|July, 1998 Forum|
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Archive of Dance Forum Articles From July, 1998
This is the archive of DANCE FORUM articles which appeared during July, 1998
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Thoughts on Daryl
My first encounter with "the other side" of Daryl was during the first of many visits to the illustrious Randy's California Inn, in lovely Laurel, MD. (Take a right just after the big Budweiser billboard....) Daryl would ply his trade before one of the biggest collections of barroom rednecks I have ever seen. Round about the beginning of the third set, a rather drunk white man would come up, try and sing a little Jerry Lee Lewis, and make the lewdest and most politically incorrect comments toward Daryl that I have ever heard.
And for me, that's saying something. As a white woman with "opinionated" ethnic relatives, who dated a boyfriend with relatives from the deep South--and one with German relatives who lived in Argentina...I have heard it all. But usually, these prejudices are deeply held, as most of society has set up a very public wall that prevents them from coming out into the open. Except occaisionally after a few beers...and that's what we had here.
It finally came all together for me another evening while sitting with my then, fiance, Steve, watching Arlington Public Access Cable TV. As we flipped past the channel, I spotted a rather heavy set man who looked an awful lot like Daryl. He was sitting next to a robed Klansman. It was Daryl (a few years and pounds ago) and the Klansman called him, "friend." You've gotta love public access cable.
Since then, there was an article in the Silver Spring Gazette which eluded to an upcoming book. Sunday's Post article [Editor's Note: Check last week's Dance Forum] focusses on the book, which, I gather, is now available in stores. I look forward to reading Daryl's book, which, I am sure, will help me learn more about this unfortunate aspect of American culture that permeates all our lives, no matter what our race.
Artie Shaw in Person
Hi again! I'm on the DC Jewish Community Center e-mail list, and I just received info on the following two programs. Perhaps it might be worthy of posting on your web site. (I'm not sure where dancing stuff leaves off and other stuff comes in, and the first one's FREE!!!
The Morris Cafritz Center for the Arts: Jazz Legends Artie Shaw and Jimmy Heath Headline Star-Studded Panel Exploring Jazz and African-American and Jewish Issues Legendary big-band leader Artie Shaw and be-bop saxophonist Jimmy Heath will be among the panelists on hand as the DCJCC hosts a panel discussion exploring the issue of jazz as a language and force for integration between the African-American and Jewish communities.
Shaw (Arthur Arshawsky) and Benny Goodman were Jewish big-band leaders in an industry dominated by African-American musicians. Their music and stories and those of Count Basie and Duke Ellington frame the discussion exploring race, ethnicity, music, culture and jazz as an integration force in America. Shaw and Heath will be joined by jazz notables Joe Wilder, veteran trumpeter for Basie, Goodman and others; Loren Shoenberg, musician and Benny Goodman's former archivist; and David Baker, Music Director for the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra. The DCJCC is honored to have Congressman and jazz aficionado John Conyers Jr. (D-Michigan) moderating the panel discussion.
This very special event is part of the DCJCC and Howard University's on-going program series "Windows and Mirrors: Continuing Conversations Between the African American and Jewish Communities," which combines the exploration of art and artists with in-depth discussions of topical issues and historical themes between the two communities. This very special program has been made possible by a generous grant from Steven Speilberg's Righteous Persons Foundation. Sunday, July, 19, 4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m., Cecile Goldman Theater at the DCJCC, 16th and Q Streets, NW, Free for members and non-members.
To reserve tickets, please call (202) 518-9400 ext. 230, or send e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Four-Part Class Explores Music and Impact of Jazz Legends Duke Ellington, Artie Shaw, Count Basie and Benny Goodman
WPFW's Larry Appelbaum takes students on a journey through the history of jazz as he explores the lives and music of four of jazz's most important and legendary musicians, Duke Ellington, Artie Shaw, Count Basie and Benny Goodman. Among the most revered and influential forces in American music history, their songs galvanized a nation and helped define what we now know as jazz.
Larry Appelbaum, host of WPFW's "The Sound of Surprise" will enliven each musician's career with historical background, anecdotes and lots of music to provide a context for understanding their impact. Appelbaum will also discuss how the music of these jazz legends and others became integrative force between the African-American and Jewish communities. Wednesdays, July 15-August 5, 7:30 - 8:30 p.m., $45 members / $65 non-members. To register for this class, please call Julie Guyot at (202) 518-9400, ext. 254, or send e-mail to: email@example.com
New Band in Town!
There's a new band in town -- Blue Moon Big Band. Sure, you've never heard of them but believe me the band is hot and swinging. My name is Rob Leonard and Blue Moon is, of course, my band. I've just got the beginnings of my web site up at www.bluemoonbigband.com -- please check it out.
I would like to invite you to come see us on Wednesday, July 22 for a free and open to the public concert at Centennial Park in Ellicott City (details in the "See Us Swing!" section of my site. As I said, the cost is free other than a $2 parking "donation" that I believe they will ask for.
Swing Dancing in London
I'm back from a wonderful trip to London and I am already being pestered by people to write a review. I went for a week (yes only one) to visit friends from when I lived there and to lindy. Incidentally, all the friends are now hooked on lindy hop and have all signed up for classes. Before I set off for London, I contacted Claire Colbert who is the Auntie Deb of Great Britain, friendly, full of gossip and an excellent dancer. Also, before leaving, check out Swing Time --- it has all the Swing related events listed. She arranged to meet me on Saturday, the day after I arrived in London, and drive me to a dance.
We arrived at Hellzapoppin' (Cecil Sharp House, Chalk Farm Tube Stop) fashionably late by two hours and walked into an almost empty dance floor. We stayed there for about an hour but we were both very disappointed that none of her lindy friends showed up. The place was full of 40s jive dancers (you can tell who they are by the country western outfits and the extremely bouncy hand). The dance floor was pretty good, although dimly lit. The only dances we got in were with each other. After about an hour, the English line dancing from upstairs was looking pretty good, but we dashed out of the church hall, jumped in Claire's "turquoise blue" P.U.N.K. car. We sped up to Watford (about 20 minutes away from London by car) to another dance. Here, the place was all Lindy hoppers, but only about 8 couples. Unfortunately, I had picked the night that all the dancers were either watching the World Cup (alas the English teamed got knocked out during the penalty shots) or queuing for Wimbledon tickets. I danced with all the guys several times, they were all quite friendly, but unfortunately, most were still in the process of learning the dance. The floor was nice and I joined in with the Shim Sham and the Stroll (not the Jitterbug stroll). Monday night was much better. The 100 Club (100 Oxford Street, Tottenham Court Road Tube stop, 7.30-12.00 6 pounds) is definitely the place to be. I arrived on time for the lesson so that my Lindy hop virgin friends could take it and was happy to see that there was an intermediate lesson going on at the same time. I learned a new Charleston step (which I have now taught to Cameron and Debra) I also saw Chris, a fellow DC lindy hopper there. The floor was excellent, the band wonderful and the dancers terrific. All of the dancers were very friendly and happy to try out the new (and significantly younger) dancer. I joined in, or at least attempted to, with the Madison, the Stroll and an unnamed dance which I am almost certain was the Electric Slide.
Finally, Wednesday night is Jitterbugs in Leicester Square (Notre Dame Hall, 9 Leicester Place, 7.30-11.30 5 pounds). I picked the week of their 7th birthday and had a great time. There was a nice wooden suspended floor and plenty of dancers. These guys did need a bit of coaxing to get them to dance with me, but after a while, I didn't sit down once. They provided nice big bottles of water and there was a great band playing.
Unfortunately, with all the visiting of friends and dancing, I only got to go to one vintage clothes store, but, as Trisha told me, Radio Days (87 Lower Marsh Road, SE1 7AB, Waterloo Tube stop) is the best place to go. I ended up there for four and a half hours just looking through everything from clothes to fans (no toasters) to old catalogues. I only left with one dress (I'm a teenager without a job), but could have purchased the whole store.
Folding the Pocket Square (LWIR Service Request)
We got this request from one of our readers:
"Dear Frank and Carole-
Here is our response:In general, the etiquette for the "pocket square" --- the thing that goes in the breast pocket of a suitcoat (and not that upon which you blow your nose...) is as follows:
Spread the pocket square out flat on, say a table. It should be upside down. A good one will have a little label sewn in one corner. Fold on the diagonal to make a big triangle Actually, a big RIGHT triangle-- that is a thing with a 90 degree angle and two 45 degree angles. Grab the thing at the upper "45" angle and fold down, about an inch past the edge, leaving one point. Do the same with the other "45", so you now have what looks like a square with two little "tails" hanging out. Take the point that is opposite the tails and fold it down between the two. You should be looking at something that resembles a F115 "Stealth" fighter. Fold the "wings" to the center and you have your complete pocket square. On this last step, make sure that you have created a thing that will fit in your pocket (i.e. measure beforehand).
Finally, press the thing to make sure that all the creases are sharp. If you have a silk pocket square BE CAREFUL --- use a damp towel to press. (Consult a Knowledgeable Source about fabrics)
Review of the du Maurier Montreal International Jazz
Well, as hopefully some of you noticed, Jim and I were conspicuous by our absence for a week and a half because we were in beautiful Montreal enjoying the du Maurier International Jazz Festival, 12 days of mostly free music ranging from Dixieland to traditional trios/quartets to funk to blues to acid jazz to SWING! Yes there was some scattered swing at Montreal this time.
It's catching on even in the "frozen north."
We arrived on Thursday, July 2 and were picked up at the airport by our friend Kathy from college, who married a Canadian and moved to Montreal shortly after we graduated, and who deposited us at our hotel for some much needed sleep! Friday we whipped out the guidebook, maps, program guide, and Kathy's list of suggestions to plan our week. We had already purchased tickets for Winton Marsalis and Ray Charles (figuring correctly that, if we waited until after we arrived to purchase tickets, they would be sold out). I knew we'd want to go to at least one more paying concert. So I glanced over the schedule to see what else was available. Bryan Lee, I noted. Terrific - great blues man we saw in Toronto 2 years ago. Gotta get those tickets for sure. Nothing else on the printed schedule really jumped out at me, so I switched over to the Mirror (the Montreal equivalent of the City Paper). I'm looking at their top picks and...BIG BAD VOODOO DADDY????!!!??? I didn't know they would be here! Well, it turns out neither did they. Charles Brown, legendary jazz man, had been scheduled to perform. Unfortunately, as is often the case with legends, Mr. Brown is a bit up there in years and had to cancel due to illness. Enter BBVD. We were so excited, as all reports and hunting around had indicated that there was absolutely no swing scene in Montreal, and the thought of not dancing at all for 10 days was killing us. We rushed right out to get tickets - and breakfast!
Dixieland is very big at Montreal. Fortunately we're fans (Jim more so than me). It had never really occurred to me, but Dixieland is eminently danceable, which meant that we were often found dancing in the middle of St. Catherine over the coming days. That first day, we saw what was probably the best Dixieland band of the whole trip, Aces of Dixieland. Very very fine musicians. On-lookers mostly ignored us, but throughout the week several people (usually middle aged or older) would stop us to tell us how much they enjoyed our dancing. That evening we also saw one of my FAVORITE blues bands, Saffire: The Uppity Blues Women, authors of such fine tunes as "You Can Have My Husband But Don't Mess With My Man" and "Give Me a Young, Young Man to Chase Away My Middle Aged Blues." We also listened and danced to the Susie Arioli Swing Band. She has a very nice voice, but it's basically a jazz trio that plays swing-era tunes.
They could use a few more instruments and a few more fast numbers before they really call themselves a swing band, but the foundation is definitely there.
Saturday found us brunching with Kathy, her spouse Ronald and their very sweet 3 year old Lily, plus some other friends from college, Jennifer and Mike, who are currently residents of Maine and who came up for the weekend.
It rained all Saturday afternoon, so we decided to wander over to Vieux-Port, land of funky art galleries, cute restos (Montreal-ese for small restaurants), and the best vintage store on the planet, Drags, and where nary is heard an English word. We spent hours in Drags having a ball and ending up with 3 great vintage ties for Jim, absolutely pristine bowling shirts for both of us, and two gorgeous 50's dresses for me: a navy sun dress trimmed with tiny daisies, and a red number that, while cotton, looks (to my untrained eyes anyway) like a party dress. We also spent some time in the galleries of Vieux-Port, making our way back to our hotel in late afternoon to clean up for dinner at the yummy traditional Italian Bocco d'Oro on St. Mathieu and the Winton Marsalis/Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra concert. The concert was just terrific, with the band finishing up with a Savoy-style jam in which each of them played a phrase of the music in turn standing in a long line.
After the concert, we found ourselves wandering along Crescent. The several blocks of Crescent remind me very much of Adams-Morgan, with clubs and restaurants lining both sides of the street. We heard faint swing music, and searched around until we found it coming from Stogies, a little second-story cigar and martini bar with a lovely large balcony, a low cover, and sadly no room to dance. But we stopped in for a while anyway and enjoyed listening to the band.
Sunday we saw La Bande a Magoo, purportedly very funny, but all the jokes were in French, so I understood only a few and Jim understood none at all. We had dinner at a chi-chi pan-Asian place called Zen in le Westin Mont-Royal. We felt very fashionable indeed. Sunday was also RAY CHARLES day. That man is just amazing - such energy and such command of the band, the piano, the Rayettes, and the audience. WOW! It was a thrilling concert, and we've now protected Ray from an untimely death (whenever we have the opportunity to see someone famous and not in good health and we miss it, they invariably die shortly thereafter). Later that evening, we went to see "Captain Beefy and the Mad Cows" which turned out to be a surprise free performance by some of the big names at the festival (as we'd suspected from the name): John Scofield and Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. St. Cat was rocking that night!
Monday saw us listening to Marie Vallee, a Francophone chanteuse with a deep smoky voice. Tres sexy! And at lunchtime no less! Monday was also BBVD day. I bet Jim a sizable sum of money that we would be the only Lindy Hoppers there. Given all reports, I was fairly certain of winning.
So we vintaged up, threw the Bleyers in the backpack, and headed over to the Spectrum, which was set up with elevated chairs and tables surrounding a central dance floor (which also had some chairs and tables set up on the back part). We got a seat as close to the front on the floor as we could and waited anxiously for the band to start. I saw some vintaged folks, but I suspected that they were probably all daddy-o's and kittens. When two vintage guys sat down at the other two seats at our table and struck up a conversation in which they revealed knowing nothing about dancing, I was even more sure of my victory.
Imagine my surprise when the band started up and we, politely sitting the first one out, saw two of the vintage couples get up and start a passable Lindy Hop! Well, that was it! We proceeded to dance almost every song of both sets, although about 1/2 way through the second set the folks who'd been drinking decided to get out and start dancing - we kept it up, just a lot smaller and to the one side to try as best as possible to avoid injury.
The evening was being taped for Canadian TV, so we pulled out all the stops. Yes, Gay, you're right - we were seriously wishing we knew some air steps, but we had to settle for fancy footwork. After about the 3rd song, one of the members of the original couples came over and told us how much she was enjoying our dancing and could we talk after? This was how we met the founders of the Montreal Swing Society.
We actually ended up talking during the break, and we met Mary and Fred (who you can read about in the travel guide entry on Montreal), as well as Stephan and Natalie. We had a lovely time talking about swing and lessons and what the scene is like in DC.
We told everyone about the site and about Dancestore.com, and came away with a renewed appreciation for our local scene: a plethora of options for bands, venues, teachers, and dance styles. Next time you find yourself complaining about the infamous cut-off at Glen Echo or the distance to Avalon or how crowded Tom and Debra's classes are getting or how much you dislike a particular band, think about what it would be like to have only ONE local swing event per month where basically everyone does Johnny Swing to CDs and teachers who, while experienced dance teachers, only learned the moves they're now showing you last week. Makes you thankful, and also appreciative of all the work that Tom and Debra and all our other local tireless Lindy promoters have done - and cognizant of all the work that Mary and Fred have in front of them.
Bonne chance, kids!
Tuesday was a big free music day for us - it was the frst evening we didn't have a "fancy" concert to attend, so we stayed down at the festival site most of the day listening to bands. Streetnix, a little mostly brass band that just came out with their first album, played at lunch time and opened with Tuxedo Junction, so we treated the crowd to what was probably Montreal's first ever Shim Sham. Shortly thereafter, we ran into Mary, who knows one of the band members and was down on her lunch break, and we made plans to hang out on Thursday, which turned out to be a very good decision on our part.
Then we met Stephan at a tux liquidation shop. He had the grand idea that if you purchase a coat maybe two sizes too big and in a long, it should be easy to alter into a Zoot-style jacket. Jim bought the argument, and the absurdly cheap light wool jacket, so we'll have to see what a good tailor can do. Jim would appreciate any suggestions anyone can offer.
We were also priviledged to hear legendary bluesman Honeyboy Edwards. His voice is pretty much shot and his playing isn't what is once was, but he is 83 years old, and it was a real treat to see yet another living legend. We also saw Greazy Meal, several of whose members used to play with the artist formerly known as Prince when he was the artist currently known as Prince, the Glamour Puss Blues Band, and Susan Tedeschi, who rocks my world. What a powerhouse!
Wednesday it rained, so we spent the day with Kathy and Lily at the Musee de Beaux Arts. They currently have a very nice Alberto Giacometti exhibit and an extensive collection of pre-modern art from Africa and Asia, but I think the best part was the first floor interactive displays. They've done a fabulous job of making art fun and easy to understand for children of all ages. Later in the day, we listened to some acid jazz which I enjoyed, but Jim and Kathy didn't, and then met Ronald for dinner. We went to Fonduemental, the only fondue restaurant I've ever been to. What a fun concept! We ate cheese fondue on bread and veggies, drank wine, and had a grand time. And, as they have a small child who had to get home to bed, we got back down to the festival site in time to catch SCAT C.A.T. (Claude Arnold Thibaul), a very talented young singer who, while not exactly Ella, is doing a fine job of keeping scat alive, and Studebaker John and the Hawks, another very fine blues band.
Thursday, it was raining off and on. Unfortunately, one of the flaws of the Montreal fest is that the outdoor concerts are really outdoors - many of the stages don't even have roofs for the band - so when it rains, outdoor concerts are cancelled. We caught pieces of several bands, the most disappointing of which was the Vern Isaac Big Band - the band was great; the disappointing part was that they got rained out 1/2 way through.
We met Mary, Fred, and some of their friends for dinner shortly thereafter. We were introduced to the very Francophone Francois and Chantal and their baby, the outdoorsy Sue, Debra, who does the best Ethel Merman I've ever heard, and Mary's quiet but charming co-worker Monique. After dinner, we went to an acid jazz indoor concert to which Mary had gotten free tickets and heard Jazz Pharmacy and the Herbaliser. And I got my first West Coast lesson from Mary, accomplished dancer and dance teacher that she is. You haven't seen funny until you've seen someone trying to learn the basic West Coast follower's foot pattern to acid jazz. And you should have seen the looks we were getting from the bystanders!
Shortly thereafter, we decamped for a salsa club on St. Catherine, where we were introduced to Sonny Allen, a friend of Frankie and Norma's, and the only other regular from the Savoy Ballroom days (to the best of his knowledge) who's still dancing and teaching. He's still dancing up a storm, and we enjoyed watching him salsa, mambo, and merenge for hours. We also got to chat with him a bit about his experiences at the Savoy and in the years since, and about dance technique and theory. If you're ever in NYC, be sure to look him up (info's in the travel guide for Montreal). He's also very active in the New York Swing Dance Society, so if you ever see a man who looks a bit like James Brown and has some of the smoothest moves you've ever seen, go introduce yourself!
Just in case you were wondering, yes, devotees of other styles of dancing stay out much too late on nights they have to go to work, too. We left at 2 am with Mary and her friend Nick who had joined us just before we left for the salsa club while the regular Montreal crowd was off to yet another club to continue dancing! If you're interested in salsa or tango in Montreal, be sure to contact Mary at the number listed in the travel guide entry.
Friday it was also raining off and on, so we caught parts of some bands and ended up doing some window shopping in Montreal's several big shopping centers by default. Friday night we went to Bice, a chi-chi nouveau Italian place on rue Sherbrooke with absolutely wonderful food and slightly risque artwork (note to Tom: if you're ever in Montreal, be sure to go!). It was also Biddle's night! For more info about Biddle's, check the travel guide. Friday night was just the regular trio with his daughter, who has a really lovely voice - sort of Nina Simone-ish, as the special guest. It was packed due to the bad weather closing the terrace, so we split in time to catch Eddie Shaw and the Wolf Gang, another rockin' blues group, at the Spectrum.
Saturday, we caught the Francophone String Swing at lunchtime. Clever gimmick, and the violin/guitar/string bass trio played lots of classic swing, but without the drum it just really wasn't danceable. We enjoyed them, but were a bit disappointed, as we'd been hoping to dance. As the weather finally cleared up, we decided to spend some more time wandering Vieux-Port and looking at the sights in the afternoon. We had some very interesting conversations about the script, and discovered that if we ever move to Montreal, we want to live along Place Jacques-Cartier, a gorgeous pedestrian mall in the middle of Vieux-Port.
Saturday evening was Bryan Lee, a man who plays hard-driving blues fast enough to Lindy to. So, dressed in our brand new vintage bowling shirts, we did, to the consternation of the surrounding people, who couldn't figure out what the hell we were doing. We had room enough not to kick people, but this was a strictly sway and bop crowd, so partner dancing seemed to leave them quite befuddled. After dinner in Chinatown and a stroll along St Denis to enjoy the night life and colorful crowds, we decided to head back to Stogie's, as they were to have a traditional jazz group playing (Jim was getting a little tired of all the acid jazz and funk and was looking for a nice quartet). There was a group of loud, drunk, obnoxious American frat-boy type guys commandeering the balcony, so we sat inside for a while, and then one of the outside tables behind the band and around the corner from the Ugly Americans opened up, so we scurried back there to listen and people watch, leaving much later than we should have. Montreal is truly the city that doesn't sleep.
Sunday after packing up and checking out, we breakfasted and then headed down to the festival site one last time, stopping to pick up a few CDs by festival artists we had particularly enjoyed along the way. Shortly thereafter, we met back up with Kathy to return to the airport to return home. I can definitely highly recommend both Montreal and the Jazz Festival as vacation destinations, and if you ever do get up there, be sure to get in touch with Mary and Fred - they are absolutely charming and absolutely welcoming and you won't regret it!
Hey Lindy Hoppers -
Well, I quickly lost trust in them. I did a couple smaller things for them, one of which was rewritten to sound different, another rejected on the basis of politics. When I finally got around to sending them something on swing, they said they wanted "more." I won't go into it, but more in this case meant making all of us look like jerks.
Needless to say I pulled the piece and won't be doing
business there. Just thought you all should know - beware of city
paper writers who approach you about swing, They do not have out
best interests in mind.
Augusta Heritage Festival Swing Week
They were GREAT! George Welling (the guitar player from Tom Cunningham) played trumpet. I was suprised to see him playing that instrument and after the gig I said to him, "George , you were great, I didn't know that you played trumpet too." to which he replied " I don't, this is my first time." That statement clued me in to the extremely high quality of the musicians particitating in this event.
Dianne Latchrupp and Johnnie Martinez taught six count Jitterbug, Tango (great for partnering skills) and West Coast Swing. Dianne's studio in NYC is the third largest in the country, featuring 60 classes a week!! It was a real pleasure watching them perform and teach. Mary Pat Cooney, Barry Koffer, and Bob Stout taught Two-Step and Slow Dancing.
Mary Pat once worked for the Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus, riding on elephants and doing the high rope act, Who knew! Oy Vey!
After having danced and taught with Nici for about six or seven years and am still surprised to find that I always seem to learn something from her every time we get together, well considering that she has 30 years of swing dance experience it's no wonder.
On the whole, it was a pretty interesting week, talking to the
musicians and trying to find out why their perspective on music
is so different from dancers. Some day I hope to understand.
See you on the floor!!
Art Show By: Ellen Werther Heartsdesi@aol.com
I just put up two pieces in a show at the DC Art Center (ACDC), 2438 18th Street in the heart of Adams Morgan. The show opens this Friday (July 24) at 8:00 p.m. and runs thru September 7th.Everyone is invited to partake in good food, music (chances are real good it is NOT swing) and what have you....and to support local artists (such as yours truly) Would love to see you all there before dancing. Thanks!
"Lindy Hop" is the Answer
Here are some questions to which "Lindy Hop" is the correct answer:
How do you...
First Annual American Lindy Hop Championships
ARTSPECTRUM in association with BOOGE DANCE PRODUCTIONS presents the First Annual American Lindy Hop Championships October 30th, through November 1, 1998 featuring workshops, dances and competitions. Norma Miller will be Master of Ceremonies. The bands are: George Gee and The Make-Believe Ballroom Orchestra and Nick Palumbo and the Flipped Fedoras!! The event will be held at Season's Resort Great Gorge, New Jersey (800-835-2555). The event costs $99; meals and hotel are $150. For tickets and more information call 800-64-SWING or e-mail: BoogieDP@aol.com or firstname.lastname@example.org Check out our website at: www.BoogieDance.com
Blues, Smooth Style Lindy, Boogie Woogie, East Coast Swing, Lindy Hop, Aerials, Lifts and Drops, Shim Sham, African, Tap, Rock and Roll, and West Coast Swing
This year's Championships is at Seasons Resort and Conference Center located at the base of the Hamburg Mountains overlooking Vernon Valley/Great Gorge in New Jersey on Route 517. Seasons is 50 miles west of New York City. Along with the competitions, the event workshops and dances, guests may take advantage of the indoor swimming pool and tennis courts video arcade, fitness center, horseback riding and masssage therapist during their stay.
Room price of $150 is based upon double occupancy and includes breakfast and dinner Friday evening through Sunday morning.
Those traveling to the Great Gorge area by air have the option of flying into Newark Airport or the closer Stewart-Newburgh Airport.
By bus, travel to Warwick, NJ. You can arrange hotel shuttle pickup or take a taxi to the Seasons.
Registration confirmations will include directions to the Seasons by automobile. If you have internet access directions and other information can be accessed at www.BoogieDance.com
Glen Echo Nuthouse and the New Savoy
Well, Glen Echo is officially a madhouse on Saturdays. The popularity is fine, if unnerving at times. The question is, where's the billionaire sugar daddy who's going to open the New Savoy in D.C. so all these kids can swing instead of waiting in a line all night? Just think - it'll be like the opening of the first one, which I recently read about in the book "When Harlem was in Vogue." A passage:
"The March 1, 1926 opening of the Savoy shook America as
profoundly in its own way as the 1913 [avant-garde art] Armory
Show had turned the world of mainstream art inside out.
Architecturally, the Savoy dazzled with a spacious lobby framing
a huge, cut-glass chandelier and marble staircase, an orange and
blue dance hall with soda fountain, tables, and heavy carpeting
covering half its area, the remainder a burnished dance floor 250
feet by 50 feet [Editor's Note: 12,500 sq. ft or roughly
double Glen Echo's dance floor] with two bandstands and a
disappearing stage at the end. Four thousand people could be
entertained at one showing.... Jay Fagan and the Gale brothers,
the promoters and the backers, spent more than $200,000
[Editor's Note: about $6.4 million today] on the
block-long building. It was worthy of Harlem, and [no other hall]
regularly evoked as much pure joy from Harlemites as when
stompin' at the Savoy. Opening night was pandemonium. "You
will be bombarded with a barrage of the most electrifying spasms
of entertainment ever assembled under one roof, " the
publicity promised. The hour of delirium came after the crowd
had been revved up by Fess Williams' Royal flushers, and
Charleston Bearcats, and Eddie Rector's band. At 1:30, Fletcher
Henderson's Rainbow Orchestra arrived to a standing
ovation....and when the wiry little conductor eventually led the
men through the finale, the brand-new building seemed to shift on
PS. I also regret ascribing my own overarching sociopolitical views about swing to all the dancers in the city paper article. From now on I'll be careful to speak only for myself.
[Editor's Note: If the capacity of the Savoy was 4,000, why isn't the capacity of the Spanish Ballroom 2,000?]
Hello! Following some swinging links I got at your pages... surely appreciated its contents. Dropping you a note to tell you about the Rockhouse website at
On line here our most interesting music data base for our
mailorder activities: specialising in forties, fifties, early
sixties and lotsa lindy hop and swing of course. Also featured is
the section for our 2 labels, Rockhouse and Kix-4-u. On Rockhouse
the best Amsterdam swing bands such as Torello's Jive Bugs, Blue
Moon Special, Pee bee and the nighttrain. Even some audio thereT
hanks for your time and best wishes from Holland,
The Rachel Page
Heya Frank and Carole!
Okay, on to more exciting news. I saw Speakeasy Spies play the Texas Federation of Women's Clubs in Austin over the weekend, and man, were they fantastic. I'm not sure if they've been through the D.C. area. Their song "Speak Real Low" off the CD of the same name is my favorite. They catered to the dancers very well, in my opinion, and we all had a blast.
Four on the Floor, the swing organization in Austin, sponsored the event. Matt and Laura are instructors in Austin, and are part of Four on the Floor (if you've seen the tapes from Monsters of Swing '98 in Ventura, you'd catch Laura winning the Jack 'n Jill, or in the dance scene from the movie "The Newton Boys"). They are exciting dancers who are defining the Austin dance scene with a dominance not unlike that of Tom and Debra.
I was talking with Laura when I was approached by an Austinite inquiring after the location of the place where I bought my Bass black-and-whites. Laura was quick to say they could be found at the Dancestore.com, and I asked her if she knew Gay and Dave or Frank and Carole. She said, "The people who run that marvelous web site?" and my answer was yes, and that I had the pleasure of knowing you personally. Laura was all sorts of excited, saying that she was big fan of the page, and that she would love to meet you guys. Apparently, the word has spread to the rest of Austin...
So that makes Austin AND Dallas fans of yours, and all the more reason for y'all to mosey on down for a visit!! :)
Pictures of Dancers
Take a look at this site. It contains about 700 pictures of dancers (actually showgirls) taken before World War II.
[Editor's Note: We looked at it and it is a veritable treasure trove for anyone interested in costume design.]
Mood Swings Mondays
Mood Swings Mondays, "The Ultimate in Swing Dance" Co-sponsored by Mood Swings Big Band and Club Hollywood in Annapolis.
Club Hollywood and Mood Swings Big Band, have teamed together to produce a non-stop big band swing production that harnesses the energy and power of 1990's swing with the classic stylings of the 1940's Big Band era.
Mood Swings Big Band has been performing regularly at area swing dances but there's nothing regular about Mood Swings Mondays. Guests to Mood Swings Mondays will be treated with an early complimentary catered buffet which will be promptly worked off in fine swing fashion. After the buffet, guests will enjoy dance lessons provided by National Dance Council of America instructor John Dawson. John is a regular at many Mood Swings Big Band events and has all the right moves to get you swingin'.
At 8:00 PM, the stage of Club Hollywood and the very large adjacent dance floor will undergo an electric transformation. LIGHTS! CAMERA! SWING, SWING, SWING!
Mood Swings Big Band will present the classics of the 1940's Big Band Era Following Mood Swings Big Band, Club Hollywood will continue to swing with all of your classic and modern swing favorites complete with a sound system and lights/effects show that will keep your two-tones and zoot suits screaming.
All night long, there will be giant-sized wall screens featuring all of your favorite big band and swing action. Club Hollywood also features an oversized bar area with neon-lit pool tables, video games and all sorts of wild fun. On the flip side, guests can enjoy a relaxing cocktail at the Martini Bar, savor the flavor of Macanudo, and delight in the classic 1940's scenery and styling of the all new Mood Swings Mondays at Club Hollywood.
Reservations are not required and tickets can be purchased at the door, however a limited number of special VIP packages are now on sale. VIP Packages priced at $10 include guaranteed seating, a commemorative autographed picture of Mood Swings Big Band, discounts on all Mood Swings Merchandise including polo shirts, tee shirts, watches and more! Call or visit the website for further details. Regular admission, which is a $5 cover charge paid at the door is waived for all VIP ticket holders.
Mood Swings Mondays will debut with a grand "preview" opening on Monday August 3rd. Mood Swings Mondays will then return with a full grand opening on Monday, September 4th and be open on every Monday Night for Mood Swings Mondays. Each Monday night will feature a different swing big band or swing band including many local favorite bands as well as spotlighting of regional and national acts. Stay tuned for more information.
Club Hollywood in Annapolis is located at 30 Hudson Street just off exit 23 off Route 50. From Route 50 take exit 23 and make a LEFT onto WEST street. Follow one block past Solomon's Island Road and Hudson Street will be on your left. Club Hollywood is one of the area's newest and hottest clubs and is an incredible facility with an excellent young and friendly staff that is all too eager to get swingin'! For more information on Club Hollywood, please call 410-266-5888.
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