1.What is taught in your classes?
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.
four weeks, we begin a new Featured Class. These classes rotate throughout
the year and include:
Balboa and Shag
Week 1 - Collegiate Shag
Week 2 - Collegiate Shag
to Back Break
Week 3 - Balboa
in and out
into the Log
Week 4 - Balboa
Performance Class is designed for people who want to take their
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.
- Big Apple
- The Lindy
- The Lindy
have completed Level 3 Lindy Hop)
Kicks and Lulls and Wipes
- No lookie
- Walk Back
- Skip Around
- Jean &
Ray's standing quick stop
- Dean &
Jewell's roll in
- 360 Turn
entrance into Shadow
with Bicycle Kick
Over and Back
- Kick Throughs
- Man in
- Scoot Back
- Sam and
- Bal Swingout
- Fan step
turn using basic
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.
are the steps for the Lindy Chorus as we perform them:
and perform to Bill Elliott's "Streamliner" off his "Calling All Jitterbugs"
Tommy to rt/rt hand hold
- Hand to
- Hand to
- Kick Around
exit to Shadow Charleston
- Exit Shadow
position leaving hands rt/rt
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?
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. .
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
you want to, take the Shag and Balboa class, as well. It's also a
3. Why do you suggest that students repeat levels?
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?
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?
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?
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
them are: Revamp Vintage, Stop Staring, My Baby Jo, Trashy Diva ,
Kayre Morrison at www.dancingdaughters.com, Jennifer Comar at email@example.com
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 Gio -- Rusty's Rhythm Pals?
from being great guys and two great dancers, you carn more learn more about
them by going to: http://www.swingshiftontap.com/rhythmpals.asp
10. Where do you get your shoes?
There's a wonderful store right in Westwood called WorldTone, and it has more dancing shoes than you can shake a stick at!
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). You can get Bleyers and Now Bleyer makes two fabulous swing dance shoes that
have a very retro look.
You can get these on line www.dancestore.com and at www.savoystyle.com 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).
says, "My personal favorite is the 1940's style wedgie " She is quite happy
with the shoes that she has purchased from: www.dancestore.com, and www.alvas.com , and the wedgies from Re--mix.
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 th the shoe have some sof arch support
-- or make sure to put one in.
don't forget good old bowling shows. They are super. You can
get them cheap online,
at Target, and your local bowling alley.
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
are pages out there that will really keep you posted on all things Los
Angeles and Swing Dancing: SoCal Swing Forum, L.A. Lindy Hop, 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"?
"Lindy by the Sea" is the name of our school for teaching you all Lindy Hop (click HERE for more info). "Rusty's Rhythm Club" is our weekly Wednesday swing dance (click HERE for more info)
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?
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?
have an email list. Click HERE to subscribe.
19. How can I learn the Rhythm Club Stomp?
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...
are the steps for the Rhythm Club Stomp:
and perform to Squirrel Nut Zippers' "Memphis Exorcism" off of their "Hot"
- Basic 20's
Charleston (Right) beginning on count 1
- Knee Slap
Right x 2, Knee Slap Left x 2 beginning on count 8
20's Charleston (Right) beginning on count 1
- Knee Slap
Right x 2, Knee Slap Left x 2 beginning on 8
Right, Step Left, Kick Right, Ball Change Right/Left (Half Break) beginning
- Shim Sham
Break beginning on 8 (Step Right, Touch Left, Step Left, Touch Right, Walk
back Right, Left, Right, Left)
- Walk Around
to Right in Half Time beginning on 1, Starting w/ Right Foot, Shimmying
- Mess Around
- Fall Off
The Log to Left, Fall Off The Log to Right beginning on 8
Truck starting with Right Foot on 1
10 & 11
- Fall Off
The Log to Left, end with rt crossed over left on 3, hold 4, reverse legs
5, hold 6, turn around halfway 7
walk forward for two counts of 8 in the style of a "showgirl".
- Men hold
8, begin "pimp walk" with right foot crossing in front of left and right
hand swinging wide to right on 1. Half-time pimp-walk for two counts of 8.
- Men and
women do Shim Sham Break on 8, turning half way around on counts 4, 5 and
6. All stomp forward on left and point with right hand on 7.
20. How do I learn the Shim Sham? The Jitterbug Stroll? The Madison? The Rhythm Club Stomp?
The Shim Sham
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)
There is an excellent instructional DVD put out by our good friend Jennifer Comar... click HERE to purchase it. You can even see a clip of it THERE:
21. Do you have some suggestions on swing music for dancing?
People are always asking us about starting a colleciton of swing music. I recently came across an amazing compliation of 54 classic swing music for $7.99 on iTunes. If you started with these tunes, you would have a great start. CLICK HERE FOR THE LINK:
Here's a list Peter Flahiff put together some years ago of his favorites:
22. What is "Swing Etiquette"?
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:
If someone asks you to dance, say "Yes!" (and why not, "Yes, I'd
love to," or "Yes, thank you for asking me!"). Regardless of what "level"
of dancer they are. It could be the best dance of your life...it could be
the best dance of their life. Either way, it is more dancing and all fun.
Social Dance with as many people as possible. In America and Japan, one dance is the norm; if you had a great dance it's okay to ask for another. But then, move on. You can come and find that person later for another dance or two. In Europe, two dances is the norm! So pace yourself. If you walk away after one dance, the person will think you hated dancing with them... or you're just plain rude. Oops. Don't want that!
people to dance graciously. Gentlemen, offer your arm and lead the follow
onto the floor. Protect her while you dance. Take care of her. Then thank
her for the dance (maybe have another one!) and then escort her off the
floor as graciously as you led her onto it.
you must turn someone down, ask for a rain check. This keeps it from being
an outright rejection. Then, later in the evening, TAKE THE RAIN CHECK!
This let's them know that you don't just use rain checks as a euphemism
for rejecting them.
you are sitting a dance out and have just asked someone for a rain check,
please don't dance with someone else on that song. We wish that this went
without saying, too, but...just remember how lousy you'd feel if someone
turned you down for a dance and thirty seconds later, you saw them dancing
with someone else. Ewwww...
At everyone. Your partner, other dancers around you, the band, the DJ, the
bartenders and waitresses, total strangers. Remember, we all love this dance
and the more people we can draw into it, the longer it will thrive. (And
the more partners we can dance with!)
live musicians. As dancers, we get so caught up in the dancing or our partners
that we forget that sometimes there are actual live musicians providing
us with the music! They are an extremely vital part of a good dance. Show
them some appreciation!
the venue. If it's a small "dancer's club" pay the cover with a smile. Someone
is working hard to make it available to you and they deserve your support,
financially as well as with your presence. If it is a nightclub or bar, buy
lots of whatever it is you drink: cocktails, water, juices, soda, whatever.
We all need to support our scene, lest we be
dancing in our living rooms shortly!
please NO AERIALS except in jam sessions or competitions! Aerials are those
moves where a partner is lifted off the floor...obviously these are not
things you want to do in a crowded space, and run the risk of hitting someone
you do happen to bump, kick, or otherwise strike another person, remember
to acknowledge it, apologize for it, and give a humble smile and keep dancing.
(unless the person requires medical attention)
regularly! We wish this went without saying, but...
if you bathe regularly, use deodorant.
your teeth. Then use mints copiously.
wear undershirts! This is a pretty high-energy dance, and sweating is an
inevitable part of it...so do your dance partners a favor and keep dry!
a related note, avoid sleeveless shirts while dancing, for reasons similar
to those given above.
everything you can to create a positive atmosphere. Make new-comers feel
welcome, treat each other well, dish out dancing compliments to help confidence
build... Fun is contagious!
23. What is Lindy by the Heart and how do I join?
LINDY BY THE HEART (LBH)
formerly known as The Swing Shift Rhythm Club
Founded in 2000 by Rusty Frank's swing dance students, Lindy by the Heart has two missions:
1. Having fun! (Fun)
2. Doing good deeds! (Philanthropy)
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
Kelly & Dorothy
24. How did Rusty break her neck, and how is she now?
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!
29. 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??
Go here Yep, they are up, and hopefully they will help you remember the routine. Rusty is always available for workshops and her instructional DVDs are on this website HERE.
31. Top Ten Reasons to Lindy Hop?
Top Ten Reasons to Lindy Hop
by Steve Conrad of the Arizona Lindy Hop Society
1. Great exercise - you burn lots calories without even realizing it. There have been a lot of people that lost a lot of weight and all they changed in their lifestyle was adding dancing to it. Plus, Lindy is a very active and aerobic dance.
2. Social Interaction - You get to meet lots of people and have social contact - This is important during a time of history where you can practically do everything on a computer without leaving your home. Remeber, your Blackberry doesn't know how to dance.
3. Endorphins/ Stress release - Exercise such as swing dancing has been found to help reduce depression and stress by releasing these "feel good" chemicals. Plus, a recent study found that human eye contact can, in some cases, release dopamine causing a euphoric, light feeling. Dancing is a great stress reducer and when done mid-week can help reduce stress build-up.
4. Relationships - Studies have shown that activities that best build relationships are those that have the persons focused on each other rather than something external. Swing dancing requires a level of non-verbal communication that strengthens relationships (not just romantic ones).
5. Music - The music is timeless and because of its quality has remained popular for over 80 years. We dance mostly to swinging jazz music with some early rock, rockabilly, blues, and soul mixed in. Swing music and dance got America through the great depression - imagine what it can do for your rough week.
6. History - The lindy hop connects you to American History. The lindy in 1942 was named America's folk dance and it was popular from 1928-1958. Famous people that lindy hop(ped): Malcolm X, Jimmy Stewart, Ella Fitzgerald, Lucille Ball, Ashley Judd, John Travolta, John Wayne and Bette Midler, to name a few.
7. World connection - Lindy Hop is now a worldwide phenomenon with Lindy Hop exchanges in Paris, London, New York, Kiev, Singapore, Madrid, China, and more. You can go just about anywhere in the world, find the lindy hop scene and be taken in by the local dancers in most cases.
8. Creativity/ Brain development - Learning a new skill actually creates new neural pathways in your brain. Learning to lindy hop teaches body control, listening to music, complicated movement, spatial orientation, timing, and rhythm. Dancing is also a great creative outlet and you don't have to be a professional to enjoy it!
9. Avoid the Meat Market - For the most part, the swing dance scene provides a way to go to a club and enjoy yourself without being objectified. Most dancers go just to meet others and not necessarily to "pick them up".
10. It's FUN!! It's hard to find people not smiling when they are swing dancing. It allows for self-expression and creativity. Remember - there are no mistakes, only new moves.
What if I have more questions?
us or give us a call at 310 606 5606!