I'm putting on a swing weekender for Labor Day Weekend in conjunction with LEAD EAST! I'm in the beginning stages right now, but I'm looking for bands, DJ's, dance instructors, Key note speakers and vintage clothing vendors from up and down the East Coast. All I can tell you right now is.. I'm going to try and make this one of the biggest East Coast events of it's kind!! . Say hello to Tom, Debra and Ellen for me, and....
Keep Swingin' Baby!

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Swing Comes to Georgetown
From: Cullen Kowalski

Frank and Carole,
I hope to see you guys tonight at Glen Echo, I want to tell you all about the strange twist of events that have happened for me recently.

After two parties that were held at my apartment in Georgetown, I lead the crowd downstairs to a very eclectic restaurant that frequently has live shows and dancing. Both lead to an impromptu jam session among just us, but it really got the whole restaurant involved.

Max, the owner has ask me to give swing lessons there on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday nights. I picked Sunday since it was the most logical among all the other things that are going on.

I will finalize everything on Monday, and it will be publicized in the Washington Post Guide to the Lively arts for next weekend's paper. I will run the Beginner lesson from 7-8pm, then open dancing with music spun by Max the Madman. He has a lay-in parquet wood floor with cushioning underneath but regardless, I feel it should be worth the while just to see the place, it's really a trip, I hope that you guys will be able to stop-by for some dancing.

It's: Paris Bisous, 1338 Wisconsin Ave. (Across from Dumbarton Street) in Georgetown

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Lindy Classes at the Silver Spring YMCA
From: Misha Akkerman

Lindy Classes at the Silver Spring YMCA
Tuesday evengings, eight week series beginning March 2nd.
With Jane Ford and Misha Akkerman

  • Level 1: 7:15 - 8:15 establishes a basic foundation
  • Level 2: 8:30 - 9:30 builds on the basics with new patterns as well as lead/follow techniques
  • No partner necessary.
  • Cost: YMCA members $56/single; $100/couple, non members $65/single; $115/couple, (ask about teen discounts)
  • Register at the front desk or call (301) 585 - 2120
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Hollywood and West Coast
From: Chris Bamberger

Mark Judge said to me recently, "I'll learn Hollywood--as long as it's not like West Coast Swing (blech)."

Made me think about an interesting conversation I had with Craig Hutchinson. When I first went to Hutch and asked him to teach me "Hollywood," he looked at me blankly. "Dean Collins," I explained, "Smooth Lindy." He said, "You mean like the Dean Collins sequence in 'Hellzapoppin'?"

I nodded and he asked, "What do you kids call that? 'Hollywood?' " (You could really hear the quotation marks around that, the way he said it). He showed me how to do the swingout, SO different from Savoy. After I had it, he said, "That's what I call Classic West Coast Swing."

I sorta blanched and argued that WCS is what we see the girls in their halters and heels doing with the guys in their disco chains and tight jeans. Craig shook his head. "That's something that derived from true West Coast Swing--what it became when they started to do it to R&B or blues instead of swing music. True West Coast Swing is what those kids in the 1940s movies are doing."

Semantics. But you know, it does make sense. You're dancing this very similar dance. If you're wearing suspenders or have your hair fixed like Betty Grable's, and you're holding Jewell in your mind while dancing it fairly swiftly to Benny Goodman, then it's Hollywood. Slow down the music and gyrate a bit more overtly, wear contemporary clothing, and forget the '40s, and it's West Coast Swing. Am I wrong?

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Playing Music for Swing Dancers
From: Charles Wyler

Hi guys,
I just returned from teaching a three day workshop in the Kansas City area. Did you all know that the Emerald City is modeled after Kansas City, visually that is? I didn't get a rub dub here and a rub dub there, but I did get some fine KC barbque and a fine articulation of Swing music at the Jazz Museum on 18th and Vine. I recomend it for every Lindy Dancer. It will refine your relationship to the music and change your taste and appreciation of bands in the D.C. area. What I mean by that is that you will no longer like most of the well known bands in the Area. Just as I do not. Last night I spoke this great heresy in public for the first time, and it felt good (welcome to the dark side, Luke). I comented on a very well known band in the area, that I have never liked them, and that they have no idea how to play Swing for dancers. I also explained how and why, part of it is the recording technology of the day. Any how, if anyone wants to hear more just ask me.

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12-Foot Rule
From: Bob Roxbrough

A recent mishap a few months ago and two near misses Tuesday night prompted me to send this email. During January I got hurt while swinging at America on a Friday night. A couple behind me tried an air step, lost control, and took me down with them. I eventually ended up making a trip to my physician and getting x-rayed. Fortunately, nothing was broken, but I ended up spending a significant amount of money on medical expenses. Similarly last Tuesday at the Vienna Grille, I experienced two near misses (or near hits) from people doing air steps on a crowded floor. These individuals appeared to be veteran dancers so I cannot say they risked injuring others due to lack of experience.

Air steps executed properly are fun and are one of the aspects of lindy that makes the dance so exhilarating. That said, however, couples using air steps should follow the "12-Foot Rule" before performing such moves. To borrow a phrase from the Air Force, they should "clear their flight path" and make sure nobody is within 12 feet before they use the step. They should also "check six o'clock" (look behind) as well.

A minimum of 12 feet of space is needed based on the following assumptions: 1) the average stride is about 3 feet and one must assume the couple executing the air step moves 3 feet; the average man is a little less than 6 foot tall, and if he falls during the maneuver, he will stretch out to at least 6 feet; assume the nearest couple also takes a 3-foot stride toward the couple performing the air step. The total adds up to 12 feet.

With a 12-foot cushion, dancers can jazz up their lindy with air steps and minimize the risk of injuring other dancers. Please pass on the 12-Foot rule to experienced dancers and students alike.

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Big Sandy and the Fly-Rite Boys
From: Dawn Rutherford

I am the webmaster for a new web site which may be of interest to you.

The web site is the official home page of Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys. Their style of music incorporates elements of swing, rockabilly, and boogie woogie. They tour internationally and the site features the latest tour information, record releases and band happenings. If you haven't heard them, check out their CD Feelin' Kinda Lucky [it's a good intro to their music]. You can't help but DANCE!

The web site can be found at

[Editor's note: This group appeared at the old Twist and Shout last fall; check out our Photoessay on Big Sandy.]

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More on the 12 Foot Rule
From: Cherri Harris

I would like this opportunity to comment and underscore what Bob Roxbrough said about the injury he sustained, and his comment in general. I was dancing with him when he got knocked off the floor at America by two novices who were trying around the world. The woman literally just came out of nowhere and ran into both of us. I told the couple (not very nicely) that they should never try something like that on a crowded dance floor, in a social dance where people are coming and going off the dance floor. Etc...

Last week at Politiki I was almost hit in the face with a womans's leg while she was trying sidecars. I politely suggested that the dance floor was much too crowded to do aerials like that. While I am sure I sound like somebody's mother, I would really like to advocate that instructors caution their students against using and practicing these moves in social places like this. When the floor starts to get crowded, dancers quickly move into the open spaces that aerialists think they can use, and disaster can happen. Anyway, it is one thing to take a risk yourself if you want to do aerials,but another to put other dancers at risk.

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Yet More on the 12 Foot Rule
From: Jim Titus

Maybe I missed a commentary on the issue, but I was wondering:

  1. whether there is a similar rule of thumb for any type of serious kicking. I have noticed that from time to time alot of folks at Glen Echo will "clear" their path by almost kicking every one around them, inducing all who are concerned about their welfare to move away and thereby securing for themselves more room.
  2. whether anyone knows about the house liability for reckless dancing. I would assume that by now some club has been sued for failing to police the dancers, similar to landlords being liable for poor security measures, etc.

Some places have posted signs stating traffic rules, one club in Va even has bouncers enforcing the traffic--so that might tend to make WSDC and others who fail to take precautions liable. Maybe Tom Koerner could develop a side line representing injured dancers (at least when they are injured at clubs where he does not each).

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Playing for the Dancers (Part 2)
From: Charlie Wyler

Generally musicians play for themselves and we, the lowly audience should just sit down and admire their virtuosity. However back in the day if you wanted to be in Ellington's band or maybe it was another band of equal fame and ability you had to be a GOOD Lindy dancer, I've seen the employment adds that state that one had to be a good dancer to apply for the job in the band. Generally, the imitation big bands ( not the post punk thing ) that's another story, have lost the rhythm section, partly because of the single mic recording of the era. I recently boosted the bass and ran a cut through my DBX the result is much more like what I heard at the Jazz Museum, which bears little resembalance to what we hear today from a variety of bands. Remember, that before the release of The Mahogony Stomp By Louis Armstrong the typical swing rhythm section consisted of Drums, Tuba and Banjo, now that combination was audible! Most big bands today try to quiet the rhythm section down, alas to imitate the faulty and inaccurate recordings of the time.

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Lost Watch Found at Nicks
From: Alicyn vanDijs

Hi Frank and Carole,
Found Sat night at Nicks, Pocket watch,. Michelle King the waitress has it. She can be called at Nicks to retrieve it. Her e-mail is Thanks,

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More Windy Hoppers Tribute
From: Kathy Armstrong

I just wanted to say that the Windy Hoppers that visited Washington last week were awsome! Their Savoy style was smoooooooth, their musicality and articulation was "right on the money"! Young Jin was outstanding to dance with and watch (Sometimes when you see great dancing you get a greater appreciation for the "art of dancing" by watching them articulate and interpret the music). Peter was very sensual in his interpretation, and the other guys were great to "play off the music" with. The "girls" were fun, energetic! Dancing on the banks of the Tidal Basin in front of the Jefferson Memorial was reminiscent of the banks (quais) of the Seine in Paris. Dancing there we seem to be recreating a scene right out of "An American in Paris" and then to go to the East Wing of the National Gallery of Art to see the Duke Ellington's film short and the film "Paris Blues" made me wish I was back in Paris and it was a fine "aperitif" to a great afternoon!

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Beantown Lindy Hop Summer Camp Update
From: Tony & Aurelie Tye

Wheaton College has just informed us that Keefe dorm will also be available to us Week 1. Although we've not see it ourselves, we are told that it is really nice inside. It was under construction last summer and is located next to Gebbie.

If you have already registered in Week 1 and would like to switch into Keefe, please let us know as soon as possible. The cost is an additional $80/person for the week. Gebbie is an additional $60/person. For those new to the camp, both Keefe and Gebbie are set up in suites sharing a bathroom, and both have air-conditioning.

Confirmations will be sent out this week to those who have registered. If you have completed an on-line registration but have not sent your payment and waiver, you are not registered, and you do not have a room reserved. If you want an AC room in Keefe or Gebbie, we need to have received your deposit or full payment.

Please be sure to contact us if you have any questions. We are busy processing camp registrations but will respond as soon as possible. Full camp information is always available on our WEB site at:
-Aurelie & Tony

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Cystic Fibrosis Benefit
from Kaaren Agnez

I have been asked by Cystic Fibrosis to help them earn funds for their research and development. Cystic Fibrosis is the number one genetic killer of young people. This organization uses over 90% of all monies collected to directly help in the cause, keeping their administration expenses very low. To help them, Larry Vallieres of King Pepper Restaurant, Elise Neil as my sponsor, and I Kaaren Agnez have planned a SPRING SWING EVENT AT KING PEPPER (upstairs) ON THURSDAY MARCH 25TH. A $10 donation to Cystic Fibrosis is requested for admission. There will be beverage specials and complimentary appetizers, swing music and a dance contest. Two couples at a time will compete until we have a winning couple. An entry fee of $10, donated to Cystic Fibrosis, will be required for each couple. Their will be a cash prize. If we have two large groups of amateurs and semi-professionals, we will split the prize into two pots.

We are looking for talented swing dancers/teachers to donate their time to give a demonstration and to judge the contest. If you are interested, please e-mail:
Larry Vallieres of King Pepper
or leave a message for Kaaren Agnez at (301)770-2937
Thanks very much!
---Kaaren Agnez

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Charlie and Jane's New Classes
From: Jane Ford

Charlie Wyler and Jane Ford are teaching lindy at Experimental Movement Concepts 3618 Falls Rd. Baltimore, MD 410-366-2626

  • Level 1 7:30 - 8:30
  • Level 2 8:30 - 9:30 followed by a 1/2 hour practice session
  • Cost: $70.00 single, $120.00 per couple
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Pay Your Tab
From: Chris Bamberger

Listen, gates:
Take care to pay your tab or your share of the tab when you go to Nick's. One of his waitstaff was stiffed for more than $30 Sat. night because folks at a table had left without paying their tab. I doubt this is ever intentional--sometimes we just get so caught up in having fun out on the floor that we forget.

Also, we need to stay out of the road when those folks walk from the kitchen to the front of the restaurant.

I have never met waitstaff, cooks, and bartenders more patient than Nick's staff. Keep their goodwill and keep Nick's a dancer-friendly place--pay your tabs promptly and do your dancing on the floor.

End of lecture, chillun!
Mom of Cabin 28
a/k/a Chris Bamberger

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Oklahoma Twisters at Glen Echo
From: George Welling

Hey, guys.
We are happy to have been included in the Wednesday night series of dances at Glen Echo. We'll be playing one Wednesday night per month in addition to the Sunday afternoon series. I've included the list of Wednesday and Sunday dances below :

  • Event: Western Swing Dance featuring the Oklahoma Twisters
  • Date: Wednesday, March 31, 1999
  • Time: 8:00pm - 10:00 p.m. (Dance lessons at 7:30 and 8:45)
  • Admission: $5 (Dance lesson included)
  • Location: Spanish Ballroom, Glen Echo Park 703-644-0551
  • Sara Jane McDaniel will provide the lessons on the Wednesday night series
  • The other Wednesday night dates are: April 14, May 5, June 9, July 7, August 11, September 8, and October 6

Here is the information on the Sunday series:

  • Event: Western Swing Dance featuring the Oklahoma Twisters
  • Date: Sunday, April 11, 1999
  • Time: 4:00pm - 6:00 p.m. (Dance lesson at 3:00)
  • Admission: $5 (Dance lesson included)
  • Location: Spanish Ballroom, Glen Echo Park 703-644-0551
  • Mary Pat Cooney will continue to teach at the Sunday afternoon dances.
  • Here's the rest of the Sunday series:, April 11, June 13, August 8, October 10 , December 12
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The Rhumba Bums are Coming to D.C
From: Miss Carmen Getit

Steve Lucky and the Rhumba Bums from San Francisco are making their debut in DC at George Washington University on Monday April 26.

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Report from Richmond
From: Teresa Egan

Hey Frank and Carole,
Buck and Teresa here checking in from Richmond. We thought that since we now have an actual scene in Richmond, we should write in like the rest of the gang in DC. Things are really picking up here. We are about to start our 4th series of Lindy classes (check out and have formed a great little following and a nice group of new friends. Many in DC have actually had the pleasure of meeting our students during outings at Glen Echo or during Tom and Debra's Hollywood weekend. And we are truly proud of how great our students are doing - they are addicts - just like you, we, and the rest of the DC crew!

Anyway, we want to tell you about our great weekend...This past weekend (Mar 20-21), a week off between our class sessions, marked the first of Richmond's non-event swing dances. By "non-event" I mean just a regularly scheduled Saturday eve, all ages swing dance like we have at Glen Echo. In this case, it was in the all purpose room of St. James Episcopal Church on Franklin Street and was organized and hosted by Heath Doyle - one of our first, and continuing, Richmond students. It was GREAT and a great time was had by all. There was ample seating around a nice large wood floor (about 2 times the size of Vienna Grille), and DJ Rick Danger, with assistance from the beautiful and pregnant Jackie Danger, spun the heppest tunes. Admission was only $5.00 from 9 to midnight ($3.00 extra if you came early for the mini-lesson which was nicely taught by Heath and Heather).

Nearly 70 people attended this first outing - a fine showing for our small but dedicated (and growing) swing community. While many of the folks there were or are students of ours, we happily saw many new faces. We did a demo to Posin at 10pm and, by the response of the crowd, may have inspired a few more new Lindy Hoppers.

A while back during our second class session we introduced our students to the Tom and Debra tradition of going out for eats after dancing. It was a big hit right from the start. This week we had our biggest group yet (15) as our established gang was joined by some newcomers. We started at Aunt Sarah's Pancake house but found (as we so often do at Silver Diner) that our business was not welcome. So, off we trekked to Denny's where we talked and ate till past 2am. Unfortunately, since I don't have Cameron's eloquence or memory, I cant recount any of the specific conversations - but I can report lots of laughing and fun. I expect that soon others in the group will begin to write up our (mis)adventures down here and distribute them, but until then, we hope you will humor us and let everyone up in DC know that they are welcome to come down anytime. Heath plans on a Saturday nite dance every 1st and 3rd Saturday - stay tuned to
---Buck and Teresa

ps Buck and I are on the cover of a swing CD dance compilation by Beach Bag Music in Florida. The first one with our picture came out a few weeks ago and another one is to come.

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Havana Street From: Danielle

There is a cool website I wanted to share with everyone...the site is mostly dedicated to 40s inspired clip art generated by two very talented guys (check out their portfolios) Recently they've added a clip art volume loaded with swing dancing images for only $39.00. You can also download free retro styled fonts!!! Even if you don't purchase any of the fine Havana Street products, it's worth a check out.

Welcome to Havana Street
---Danielle aka Be Bop Betty

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LWIR as a Resource
From: Rachel and Amy

Dear Frank and Carole,
I stumbled onto your site one day and it has become one of my favorite places to visit. It's so interesting to read about everyone's adventures. There isn't much going on with swing in our southern California area, but we are close enough to LA and San Diego to catch some of their action. What I love best about your place is the photo gallery. I love pictures, and so many of yours are awesome. My friend had to do a project for her history class, and we spent literally hours printing photos from your site to use on her swing project. You have enlightened me in so many ways. On behalf of Amy, thank you for the pictures. Keep up the good work and stay swingin'!
--- Rachel and Amy

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Vintage Weddings
From: Fritz Hahn

Hi Frank and Carole -
Just wanted to let you know that our vintage wedding story - including pictures from Carolyn's bridal shower - is online now on the Washington Post Swing Site.
Thanks for all your help!

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Directions to Valencia
From: Marty Lau

There will be be another jumping Harrisburg Rat Pack event this Fri.the 26th. It will include Big Tubba Mista, who recently played Nick's, the SavoySwingers (Harrisburg's only Lindy demo troupe), and suits from Eddie's fine clothing store (the only spot that the band shops). All this and more at the Valencia Ballroom in York PA This place is killer, it has the classy atmosphere of the America but 3 times as much floor space. The joint is with out a doubt the best room I have ever danced in.

Here's directions from I-95 to the Valencia Ballroom (in York, PA)

  1. I-95 North
  2. Take the I-695 West exit
  3. Merge onto I-695 North (go about 16 miles)
  4. Take the I-83 North exit
  5. Merge onto I-83 North (go about 37 miles)
  6. Take the exit for "South George Street" (A Left Exit that is about 3 miles long)
  7. The Ballroom is at 142 North George Street. You exit at about 1300 South George, so you have quite a few blocks to travel. The rest of the directions are a short cut down a parallell street (Duke St) which reduces the number of traffic signals you have to contend with.
  8. Turn right onto E. Jackson Street (about two blocks)
  9. Turn Left onto S. Duke Street and take it until it comes to a "T"
  10. Turn Left and go two blocks until another "T" at N. George Street
  11. Turn Left onto N. George Street -- the Valencia has a BIG Marquee covered by sparkling incandescent lights, about two blocks up.
  12. This is about 90 minutes from the intersection of I-95 and I- 495 in DC
  13. After the dance, go to Maple Donuts: go right at the Valencia, turn left on Market Street and continue for about 4 miles, well past the I-83 entrance. The donut shop is on your left. Try their "Peanut Butter and Jelly" filled donuts. Astounding!!!

Valencia Ballroom is located at 142 N. George Street, York, PA 17401. The phone number is (717) 843-7672. There is ample parking behind the ballroom.

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Swing Marathon at Zones
From: Greg

An all night SWING MARATHON at Zones on April 4

After lessons, we will plaster a number on each Swinger. No need to dance with the same partner all night, but you must have a partner while you dance. Once you take a break, you are out. You can still come back and dance, but you cannot continue in the competition. The one who can go the longest (and keep up with the best) all night wins the prize (cash! Gold's Gym Memberships!)

Anyway, let me know if you want to be on the VIP list for this Friday. Please send all names by 6 PM Friday. I just got back from LA, come find me then and I'll fill you in on my impressions of the Viper Room, the Bar Fly, and the ever so famous Brown Derby!

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Clothes in Nashville
From: Iver Cooper

Dear Frank and Carole:
I read about about a great place called Hohenwald. My guide says that the town is known for its junk stores... "Thousand-pound bales of clothing are shipped in from the north twice a week, and you can spend hours sifting through the piles of used clothing.... You can find old-timely clothes... and the majority of them are in a good condition. Prices are cheap--it's easy to walk away with a couple grocery bags bulging with clothes for $15." See Shifra Stein, Day Trips from Nashville, 1998. You take TN100 from Nashville to Centerville, then TN48 S to Hohenwald. You might also get there from the Natchez Trace Pkwy, heading N up 48.
--- Iver

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