|November, 1998 Forum|
The Forum in November
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Archive of Dance Forum Articles From November, 1998
This is the archive of DANCE FORUM articles which appeared during November, 1998
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From: Iver Cooper email@example.com
Dear Frank and Carole:
The Tuckahoe silent/live Auction is on Sat 11/21 at the NRECA building in Arlington. Admission is $3
Current schedule is:
After 9:30 is the live auction, so we can't dance anymore.
Venus on the Half Shell
Hi there! Love your site but I found a very glaring omission!
When listing your sites for vintage clothing in the Frederick
area you failed to name "Venus on the Half Shell" as a
source! We are the ONLY store in Frederick that deals
exclusively in vintage clothing. Our huge store specializes in
wearable vintage fashions from the 1920's to the 70's. We are
especially proud of our service to the swing community. We have
a rather large men's selection and lots of ladies stuff in a
variety of styles. We are also currently working on becoming a
seller of Bleyer shoes--the ONLY place in Frederick to get em!
We are also the EXCLUSIVE outlet for Home for the Holiday's
tickets (a HUGE yearly big band event) We've been in biz for
almost 3 years. Our address is 151 North Market Street in
Frederick, (301) 662-6213.
Chicago Swing Site
I have developed a new Swing Site for the Chicago area. Check it out!
The Hula Monsters Web Site
The Hula Monsters Have their own website:
The next hula club gigs are:
Hope to see you there!
Michael and the Little Professors
Hi Frank and Carole---
I look forward to hearing from you, and yes, we have a demo,
and it's a killer.
Reflections After a Year
It seems hard to believe, but Tuesday, October 27 was the one year anniversary of our very first anxious and awkward night in Tom and Debra's beginner class. In some ways I still feel very much the rank beginner, particularly when I think of all there is still to learn about Lindy Hop - not to mention all the other great styles of dance out there! - and when I look around at so many of the wonderfully talented dancers we have here in DC and realize how far I have to go. But in some ways, it feels like I've been doing this forever, and much as it's difficult to remember what life was like before I could read, it's difficult now to remember what it was like when my feet didn't automatically start to move in basic triple-step pattern when the music starts.
So now seems like a good time to thank all the people who've helped out along the way in getting me from sitting at VSO 1997 loving (but not understanding) what I was watching and thinking, "I could never learn to do that!" to the reasonably competent dancer I am today, who attended VSO 1998 to take workshops and steal moves from the competitors ;-) and who understood what I was watching so that I *could* steal moves.
First and foremost, thanks to Tom and Debra. Without your performance at VSO 1997 in Open Classic Lindy Hop (and your vintage clothes that evening), I would still probably be sitting around thinking, "You know, some day I'd really like to learn how to dance. I wonder if I could take lessons somewhere?" Without your tireless labor of love in promoting Lindy and swing in the DC area, we wouldn't have one of the best and biggest scenes in the country, and I wouldn't have been able to develop even the set of skills I currently have because I wouldn't have had nearly as many opportunities to dance. Without your terrific teaching skills, patience, eternal willingness to answer questions and correct mistakes, and obvious love of the dance I might not have even stayed with it after that first beginner class, when I was starting to get a taste of what's possible with the dance but it seemed like I'd never get there myself. And your continuing efforts to bring in internationally-recognized teachers and great bands continues the development and improvement of the scene, the community, and the dancing.
Thanks also to Hutch. If you didn't have the vision and drive to have VSO in the first place, to promote it so well that little ole non-dancing me saw it last year and thought, "What a fun thing to go watch over Columbus Day weekend!", and the foresight to include Lindy and jitterbug even when this was a mostly West Coast swing scene, I wouldn't be dancing today. I hear doing coaching with you is going to change my life - I can't wait! After the marathon, look out!
Thanks to Frank and Carole. Without you two, we certainly wouldn't have gotten into the crowd of "regulars" as quickly as we did (we still might not be in there even now!), and we wouldn't be dancing even as well as we are now because we wouldn't have been able to attend even 50% the dances we have. I am still amazed at Frank's generosity in offering us rides all over the place (even when he has to go far out of his way to drop us off or pick us up). One Tuesday in mid-January 1998, when we were just starting our first intermediate series, I happened upon the website and saw Frank's e-mail. I sent him a message asking if he had thought about setting up a rides board. The next thing I know, he was offering to pick us up at Friendship Heights and take us out to Vienna Grille. At that point, all the social dancing was out in the 'burbs, and Frank and Carole generously ferried us all over the place so we would have a chance to practice the moves we were learning from Tom and Debra. Aside from all the work you do right along side Tom and Debra promoting Lindy and swing in the DC area and around the country, you have been particular friends to us. Without you, we wouldn't be in the community the way we are, and we wouldn't have gotten in nearly the amount of practice we have over the past year. I still knowthat if I go to dance and can't find another way home, Frank will always drop me off even if it takes him out of his way. I know you both hate the term "den parents," but you're like a fairy godmother and godfather to me.
Thanks to Cameron - you were the first "regular" to dance with me at the end of my first beginner series. I still remember how bad I was (I just hope you've forgotten by now!), and how much it meant to me that one of the good dancers would ask beginner me to dance.
Thanks to Iver - also one of the earliest "regulars" to dance with me on a frequent basis. I have learned a tremendous amount from you - you've taught me moves, you've taught me more about frame, you've helped teach me to have fast feet, and you've taught me an incredible amount about how to stay on my toes, pay attention, and react quickly as a follower as you constantly amaze me - every dance - with moves I've never seen before. You were also the very first one to invite Jim and me over for an evening of viewing dance tapes and figuring out moves, something that I suspect will be a fixture of our social life for some time.
Thanks to Jim Kranyak - your enthusiatic support and enjoyment of our dancing was probably the deciding factor in finally getting us out for our first jam back in May. Your support of us gave us both the confidence to be willing to enter performance space for the first time. You were - I think - the first dancer to offer us compliments on our dancing, which meant - and still means - an incredible amount to both of us.
Thanks to Gay, Buck, and Dave for Dancestore. Without Bleyers, I would still be wearing my saddle shoes, I probably would've torn up my knees, and I'd probably be injured right now, instead of avidly dancing AND preparing to run my first marathon. Thanks also for all the great dance stuff you've labored to put together - the clothes, the tapes, the accessories. Thanks particularly to Gay - I can always count on you to be honest about how a move looks and to provide frank commentary - both positive and negative - on how I'm doing as a dancer. You and Dave were also the ones who coaxed us - unwillingly - to start on some air steps, and then took time you could've been out dancing and having fun to work with us on learning them.
Thanks to all the excellent leaders who asked me to dance when I was too scared to ask you, and to all those who said yes when I asked - the Cowles brothers, PsychoBoy, Charlie, Eric C, Ron, Buck, Duke, Bill, Mike Henry, Dr. Dan, Ray, Steve D, Dave, Jeff, Thomas, Matt S, Dan Daley, Naomi, Jim Kranyak, Eric Robinson, Frank, Frank the Magician, Mike Hess...I know I'm missing people here!...and to the many I've danced with at Glen Echo, Chevy Chase Ballroom, Vienna Grille, America, and other venues whose names maybe I didn't get. You all share a part in making me the dancer I am today (now whether that makes you proud or embarrased is for you to say...just not where I can hear you! ;-)
Thanks also to everyone who has provided a ride for us over the past year - Chris B, Cameron, Frank, Carole, Debra, Dan D, Dr. Dan, Eric, Deb Brooks, Christy - and to the many more who've called *us* to *ask* if we needed a ride just to make sure we had a way to get to dances. We wouldn't be dancing like we are without you, because fun as it is, rolling up the rug and practicing in the living room is just not the same.
Thanks finally to the entire DC dance community. When we walked into our first beginner class, we'd only been living in DC for about 6 weeks. We didn't know anyone here yet (other than co-workers), and we didn't have any kind of a social circle. This is a wonderfully warm and welcoming group of people. You share your humor, your time, your expertise, food (I have never gone to Vienna Grille when there *hasn't* been a cake!), and your cars without even a second thought. In my humble estimation, DC has perhaps the best swing scene in the country. Yes, we have lots of great local bands. Yes, we have some damn fine local teachers. Yes, we have an abundance of good to excellent dance venues. But what *makes* this scene is the people - the dancers. Whether it's a new air step, a cool break move, a routine from a workshop, a dance tape, or a regular partner, everyone shares with everyone else. And we have so many really excellent local dancers that we all always have something to reach for and someone who is always moving the bar just a little higher. Thank you for helping make the past year of my life so fun, tiring, interesting, occasionally frustrating, busy, and grand. And it just keeps getting better!
There is a fun movie with a good group Charleston number comming up in November on AMC. Channel 18 in Montgomery county. (Channel 34 in the District and Channel 11 in Arlington)
Tea for Two (1950) November 30 at 9:45 pm and 3:15 am.
Check the AMC website for other Lindy related films:
[Editor's Note: We also reccommend that you also check out AMC for Irene, a comedy that has a great Lindy routine in it near the end -- of all things to a jive version of "Alice Blue Gown." We think that Frankie Manning may be one of the dancers. Let us know what you think]
DJ, Will Work for Swing!
Hi....I'm a veteran nightclub DJ with a strong swing CD
library. I would like to start a Wednesday or Thursday Swing
Night in the area. I have the PA gear and some leads on
obtaining floor space. Is there a way to post a note inviting
instructors and/or clubs who might like to co-sponsor? Thanks
Closing out 1998 with Too Much Fun
Aboard the 30+ year old bus, custom built for Roy Clark and now owned by Clay Blaker, Too Much Fun and Blaker's Texas Honky Tonk Band just completed another jaunt thru the honky tonks of Texas. Somewhere between hunting for Starbuck's and playing that old tele, Bill showed off his new Susan Penn creation - a handmade shirt featuring a diesel truck and the "Swing Fever" Diner. These splendiferous shirts were made to be seen so we'll get some pics, taken at Texas' Gruene Hall and the Continental Club.
The big rig is iconic among Dieselbillians but there was a time in September of this year when Too Much fun was anti-truck ...yessir....the boys and their mamas hated diesels and for a few days the tele played no truckin' tunes. It was all because a big ol' 18-wheeler almost made a pancake out of the TMF van as they were leaving a toll booth on the Delaware turnpike. Johnny said the trucker threaded the needle perfectly, spitting the van 20 feet out the other end of the tollbooth. All's well that ends well...sort of. Johnny, Jack and Bill are "purt' near okay" and playing dieselbilly again, but the van now sits on the farm in Maryland as a monument to the power of the Mack beast.
Once again, Too Much Fun has received several WAMMIE nominations and this year, Peter Bonta holds up his end by getting 3 nominations of his very own. Congrats to 4 of the Balto/Wash area's finest musicians.
Louise Kirchen, a singer, songwriter and guitar player in her own right, has contributed a track to a new Washington area compilation due out December 15, entitled the "District of Country." For those of you who don't know, Louise got her start in the Californian renegade country band, Rowdy and the Rivets. She's recorded in studios from San Francisco's Wally Heider's to Fredericksburg, Virginia's Wally Cleaver's. Her compositions have appeared on stage, screen and CD. Louise's song "Why Wyoming" played while Sam Shepard and Kim Basinger steamed up the screen in the film, Fool For Love. For info on the CD, write to Diana Quinn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The current schedule covers everything right up until New
Year's Eve but if there are changes, you will of course be the
first to know. Hope your holiday season is a good one and see ya
on down the road.
"We now know why Leo Fender made the Telecaster! We now
know what one is supposed to sound like and we know why there is
no finish left on your (Bill's) tele. "
Anna in Sweden.....the adventure continues....
Well kids, things here are going just swimmingly and I couldn't be having more fun. At Jesse's Jazz Club last week the band knocked my socks right off! The lead singer, Jennie Löbel, has won the Louis Armstrong award for her vocals. What a voice on that girl! And what a night of simply wonderful dancing.
Then, on this past Sunday I was part of something I never thought I'd be able to say I would be a part of....here's the story of Minnie the Moocher, and how I got to perform WITH the Rhythm Hot Shots as that most famous of 'Hoochie Coochers'.
It was a dark and stormy night (well dark anyway) and I was at a party with Catrine, Eddie, and Eva. A nice little gathering where after he had several drinks in him, Eddie (AKA *Mr. I-don't-social-dance) was rarin' to go and we danced quite a few songs. After leaving the party the four of us plus Joel (from SF) headed out to a pub. While we were
there Eddie was trying desperately to talk Catrine into performing the next night with them, seeing as how they needed a Minnie. But Catrine was unable due to her recent knee surgery, so she jokingly says to him..."What about Anna?" From that point on, I was in their hands. :0)
The next night at Jesse's there was to be a huge party (some rich guy turning 70) and TRHS were performing 4 numbers. Minnie was the 2nd number, and Eddie was to sing it dressed in his bright yellow plaid Zoot replete with big red hat. They did one chorus to teach the crowd how to sing along with their hi-de-hos and then the number started over
again fresh. When that first trumpet solo started I was to saunter out and regale the crowd with my sheer 'sauciness'. Not hard for me you can imagine :0). I spotted the birthday boy and wrapped my boa around him and then pulled him to his feet to dance a few bars, then on the 'King of Sweden' line I (gently) pushed him back into his chair and made my saucy way over to Eddie where we did some jazzy little steps together before I made my way into the rest of the audience. What fun!! Eddie says I did a fabulous job and I even got some money out of it.
OH!....and don't let me forget the end when they were taking their bows....I had already changed into my 'Dang-its-cold-outside-clothes' when I heard calls for Minnie from the audience, so I put The big yellow Zoot jacket on and the stylin' red hat and went out to take my bow with everyone else. Can I just tell you I was on cloud 9? The Hot Shots are wonderful and amazing performers and I am quite proud to say that I got to be a part of them, if only for one night.
The band that was playing was amazing too! They have been together for 35 years and have a sound like no other (non-vintage that is, they have plenty authenticity). They are called 'Wasabandet'.
Other than dancing, great parties, and too much delicious
Swedish food not much is going on. It is stunningly beautiful
here, when the sun is up....(dark at 3:30 now! Jeepers!).....and
even when it is down. It has snowed twice and the temperature
has plummeted in the past week with NO signs of rising again.:0(
I wish I had packed warmer. I miss everyone like crazy and I
don't know how long it is going to take me to RE-learn the Dean
Collins stuff once I'm back, but my Savoy style Lindy has been
and is being polished with every outing. Toodle-loo for now and I
send more updates as I am able. My love to everyone in the DC
Although it seems like eons ago, the New Morty Show at the Birchmere was a blast - yes. But for me it also signifies loss - that is , the loss of my beloved blackDoc Martin size 7 and ˝ shoe - the left shoe. Would you be so kind as to broadcast the news of my loss and ask if anyone has a clue where it might be? The Birchmere does not. In fact, they laughed when I told them I left a shoe there. They'll have to get used to finding the things dancers leave behind with the new dance floor. I think I left it at the rear of the dance floor at a table (or under a table) four tables from the sound booth's right. thanks
Jody and Royce White's Lindy Classes
I hope all is well with you and yours. How did Iver's party go? At the last minute we couldn't come. I am sorry we missed it. I have some new information for your emails and website. We now have a website:
Here is some information on our classes as well as a notice about
a FREE Day-After-Thanksgiving Lindy Dance and Free Lesson on
Classes: Instructors Royce and Jody White will lead you from basic
through intermediate steps so you can start dancing almost right
away. You don't need to bring a partner, although it is fun to
bring someone - we rotate partners. The class runs for eight
weeks. Payment in full is due on or before the first lesson and
cost $64 per person. Call 703-331-2234 for more information and
to reserve your space. Preregistration is strongly encouraged;
class size is limited, fills up fast and closes when full. No
Drop-ins allowed - you must be registered for the entire 8 week
session. You can mail your payment or register on our website .
Just want to dance? We have Open dancing as well. Monday Nights: Thursday Nights: Friday Nights: Location: Centreville Dance Academy, 14215-J Centreville
Square, Centreville, VA, across from the Giant food store. Call
this cell number ONLY if you get lost - 540-270-7649. Directions From Northern VA / Maryland Directions: Take 66 west about 15 miles to the Route 29 exit
at Centreville (about a half mile past the Route 28 exit). Get
off the exit and turn left onto Route 29. Turn right at the next
light (Machen Drive), then left at the next light (St. Germain
Drive). Go about a hundred yards and turn left into Centreville
Square (Giant food is on your right before you turn). Make an
immediate right into the parking lot and look for the dance
studio on the left (the sign says Dance & Fit). From Manassas and Warrenton Take 66 east to the Route 29 exit at Centreville. Get off the
exit and turn right at the next light (Machen Drive), then left
at the next light (St. Germain Drive). Go about a hundred yards
and turn left into Centreville Square (Giant food is on your
right before you turn). Make an immediate right into the parking
lot and look for the dance studio on the left (the sign says
Dance & Fit). What to bring: Soft sole shoes (flats or tennis shoes), comfortable clothes
(nothing tight), a good attitude, excitement, desire to learn,
vintage clothing (if you want). Free Day-After Thanksgiving Lindy Swing Dance. (Centreville,
VA) Free Beginners Lesson: 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm Did somebody say free? Well, we're thankful. And we're having
a free dance to show our thanks. The Day-After-Thanksgiving,
Friday, November 27, we've got three hours of open dancing at
our Centreville, Virginia location (see above for directions).
We normally have open dancing every Friday night from 9:00 pm
- 11:00 for $5 at the door, but on November 27th, it's free. If
you're thinking about learning to Lindy Hop (1940's swing
dance), come on over early Friday at 7:00 pm and take a test
drive free lesson for an hour. If you're already dancing and want a place to work off your
turkey dinner, head on down from 8:00 pm (right after the free
lesson) for three hours of dancing. Royce White will be spinning
CDs. Check the website or call 703-331-2234 for more information
(email email@example.com). So strap on your black and whites and come on over Friday
night, November 27th and dance the night away! See you
there. Thanks so much for all you do for the community. You're a
Instructors Royce and Jody White will lead you from basic through intermediate steps so you can start dancing almost right away. You don't need to bring a partner, although it is fun to bring someone - we rotate partners. The class runs for eight weeks. Payment in full is due on or before the first lesson and cost $64 per person. Call 703-331-2234 for more information and to reserve your space. Preregistration is strongly encouraged; class size is limited, fills up fast and closes when full. No Drop-ins allowed - you must be registered for the entire 8 week session. You can mail your payment or register on our website . Just want to dance? We have Open dancing as well.
Location: Centreville Dance Academy, 14215-J Centreville Square, Centreville, VA, across from the Giant food store. Call this cell number ONLY if you get lost - 540-270-7649.
From Northern VA / Maryland
Directions: Take 66 west about 15 miles to the Route 29 exit at Centreville (about a half mile past the Route 28 exit). Get off the exit and turn left onto Route 29. Turn right at the next light (Machen Drive), then left at the next light (St. Germain Drive). Go about a hundred yards and turn left into Centreville Square (Giant food is on your right before you turn). Make an immediate right into the parking lot and look for the dance studio on the left (the sign says Dance & Fit).
From Manassas and Warrenton
Take 66 east to the Route 29 exit at Centreville. Get off the exit and turn right at the next light (Machen Drive), then left at the next light (St. Germain Drive). Go about a hundred yards and turn left into Centreville Square (Giant food is on your right before you turn). Make an immediate right into the parking lot and look for the dance studio on the left (the sign says Dance & Fit).
What to bring:
Soft sole shoes (flats or tennis shoes), comfortable clothes (nothing tight), a good attitude, excitement, desire to learn, vintage clothing (if you want).
Free Day-After Thanksgiving Lindy Swing Dance. (Centreville, VA)
Free Beginners Lesson: 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Did somebody say free? Well, we're thankful. And we're having a free dance to show our thanks. The Day-After-Thanksgiving, Friday, November 27, we've got three hours of open dancing at our Centreville, Virginia location (see above for directions).
We normally have open dancing every Friday night from 9:00 pm - 11:00 for $5 at the door, but on November 27th, it's free. If you're thinking about learning to Lindy Hop (1940's swing dance), come on over early Friday at 7:00 pm and take a test drive free lesson for an hour.
If you're already dancing and want a place to work off your turkey dinner, head on down from 8:00 pm (right after the free lesson) for three hours of dancing. Royce White will be spinning CDs. Check the website or call 703-331-2234 for more information (email firstname.lastname@example.org).
So strap on your black and whites and come on over Friday night, November 27th and dance the night away! See you there.
Thanks so much for all you do for the community. You're a
More on Harrisburg
My brother and his fiancee were at the same dance as Larry (Big Tubba Mista), and Jon actually won a prize (gift cert for Eddie's). We're going to try to get out to Eddie's while we're in PA for T-giving. Jon's e-mail is email@example.com A> and he and Meg are taking classes with Ari. If DC folks plan to head up there, make sure to have them drop him a line so he can keep an eye out for them!
Lindy in Japan
Well I went to Japan - which was in itself fascinating. It is in many ways one of the most confusing countries in the world - especially as far as moving around. The alphabet is so completely different that you are never realy sure where you are, certainly outside of the very centre of Tokyo where the signs are only in Japanese.
Anyway I spent a very pleasent half hour with the girl at the reception desk of the hotel who wrote out in Japanese all the directions I needed. From there it was a bit of a step into the un-known. Stepping on to the Underground was reasonably easy - as the signs were in English. But then the train went off into the unknown - the signs stopped being in English so I started counting the stations. At the sixth station (or at least I hopped it was the sixth station) I left the train and followed the instructions.
Turn Right and after a few hundred yards there is a 7/11 shop ----- What the directions did't mention was that there are 7/11 shops on virtually every street corner. Still a bit further on the expected flyover was in evidence so I felt a little more confident. Then into the back streets looking for a building with a clock tower. That took me half an hour or so - only because I was looking for something big - but the tower was more of a protrusion than a tower.
Then into the building, down the lift and the sweet sounds of swing - very re-assuring at that point because I felt like I could have been on Mars.
The little group of dancers that I met were brilliant. Very
friendly and once they saw I knew a few steps they were very
keen to learn anything I knew. Unfortunately time was limited
and we only had about an hour together. But they are keen and
going to Seattle this autumn - so if anyone meets them please
dance the socks off them, they are quite reserved but would realy
Lounge Party at Aroma Company
JAZZAROMA , Thursday and Saturday Lounge Party with Cigar, Martinis, and Music, New York Style at The Aroma Company (3417 Connecticut Ave) right across from the Uptown Theater , just steps from Cleveland Park Metro. Steven Gregory (from WPFW 89.3fm )spins the CDs and live bands provide Latin Jazz, Swing, Funk, Straight Ahead Jazz, Jump Blues and Contemporary Jazz from across the Washington Metropolitan area to the Aroma.
It's a 40's style NY Lounge in Cleveland Park --- but very little room for dancing.
Where Have the Engels Been?
For those who've been following or are curious, the Engels' much anticipated (at least by us) Excellent Adventure in Marathoning will commence (or rather come to its apex) on Sunday, November 22 in front of the Philadelpia Art Museum. Yes, cats and kittens, at 8:30 am the start gun will sound and Jim and Elizabeth will begin what will probably be the most physically challenging 4 1/2 hours of their moderately young lives.
Now I know most of you will still be asleep at that point after a big Saturday night of dancing, but as you awaken on Sunday morning, we would appreciate any good thoughts, love, prayers, energy, etc. you can send us.
The route starts at the Art Museum, goes through downtown and down to Penn's Landing, heads out by the Philly Zoo, passes back by the Art Museum at mile 14, and then we do a 12 mile out-and-back section along the Schuykill River into Manayunk. Miles 18-22 are likely to be the toughest for us, which will probably be happening around 11:30 - 12:15, so good thoughts are particularly appreciated at that point - by which most of you all should be awake ;-)
I promise a full report for LWIR when we return from Thanksgiving with my family!
Photos from Savoy
Below is the website created by Merceds Clemens after the Labor Day weekend at Buffalo Gap. I thought you might like to create a link to it, even though the event was a couple of months ago. There are some really cute pictures on it.
Thanks again for the photos and look forward to seeing you out
Big Band Music and Old Time Radio Online
If anyone is interested in finding a good online source of Big Band music and vintage radio shows from the 1930's and 1940's, go to:
Yesterday USA is a radio station out of Richardson, TX that broadcasts vintage radio and music 24 hours a day. You can listen to the daily broadcasts for free on Real Audio 14.4 or 28.8. Subscribing members can also have access to a huge library of over 2,000 shows, which include "AFRS Spotlight Bands", "Kraft Music Hall", "Victory Parade of Spotlight Bands", as well as hundreds of vintage radio comedies, mysteries, westerns, science fiction, adventure serials, quiz shows, and soap operas.
Subscribing to Yesterday USA, which includes a detailed
schedule for the daily broadcasts as well as access to the
library, costs only $5 per month or $60 per year.
Bill Gates, Zoot Suiter?
Dear Frank and Carole:
[Editor's Note: We are waiting for Bill Gates to start up an inferior version of Dancestore.com, in which he sells "Breyer" shoes that are cheap, but will only work on a Microsoft platform...]
San Francisco Update
Thanks for your tips on places to go in San Francisco. I've got a couple to add, based on a recent trip:
If you're looking for room to dance, try Broadway Studios, on the same block as the Hi-Ball Lounge. It has a nice floor and much more space -- more than America. It's a dance studio, but it doesn't look like one, unless you expect a studio to have a stage, bar, dim lighting and little tables lining the floor. Locals said the best nights are Wednesday and Friday, and they sometimes have live bands. We went on a Thursday, and found a small but friendly group of intermediate dancers. The DJ was a member of Lee and the Press-On Nails.
On Saturday, we saw Steve Lucky and the Rhumba Bums at the Great American Music Hall. It's a great hall! The floor's about the size of the one at Chevy Chase, and there's a beautifully ornate balcony with a good view of the floor and the band. But the floor still couldn't really handle the crowd, and it didn't get better as the night went on. After getting kicked a few too many times, we retired to the balcony. Good thing the band was so much fun to watch. Miss Carmen Getit has great style, Steve Lucky plays a mean blues piano, and the two of them even hopped off the stage to do some Lindy! Parking is tough, but there's an AMC theater with a garage nearby. And for whatever reason, this hall is also right next door to an "adult" theater.
Darktown Strutter's Ball
Hi, I've received a few interested e-mails from y'all's area, I thought I would make a formal announcement.
THE DARKTOWN STRUTTER'S BALL
The first Black and White Swing Formal of New York City, featuring the Ultimate Battle of all Big Band Battles... George Gee and His Make-Believe Ballroom Orchestra versus The Harlem Renaissance Orchestra.
Reduced ticket price of $35 ($30, if you're on the Jittersauce Mailing list) good only through December 5. No tickets will be (or can be) sold at the door.
Folks coming from Canada, Philly, CT, MA and DC can have an additional $5 discount.
Additional answers to "most asked questions"...
Thanks for spreading the word,
Hi, my name is Li-Hsien and I'm a swing dancing graduate student. I'm from Singapore, and now getting a degree international affairs at Columbia University in New York.
I have a request, which I hope you can help me with. I'm taking a statistics class where I am required to analyze variables and find correlations between them and stuff like that. To make this project more interesting and relevant (to me) I thought it would fun to get some swing statistics that I could analyze. So I designed this survey form with the help of my dance partner Eric (he's the computer brain of the two of us) wonder if you would let the swing dancers in your area know about it.
What I propose is that in return for your help, I'll send the results I've gathered to you and if you find them interesting, you can feel free to post them on your website. Some of the questions relate to my project. I've added some others which I thought might be of interest to swing dancers generally.
I'd really appreciate your help. I'm planning to gather the information over the next two weeks, and will send out the analyzed results sometime after Christmas when my finals are over.
Thanks in advance for your help,
Notes for Leaders and Followers
[Editor's Note: Margie Cormier has put together a whole lot of information on leading and Following that would be very beneficial to all concerned. Check out these sites]
Here's a summary:
"Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did. She just did it backwards and in high heels."
(On the web, I found this quote attributed to Linda Ellerbee, Ann Richards, and Faith Whittlesey -- probably most commonly attributed to Faith)
This is probably one of the most famous quotes about following... and while I agree with part of it, I need to point out that Ginger Rogers did NOT do everything Fred Astaire did -- he led, she followed. They are two disntinctly different and complimentary sets of skills (although they definitely have things in common). What I do like about this quote is the fact that it validates that the follow is actually doing something.
Following is the more passive role in dancing, but that doesn't mean that it's not difficult, and that it doesn't take skill and work. Most people who have led all of their life, find following extremely difficult to do, just as those of us who mainly follow, find leading extremely difficultwhen we first try it. When you get really comfortable in whichever role you usually play, it can be beneficial (and very eye opening) to run through a series of classes doing the opposite role (I recommend staying out of the rotation though, unless the place you're taking classes encourages cross gender lead/follow).
This is my attempt to create something as useful as what Bill wrote for leaders. In some cases, his advice applied to followers too, so I've borrowed the general outline he used as well as in some cases what he said, but applied it to followers and added the follower specific notes as well.
In [my notes] I refer to leads as "him" and follows as "her" -- with the full knowledge that there are plenty of people out there of the other gender who do each of those parts. I mean no offense to anyone by it -- I simply do it for ease of writing.
These notes work for me... your mileage may vary. ;-)
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