FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
ANSWERS1. How much are classes and what is taught?
How much are our 4-week series per person?:
Preregister: $50, and $46 Student/Senior
Walk-ins: $54, and $50 Student/Senior
Single Class Drop In: $20
It's only 1/2 price for an additional series taken on the same day!
$120 Golden Ticket (take all qualifying classes in any 4-week series)
$20 Level 4 Special -- Tuesday students may take any Level 1, 2, 3, series for $20/ea.
Click HERE for complete info.
What is taught in our Levels 1-3, The Track, and The Master Track
We offer classes for absolute beginners through ultra advanced Lindy Hop. For a complete description of these classes and to find out where you might fit in, click HERE.
Every four weeks, we begin a new Featured Class. These classes rotate throughout the year and include:Balboa and Shag Basics Week 1 - Collegiate Shag
Week 2 - Collegiate Shag
Week 3 - Balboa
Week 4 - Balboa
The Performance Class is designed for people who want to take their ncing to the next level. In each series, we will work on a single choreographed Lindy Hop number. Because everything is set in the routine, it's not just an opportunity to learn moves, but a great chance to really concentrate on your styling and expression with a specific partner and in relationship to a group. If you have ever taken our Lindy Chorus class -- imagine that multiplied! In order to teach full routines and polish them well, each series will run in six-week blocks (taking a one-week break for the End-of-Series Party), and the classes will last from 7pm until 9pm. The classes will cost $80 for the full six weeks (but remember, if you are unable to make it financially, please contact us, and we can always work something out!). Also, you must have a partner for this series (it only has to be a partner for this class, not a permanent dance partner... and if you don't have a partner, but wish to join the class, let us know; we have a list of people wanting to take it! Remember, you must be a Level Four dancer in order to participate in this exciting new class! Email us if you are interested in joining this class.
Hollywood Style Variations:
(must have completed Level 3 Lindy Hop)
The Lindy Chorus is a one-chorus routine known throughout the world. This choreographed routine is loads of fun to do spontaneously in a jam session with others who know it, or as a performance piece. You must have completed Level 2 before joining this class.
Here are the steps for the Lindy Chorus as we perform them:
Frankie Manning's Big Apple is a high-energy, non-partnered routine originally created by legendary Lindy Hopper Frankie Manning in 1938. The routine assembles dozens of classic Lindy Hop boogie steps and movements that will be a HUGE benefit to your dancing! These are the movements that were a part of dancing in the 1930's and 40's and having a good knowledge of them will give you insight into your other swing dancing and help bring it up another level.
2. How shall I start?
Start with our Level 1 Lindy Hop class. We take it from scratch. Whether you have no dance background, or you've been dabbling with swing, this class will give you a solid foundation. .
We also have many students in our Level 1 who come to us knowing Lindy Hop, but who want to brush up on their basics -- this is terrific and we really encourage it!
It you want to, take the Shag and Balboa class, as well. It's also a basics class!
3. Why do you suggest that students repeat levels?
We find that the first time through a class students are able to get the basic information. But the second time through they get the detail that really makes it all gel.
4. Should I repeat a level and move on at the same time?
Absolutely! That's why we offer a 50% discount on additional classes the same day. We want to encourage you to repeat the class at least once AND move on. Over 70% of our students repeat levels as they move on and are really pleased with the results.
5. What if I can't afford your classes?
Contact Rusty. Perhaps there is a nice trade we can work out, or we can just give you free passes. We'd love to have you join our classes and at our dances and wouldn't want you to be left out during hard times - believe us, we've all been there! We really don't want to turn away anyone.. it's during the "hard times" that swing dancing came mean even that much more in your life.
6. Will it confuse me to take more than one series at a time?
It all depends on you and your learning process. If you're not sure, give it a try!
7. Where can I practice dancing in a friendly environment?
The Rhythm Club! That's where we are every Wednesday evening, and there you'll also find most of our students. Perfect for practicing what you've just learned. We teach a beginners class from 7:30pm-8:00pm the first Wednesday of every month, and then it's dancing to music until 11:30pm. There's usually about 60-100 dancers there, and this should keep you busy all night. Considered one of the friendliest swing dance clubs in town, you'll find everyone says "yes" when asked to dance. What could be better?! Location: Elks Lodge, 8025 Manchester Blvd., Playa Del Rey (right near LAX) MAP
8. Where can I get nifty swing dancing clothes?
We are so lucky! There are loads of people are making fantastic retro-inspired clothes. Among
Also, there is a sensational event thast happens in Los Angeles about three times a year called The Vintage Fashion Expo. To find out about their upcoming schedule, click HERE.
9. Who are Ron and Ted -- Rusty's Rhythm Pals?
Ron & Ted are the co-teachers with Rusty on the Tuesday and Thursday Lindy by the Sea classes. Aside from being great guys and two great dancers, you carn more learn more about them by going clicking: RON and TED.
10. Where do you get your shoes?
For the fellas, there are so many choices. You can take regular tennis shoes (Keds and Converses are particularly popular with swing dancers) and "chrome" them (see below). Dancestore.com has fabulous swing dance shoes that have a very retro look. You can get these on line www.dancestore.com and at or you can purchase them locally in San Pedro, CA at Alvas (they also have a website if you want to check it out: www.alvas.com The people at Dancestore.com have also come out with their own shoe for men called the Aris Allen (we just ask that you be careful with heel slides, as we have noted that they pull off the finish of our dance floors).
Recently, Rusty has begun wearing simple white tennis shoes and have leather put on the bottom (see below). Payless is a good source, or plain Keds. She does recommend the shoe have arch support -- or make sure to put one in.
And don't forget good old bowling shows. They are super. You can get them cheap online, at Target, and your local bowling alley.
And what do we put on the bottom? Chrome Suede. Many dancers will take their shoes into a shoe repair store and asked to have the shoes "Chrome Sueded". This means that a type of suede, used by dancers, will be glued to the bottom of the shoes. Chroming your shoes will make it much easier for your to dance on all types of wood floors. You'll be able to move, slide, and stop on a dime. Many people feel like they really turn a corner in their dancing after they chrome their first pair of shoes. You can pretty much go to any shoe repair store, but if they don't know what "Chroming" means, leave. You also shouldn't pay more than $20-30 for this.
11. Where can I go dancing in: LA/ California in general/ the World Over?
There are pages out there that will really keep you posted on all things Los Angeles and Swing Dancing: SoCal Swing Forum, SwingDance.LA, and you can subscribe to Darrell Hope's weekly update by emailing him firstname.lastname@example.org. For national and international info, just type in "Lindy Hop" and the city you'll be visiting into any search engine and you'll find contacts for the local scenes.
12.What is "Lindy by the Sea" and what is "Rusty's Rhythm Club"?
you would like Rusty to host a "Vintage Hair Styling Workshop" in your area,
contact her at 310-606-5606 or
13.Will a dance partner help me get better, faster?
Well, yes and NO. If you are planning on going professional, as a performer or teacher, sure, get a partner. Otherwise, we feel that swing dancing is at heart a social dance. As such, we feel that your lead and follow skills improve by dancing with many different people. Conversely, having only one person to dance with actually impairs your social dancing skills as the two of you gradually learn each others habits (good and bad) and patterns. We advocate having a "practice buddy", i.e. someone whom you can review steps and moves with after a class, but not an exclusive partner. (We do feel that you should only perform aerials with a person with whom you have studied and practiced with extensively, making them effectively your "aerials partner". Under no circumstances should you attempt aerials with someone whom you have not done them with many, many, many, many, many, many times before.) Take advantage of the thrill of leading and following with loads of different people. It's surprising, exciting and makes you a better dancer to boot!
14. Where can I get 1930's and 1940's vintage style makeup?
Our favorite site is: BESAME
15. How do people find out about you?
YOU! Yes, it's true. You are our best word of mouth when it comes to swing dancing. It's through all of us talking about swing dancing and telling our friends, working cohorts, and family that this scene has been kept alive so long. If you would like to have some postcards to keep handy, just ask and we'll be happy to supply you with them. Thanks!
16. How do you choose the bands that play at Rusty's Rhythm Club?
First and foremost the band has to be "swing dancer friendly" (playing danceable tempos, songs that are not too long, knows how to pace an evening, etc.) Second, we mix up the music styles from classic swing (late 1920s to mid 1930s), to swing ear (mid 1930s-1940s), big band swing (big bands!), rock 'n' roll & jump swing (1950s). If there is a band you think would be fun to have at Rusty's Rhythm Club, let us know! 310 606 5606, or email us: email@example.com
17. Where to do you teach your classes?
We are located in El Segundo, California (90245). Check our HERE for current locations, as they change from time to time.
18. Do you have a mailing list? And how do I get on it?
We have an email list. Click HERE to subscribe.
The Rusty's Rhythm Club Stomp was introduced by Rusty Frank & Peter Flahiff in 2000. It is a one-chorus routine derived from the opening chorus number in the movie "Lady of Burlesque," featuring Barbara Stanwyck. Like the Shim Sham, it is a stroll and no partner is needed. Makes a great performance number and is fun to do at a dance (very easy to learn on the spot!)
Click HERE to see a home movie of the routine. Or...
Here are the steps for the Rhythm Club Stomp:
20. How do I learn the Shim Sham? The Jitterbug Stroll? The Madison? The Rhythm Club Stomp?
The Shim Sham
You can see the Shim Sham on our website HERE (front view), or HERE (back view). You can buy a wonderful instructional vfideo tape featuing Frankie Manning and Erin Stevens at www.savoystyle.com Or if you would like the tap dance version, Rusty produced one with Leonard Reed, and you can get it right off this site HERE
The Jitterbug Stroll
We have instructions right on our site... so click HERE to learn the dance.
The Madison (Madison Time)Do you have some suggestions on swing music for dancing?
Starting a Collection:
Rusty's List of Songs for Beginners (Danceable):
We find in our experiences, that a big part of what we love so much about swing dancing is that it carries with it some of the class and romance of the original era of the 1930's and 1940's. Having said that, we try to instill a few key points of dance etiquette in all the people we come in contact with. Some of these points are direct holdovers from the way people acted then, some of them are just common sense for a close, social dance...in any case, here are a few salient points on the subject of SWING ETIQUETTE!
RUSTY'S TIPS ON DANCE ETIQUETTE:
What is Lindy by the Heart and how do I join?
LINDY BY THE HEART (LBH)
Founded in 2000 by Rusty Frank's swing dance students, Lindy by the Heart has two missions:
1. Having fun! (Fun)
1. Having fun: Events where swing dancers can socialize and get to know each other outside of class (vintage clothes shopping, going to a dance-related movie, dancing in the park, eating at retro restaurants before a dance, etc.).
2. Doing good deeds: Events where we bring swing dancing to hospitals, senior homes, and community events for the purpose of good deeds, entertainment, and education in the Los Angeles area.
Lindy by the Heart is a volunteer club open to the public and the events are organized by its members. There are no dues. Members can attend as many or as few events as they wish.
Once you join the group you will receive updates of activities (or you can organize one yourself!).
Thank you for joining!
Rusty & Her Rhythm Pals
JOIN LINDY BY THE HEART NOW!Join Our Facebook Group: "Lindy by the Heart"
or send an email to Kelly
24. How did Rusty break her neck, and how is she now?
On Friday, June 2nd, 2000 Rusty and Peter were practicing their aerials (swing-dancing term for a lift or flip)! Toward the end of their practice they were going through the "front dive," a move that they had done many times before. They were practicing it on her lawn (thank goodness!). The move involves Rusty diving headfirst and reaching for Peter's legs as she does so. At a critical point, their balance shifted and the structure of the aerial collapsed, sending Rusty directly onto her head from about 8 feet. Peter immediately called 911 and Rusty was rushed to Northridge Hospital where she stayed for a month. The doctors determined that she had broken her neck in five places (C1, C2[3 breaks], C6). It was there that she was placed in the halo-brace, seven pounds of titanium, which was actually screwed into her skull in four places. After wearing the Halo for six and half months, she was finally "freed" in December 2000, and she started physical therapy in January 2001. The nerve damage that she suffered from the cervical cord injury-side of the accident causes her to have ongoing pain in the base of her head (that's why she cut her hair short -- even hair hurts), and she has some residual weekness in her arms.Other than that... well, good as new! Rusty went back to her full-time teaching schedule with Peter on September 3rd 2000, and hasn't stopped since!
You can take a look HERE at the aerial that did it (not the accident, don't worry)
25. How can I learn the Dean Collins' Shim Sham?
or give us a call at 310 606 5606 to find out when our next workshop will be
taking place! One of our students, Jason Colwell, wrote out these
notes if you wanna take a crack at it: Click HERE. If you need to learn it in a
hurry, contact us and we can alwyas set up a private lesson.
26. What is musicality? What's the difference between a Swing Chorus (AABA) and a Blues Chorus? And, what is "The Big 1"?
Swing & Blues Choruses are the two major music forms we swing dancers dance to! Simply put:
A Swing Chorus uses the structure AABA, which you can read all about Go here.
A Blues Chorus is an easy structure to get right away, as it consists of six 8-count phrases. What makes a Blues Chorus so recognizeable is the often accompanying Boogie Woogie beat, and "The Turn Around." The "Turn Around" always is the 5th count of 8 and usually goes melodically higher. It helps the leader find the "Big 1" to start a new idea, such as Charleston, Balboa, etc. One of the most famous Blues songs we dance to is "Jump Jive And Wail"... hum a few bars, and you'll see!
Song writers were free to use any structure they wished, and sometimes (rarely) they mixed a song with both kinds -- the most known example of this is "In The Mood". The song starts in the Blues structures, then moves to the Swing Structure, and then back and forth several more times. Take a listen and see if you can figure out the changes.
"The Big 1." Of course we all know that each phrase begins with a count of "1." So to clarify matters, Ron Campbell and Rusty Frank coined "The Big 1" to describe the beginning of a new section in a song. In a Blues Chorus, "The Big 1" would be count one of a new chorus (6x8). In a Swing Chorus, it could be the count 1 of any of the sections of AABA. Get it? If not, come to our Level 3 musicality class or sign up with Rusty for a private lesson... she'll clarify it for you! 310 606 5606.
27. What is the history of Lindy By The Sea and Rusty's Rhythm Club?
Click HERE to read all about it.
28. Where can I get ahold of those great old movie dance clips?
Go here and you'll find every great clip possible (for purchase) from our friend Jesse Gerhart. This awesome collection was put together by swing dancer extraordinaire Nick Williams. Sometimes you can find clips on the web, too. Just google something like: "swing dance video" or "swing dance clips". You never know!How do I tie a bandana to look like the 1940's style?
So many people asked me how to do this, I've actually got a photo by photo "instruction" right HERE.
I'm also available for Vintage Hair Styling Workshops! email: firstname.lastname@example.org
30. Do you have notes for Rusty's Tap Dance to Bill Elliott's Swing Fever??
31. Top Ten Reasons to Lindy Hop?
Top Ten Reasons to Lindy Hop