JANUARY 14TH, 2002
MONDAY

GREETINGS GATES*!

PICTURE OF THE WEEK

QUOTE OF THE WEEK
"The glory lies in the attempt to reach one's goal and not reaching it."

--Monads K. Gandhi
(pictured above)
"Gandhi obviously never tried to learn and perfect a swingout!"
Jessica Densmore
Swing Shift helper extraordinare

¥ ¥ ¥ ¥ THIS WEEK'S NEWS ¥ ¥ ¥ ¥

A FEW WORDS FROM PETE VINCENT...

"Swing dancing is life.  It's the most beautiful form of exercise you can have fun doing."

We have had the extraordinary experience of meeting and befriending Pete Vincent.  Pete literally just walked in off the street several weeks back and has since become a regular face in our classroom and at our Wednesday night Rhythm Club dances.  Pete danced a lot in the original Swing era, both in the San Francisco bay area as well as in Los Angeles, and either knew or danced with many of the local dance legends such as Jewell McGowan, Irene Thomas and even Dean Collins!  We consider ourselves so fortunate to know this wonderful man and to have him a part of our Lindy By The Sea family.  Make sure you spend time getting to know him; he's got loads of stories about back in the day.  And girls, ask him to dance!

He wrote to us recently about the photograph of himself here, and also about dancing in California when he was somewhat younger...

December 15, 2001

Dear Rusty and Peter,

The picture was taken in 1940 or '41.  And the time I was 16 or 17 years old.  we were dancing at the Oakland Women's City Club.  It was called a tea dance, but I know there was very little tea being served.  it started around 2 pm until 8 pm.  After that, we would go to Sweet's Ballroom to dance to a big name band, usually a black band.  Either Count Basie, The Duke (Ellington), Earl Hines, Fats Domino, etc.  The blacks would be allowed in, but not to dance.  They could observe from the balcony and would be able to dance to their bands on Monday nights.  Now the whites were not allowed to dance but could observe from the balcony.  It was where most of us learned how to do the lindy.  So much for northern Cal.  Down south there was a dance every night of the week, if you could stand the schedule.  Monday was the American Legion Hall in Huntington Park, Tuesday was the Casa Manana in Culver City, Wednesday was Casino Gardens in Ocean Park, Thursday Lick Pier in Venice, Friday was the Trianon Ballroom in South Gate, saturday was the Palladium in Hollywood, then it was back to the Palladium for the Afternoon dance and contests.  If a big name band was at the Trianon, we would go there for the evening finale.  I know that you will understand why we danced as often as we did, but that was the fun of dancing with a good partner.  That's all for now, and I will try to enlighten you some more in later emails.

Love of dance,
Pete
 

.... and here's a very touching email that Pete wrote to Rusty after his first night to the Rhythm Club:

December 14, 2001

Dear Rusty,

I would like to let you know that your dancing with me Wednesday evening [at the Rhythm Club] was one of the finer moments of my life.  To once again just dance with someone who knew the Lindy, was such a thrill for an old man. I'm sorry that I left without saying that to you and good-bye, but I would have started crying with emotion. Again I want to thank you for your kindness and making an old man happy again. After all, it was over sixty years since the last time I had a partner that could follow me [in Lindy].

Thanks again, dear Rusty.
Pete Vincent

So, remember, when you see an old timer standing around watching or on the dance floor, know what is going through their minds -- the utter joy of watching a new generation living one of the happiest times of their lives.  Make sure to visit with, hear their stories, and, most importantly, dance with them.  It will add so much to your life!

SATIN BALLROOM IS COMING IN FEBRUARY,
FEATURING THE BILL ELLIOTT SWING ORCHESTRA AND
RUSTY AND PETER TEACHING AND PERFORMING!!!

That's right!!!  Next month, the world's largest regularly held swing dance, the Satin Ballroom, returns!!!  This time around, the live music is none other than the Bill Elliott Swing Orchestra, the hottest, hardest swingin' big band in the land...DON'T MISS THIS!!!  And the beginner's class, held immediately before the dancing begins, will be taught by yours truly, Rusty and Peter!  AND THEN...during the course of the evening, there will be a performance, straight from "Swingin' The Century -- The Big Band Show".  Rusty and Peter, along with the cast from that terrific show, will be entertaining the crowd with "Mildred, Won't You Behave!"  This number was one of the highlights from the stage show, and we're sure you will want to see it...lively, wacky, and FUN FUN FUN!!!  So make sure to get your tickets now for the Satin Ballroom, coming to you on Saturday, February 16th!!!  You can order tickets from the website...go to http://www.satinballroom.com and click on the tickets button in the left-hand column...only $15 in advance, and $19 at the door!!!!  HOPE TO SEE YOU ALL THERE!

PERFORMANCE CLASS TO DISPLAY THEIR LATEST ROUTINE AT
SUZY Q'S ON FRIDAY, JANUARY 25TH!!!

REHEARSAL SCHEDULED FOR SUNDAY NIGHT, JANUARY 20TH!!!
5:30pm-7:00pm

We are absolutely thrilled to announce that the Performance Class will be at Suzy Q's on Friday, January 25th to perform the "Diga Diga Doo" number!!!  We are so excited about this we can hardly stand it!  Make sure to come down to Suzy Q's and scream, holler, shout and generally show support for your fellow students as they strut their stuff!!!  For those of you who are IN the number, there will be a rehearsal on Sunday night, January 20th (that's this coming Sunday) from 5:30-7pm at the Neptunian Woman's Club.  This way we can re-polish the number before wowing the crowd on Friday!

COME TO THE RHYTHM CLUB WEDNESDAY!!!

7:30-8:00pm Beginner's East Coast Swing Lesson
8:00-11:30 Dance!  Dance!  Dance!

Last Wednesday was an absolute blast, with our dear friends Sam and Barbara coming down and showing us all how it's DONE!!!  As many of you will recall from last week's update on Wednesday, Sam and Barbara were among the first to show Rusty and Peter how to do the balboa, and they are always eager to show us new steps and moves at every opportunity.  We were thrilled to have them with us, and we even got them to give us a short exhibition by themselves!!!  We also had the great fortune to have Alan and Rudy come in as well, two more outstanding dancers.  We're always delighted to have them with us whenever they're in town.  AND THEN!!!  We had yet another brief display from two new friends, Pete Vincent (whose letter and pictures are above) and Luigi, whom we just met that night!  All in all, a fabulous evening.  Make sure to come down this week...you never know what's going to happen, and you sure don't want to miss out!!!  Come down and dance the night away with us to some of the best DJ'ed swing music anywhere.  The Rhythm Club is widely regarded as the friendliest swing venue around, and we are proud of that reputation!!!  Why not join us this coming Wednesday night?  We have a beginner's swing class from 7:30pm until 8:00pm, and then terrific swing music until 11:30pm, with lots of fun and surprises along the way!  It's only $6 and it's open to ALL AGES!

Full details, click http://www.swingshiftontap.com/rhythmclub.asp;
Directions, click HERE

MAKE YOUR PLANS NOW TO ATTEND THE
2002 LINDY CRUISE TO MEXICO!!!
APRIL 19-22, 2002


Evening Dance onboard the Carnival cruise ship last year...
with SWING SESSION live onstage!!!

PRE-REGISTRATION DEADLINE EXTENDED TO JANUARY 18TH

We are thrilled to tell you all that we will again be a part of the 2002 Lindy Cruise to Mexico, brought to you by DanceFun!!!  We were involved in last year's cruise and we can honestly say that it was one of the most enjoyable events we have ever done!  The line-up of teachers is fantastic, including ourselves, Erik and Sylvia, Shesha and Terra, Steve Conrad, Melinda Comeau, and Sylvia Sykes!!!  And the live music for the nightly dances will be handled by none other than the SWING SESSION!  This is a cruise of course, so the dance classes are kept to a manageable amount per day (read "two one-hour classes") to allow for plenty of time to relax, lounge around or whatever.  The cost for this outstanding weekend cruise to Ensenada is only $399 per person (plus port and departure taxes) and the deadline for that great price has been extended until January 18th.  After that the cost increases, so make sure to get your registration filled out NOW...we have loads of registration forms at our classes and events, so just ask for one!!!  For more information on this incredible event, click http://dancefun.com/lindy/020419swing&lindycruise/lindycruise_pg1.htm !  Hope to see you onboard!!!

LINK OF THE WEEK

This week's link of the week is another reminder to attend the largest regularly held swing dance in the world, the Satin Ballroom!!!  This incredible dance is always a ball, filled with hundreds of swing dancers of ALL levels and all ages, this month featuring the live sounds of the Bill Elliott Swing Orchestra.  If you have never attended a Satin Ballroom before, or are new to swing dancing, MAKE SURE TO GO!!!  You won't believe your eyes...it's really unbelievable!  Check out their official website at http://www.satinballroom.com !

See you soon!

Swingcerely,
Rusty and Peter
Swing Shift
http://www.swingshiftontap.com

*Wondering what the heck a "gate" is?  This was a phrase popularized by 1940's comedian, Jerry Colonna, who would holler it out every time he was introduced on the Bob Hope radio program.  It was a friendly salutation to a swing cat (dancer or swing music enthusiast).