MAY 14TH 2003

(see below for Photo Albums and Quicktime Quickies of Rusty's Australian Adventure)

How far can YOU hop?!



*Wednesday -- May 14th *
The Fabulous Esquires!!!
17-Piece Big Band
with... Vocal Quartet AND
Vocal Trio!!

and, not to be missed..

the first POLKA to live music!!!!!


Plus...GUEST DJs
Nathan E. 8:00-8:30pm
"Professor" Robert Vangor between band sets
... and the Professor's "Rhythm Club Quiz Contest"
Prizes! (of course)

Sarah Moeder
Rohit Eustace
April Addis
Herb Sleigh

Dance Lesson on the first Wednesday of each month from 7:30-8:00
8:00-11:30pm -- Dance! Dance! Dance!
(check our calendar)

Full details, click HERE
Directions, click HERE

May 21 DJ-Hilary.jpg dollars-7.jpg
May 28

2-Year Anniversary Party for the Rhythm Club!

* Fashion Show from Revamp & Re-Mix!
* Master of Ceremonies Maxwell DeMille
* And introducing our special guests
"Operation Dance's"
Fyodor & Katja
June 4 DJ-Hilary.jpg
June 11

dress vintage Western!!





So far we are doing great with Operation Dance fundraising. Thanks to all of you who have so generously given to our unique Lindy cause! We still have a ways to go, so if you haven't had a chance to donate yet, go to the site and see all the nifty things from which you can choose to donate -- from sponsoring meals to hosting Fyodor and Katya at one of our great local swing venues.

Here is our "Operation Dance" web page with all sorts of information on how you can help. Click HERE


Special thanks to our "Operation Dance" committee, consisting of Jennifer Thomas, David Russell, and Sarah Heitman, and, of course, our gal in St. Petersburg, Megan Virtanen!

Operation Dance Committee: LR David, Sarah, Rusty, and Jennifer
Our St. Petersburg liaison, Megan.

MAY'S FEATURED CLASS -- Lindy Charleston Variations!

Our new series started this week, but it's certainly not too late to join! Come along to any of the classes below (don't worry, we review Week 1 of Levels 1, 2, &3)

Click HERE for details!

406 E. Grand Ave.
(corner of Arena)
El Segundo
Level 1 2:00pm
Level 2 3:00pm
Level 3 4:00pm
920 Highland Avenue (corner of 10th)
Manhattan Beach
Featured Class   7:30pm
Level 4 8:30pm
406 E. Grand Ave.
(corner of Arena)
El Segundo
Level 1 7:30pm
Level 2 8:30pm



What can I say? Three little words -- "Australia is INCREDIBLE!" I don't even know where to begin. The long and the short of it is that it's a beautiful country, the people are down-to-earth, friendly, and funny. The Lindy Hop scene is going full steam ahead -- and it couldn't be more fun if it tried. And, in conclusion, I can't wait to go back!

(I have posted my pictures HERE, and if you want to follow along, start on this first page.)

I started in Melbourne, where I was picked up (after a 15-hour non-stop flight from LAX), by the head of Swing Shift -- Matt Riddle. I'd met him last year in Sweden's swing dance camp, Herrang. The first day I spent site-seeing with his Dutch girlfriend (ah, the internationality of swing dance), Lotte. She took me downtown, and we walked around the streets and shops of Melbourne. It's a great historic city with more ethic groups than any other city in the world (I didn't know that). That aqua bench I'm sitting on is in a public bathroom; I love a city that pays attention to detail. We found a neat little vintage clothing store, and, you know it!, I bought a couple goodies for myself, and along the way convinced the salesgirl to attend the weekend swing dance camp! Her name is Leigh, and she's an aspiring jazz singer. "I've been waiting my whole life to learn how to swing dance". And believe me, you didn't see a bigger smile than her's the entire weekend.

Lotte and I continued on, and stepped into a chocolate shop... the swing dancer's fuel. There were so many wonderful sites. I love the Australian architecture, which is a great mix of European and California styles! You'll see a lot of examples in my photos. Especially beautiful are the "Iron Lace" balconies -- like in New Orleans.

We stopped by the university where Matt works to pick him up, and I was amazed by the local wild birds -- parrots! I saw these all over Australia. And you'll see by my pictures, I was bird-crazy. It's hard for me to describe things likes sounds and fragrances. They were so different there by the kinds of birds and foliage. I did take some Quicktime movies, just so you could hear the sounds.

That night (Thursday), I went to my first Australian swing dance, hosted by Swing Patrol ( They are the largest operation in Australia, with something like 800-1000 students. Yikes! Run by Claudia and Scott (more about them later), they really know how to host a night. The floor was packed, and I got my first taste of Australian friendliness. I was on the floor all night. They even gave me a special "Welcome, Rusty, to Australia" dance. Yahoo. I also got my first taste of the Melbourne humidity (I'd forgotten how lucky we are here in California with our dry heat!). You could bring as many t-shirts as you want, and still not have a dry one at the end of the night.

(continue on with the pictures HERE)

Aussie-fall.jpg Friday was another siteseeing day. Matt & Lotte took me on a Melbourne siteseeing trip. We started by having a brunch in a local eatery in an area much like Melrose, here in L.A. Then we hopped in the car and drove around some neighborhoods. I took loads of pictures of some of the houses and the Fall colors. As they are "the other way around" down there, it is the midst of autumn, and, wow, the colors were like we never get to see here in California. As we were walking around, this little family of children came to a gate to chit chat with an American. The four siblings consisted of two sets of twins! As cute as they are, imagine little Aussie accents.

That evening began the first of the "Rusty Melbourne Weekender Workshop". The first classes were 1920's Partnered Charleston and Musicality. You can see by the smiling faces, all went well.

(continue on with the pictures HERE)

Aussie-point.jpg Saturday was a full-day of workshops. I think my record -- six classes!!! -- including a girl's vintage hair styling class. From the pictures on this page, you can see the success (including Leigh from the vintage store!) second from right on the top row). That evening was the ANZAC Hop. ANZAC is the Australian and New Zealand military services from back in WWI and WWII. This particular weekend was ANZAC Day, and it's basically like our Memorial Day. For the dance, everyone dressed in vintage high style, and we were treated to a great live band! I did a little tap dance performance and got to lead the Shim Sham (to Bill Elliott's recording -- whee!) What a great day.

Sunday something very special happened. But I have to fill you in. About four years ago, I received an email from a young girl in Australia who was writing a school paper on tap dancing. We've been writing back and forth ever since. Her name is Sally, and now that kid is eighteen and in university! She and her mother drove five hours from their home in the outback so that we could finally meet. It was really so touching to see her in person and hear all about her life. I hope one day to go and spend some time with her family in their town. The workshop also concluded that afternoon, and all in all, it was a roaring success.

Monday, Claudia came and picked me up for a day of Melbourne siteseeing. Dig her license plate! You can see by these pictures, that I finally got to see the water (Melbourne's a bit inland). We had such a nice walk around, along the beach, and then through the streets of a little 1920's neighborhood. When I asked her about the architecture of some of the old houses, she said they are called "California Bungalows"! Some of them looked just like houses here in El Segundo -- little Craftsman houses. We also got to stop in a community garden and taste the fruits and veggies. Her business partner, Scott, joined us for a little early dinner at a local Indian restaurant. Yum.

(continue on with the pictures HERE)

Aussie-roo.jpg Tuesday, Scott arrived bright and early (for a swing dancer, that is) at about 11am, and we drove out to a wildlife reserve. Forgive me for forgetting the name. It's somewhere around here in my office! Anyway, along the way we saw some more wild bird -- Cockatoos!!! The Fall colors continued to stun me with their beauty.

(continue on with the pictures HERE)

At the reserve I got to see loads of kangaroos and koalas, and some more amazing birds. It was a great day. Thanks, Scott! (Hey, for those of you going to Swing Camp Catalina, he'll be there!)

Tuesday night finished out the Melbourne week for me with a tap dance class. I was so surprised when three of the students showed up with copies of my tap book for me to autograph. We had a great time tapping away.

All in all, Melbourne was a fabulous. And I honestly can't wait to go back. I want to especially thank my hosts, Matt and Lotte. You made me feel so welcome in your home. Thanks to everyone in Melbourne, Claudia, Scott, and all the swing and tap dancers. You are the best!

Click HERE Melbourne greets us!

Click HERE Listen to the "Bell Bird".
Download the latest free Quicktime Player HERE

If any of you would like to have a private swing dance lesson,
give Rusty a call at 310.606.5606.


SATIN BALLROOM'S BIG APPLE WORKSHOP THIS SATURDAY, AND FEATURING THE BILL ELLIOTT SWING ORCHESTRA AT THE EVENING DANCE There's a big secret running around town this week. You haven't heard?! Well, listen up -- this Saturday is a very special event. The Satin Ballroom is hosting an all-day workshop featuring legendary 82-year-young Betty Wood -- one of the original Big Apple dancers. In 1936, she and a group of kids went to the Big Apple itself and performed their version. Come along this Saturday, to the Veteran's Hall in Culver City and join all the lucky ones who get to learn this Big Apple from Betty Wood herself! Not only that, there are a host of other workshops. You can come just for the workshop or stay for the evening dance as well. Why not make a whole day of it!

Rusty and her Rhythm Pal Ron Campbell will be there teaching the first workshop -- Musicallity. You'll also get a chance to take from local dancers extrodinaire Marcus and Barbl, Jeremy Otth, Denise Paulino, Tise Chao, and Nick Williams.

Go to their website for more info Or call their office to book directly:310 473 9043

Swing Shift

* 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).


Members of the Swing Shift Rhythm Club at
the Manhattan Beach Arts Festival

For more information about the Swing Shift Rhythm Club and what it's all about,
check out our Frequently Asked Questions Page.