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SEPTEMBER 30TH 2003
TUESDAY

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Donald O'Connor 1925-2003

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"Make 'em laugh!"
Make 'em laugh!
Don't you know all the world wants to laugh!

~ Donald O'Connor, "Singin' In The Rain"


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ANOTHER TAP DANCE LEGEND PASSES ON
DONALD O'CONNOR
AUGUST 28, 1925 - SEPTEMBER 27, 2003

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Well, they say they go in threes... first Buddy Ebsen, then Gregory Hines, and now, Donald O'Connor. I'm going to cross my fingers that his passing will be the last for some time! I got to know Donald over the years, first when I was writing my book "TAP! The Greatest Tap Dance Stars and Their Stories 1900-1955" back in 1988.

I remember the day quite well that I interviewed him at his home up in Sherman Oaks. It was 114 degrees! I had a vintage car with no air conditioning, and I remember standing at his front door feeling like I'd just walked out of a sauna! I think you can see in this photo I still have red cheeks from that monsterously hot San Fernando Valley day. But Donald couldn't have been sweeter, couldn't have been nicer, and just couldn't have been more down-to-earth. His interviews is one of my favorites in my book. He reminisced about his childhood in Vaudeville performing with his family act. I'm particularly drawn to those days (you know I wished I could have performed in those old vaudeville circuits!). So I sat in rapt attention as he vividly brought back story after story. Over the years whenever I ran into him at dance-related events, he always greeted me warmly with a great big smile that was wonderfully personal and friendly.

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My happiest memory was once when I was performing in a big production number for a Professional Dancers' Society gala fundraising banquet. He was sitting front and center. There was one part where I had a quick feature (if you blinked you missed it), and I remember smiling right at Donald and he cheered back. After the show he made a point of coming up to me and telling me more than I could have hopped for (stuff like, "Wow, kid, you were great!"... you know that which makes you feel like you just might have captured a little bit of what they used to do in those days gone by).

Donald really created a unique place for himself in the show business legacy. He had his own style of tap dancing that was comedic in nature, but also beautiful. You watch the "Moses Supposes" number from "Singin' In The Rain", and you'll see what I mean.

Once last story. The first time I saw his masterpiece number "Make 'Em Laugh" was in "That's Entertainment." I was lucky, because I was actually in a movie theatre that was packed. The number was so funny, my sides were hurting from laughing so hard. He just kept topping himself with every bit as the dance went on. Then at the end (and I won't give it away for those of you who still haven't seen "Singin' In The Rain"), I, for the first time in my life, fell out of my chair into the aisle because I was laughing so hard!!!

Thanks, Donald. Thanks for everything. Thanks for being a great dancer. Thanks for being a great entertainer. And thanks for being a regular guy! (If you would like to read Donald O'Connor's obituary from CNN, click HERE

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RUSTY TAKES A VACATION!
CLASSES AND RHYTHM CLUB CONTINUE!!!!

For the first time in three years, Rusty is taking a vacation! Wow! And, the good news is that everything will stay up and running!!! Thanks to the truly wonderful team, everything will continue uninterrupted. This is the first time in six years of running this business that Rusty has taken a vacation and been able to continue the Lindy By The Sea classes and The Rhythm Club. Thanks to all of you! In advance, thanks to Ron and Gio -- Rusty's super-duper Rhythm Pals. And our special thanks to Glenn and Jessica for doing all the behind the scenes stuff. Thanks to everyone who will be helping at the Rhythm Club, Nathan, Nate, Kristin, Valeria, Jessica, Glenn, and all. This is just an amazing experience for me, folks, that I can leave the business in such great hands. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!!!!! She'll be staying with her cousins, who are living in Japan working at a university, in the southern town of Sanda. Rusty will be gone from October 1-16. Wish her bon voyage, and she wishes you plenty of happy classes and nights at the Rhythm Club.

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DAY LOCATION CLASSES
SUNDAYS
September 28,
October
5, 12, 19
REBEKAH LODGE
406 E. Grand Ave.
El Segundo
(corner of Arena)
Level 1 2:00pm
Level 2 3:00pm
Level 3 4:00pm
MONDAYS
September 29,
October 6, 13, 20
MASONIC LODGE
520 Main Street
El Segundo
(enter alley off of Mariposa to lower parking lot -- entrance at the huge wall mural)
Featured Class   7:30pm
"Swing Rueda" (Level 2+)
Level 4 8:30pm
TUESDAYS
September 30,
October 7, 14, 21
REBEKAH LODGE
406 E. Grand Ave.
El Segundo
(corner of Arena)
NEW TIMES!!!
Level 1 8:00pm
Level 2 9:00pm
End-Of-Series Party
Sunday, October 19, 2003 - 7:00-10:00pm - $5.00
at Rebekah Lodge
MAP and CALENDAR


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DATE GUEST ARTIST ADMISSION
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October 8 bands-Swingsations.jpg
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October 15 bands-Jumpin-Joz.jpg
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October 22 bands-Campus-Five.jpg
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October 29 HalloweedRC.jpg
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Dance Lesson and DJ 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

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


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This Week's Celebrations


* Harvey Greenberg
* David Shipley


If it's your birthday this week, just let us know at the Rhythm Club so you can get your birthday dance!

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RICHMOND STREET FAIR ROUNDUP
CHECK OUT THE SCRAPBOOK

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Wow! What a great day last Saturday out here in El Segundo on historic Richmond Street. Thanks to "Sailor" John, our booth at the Richmond Street Fair was the best yet. Because of all his experience doing booths for the Fort MacArthur Museum, he came up with all sorts of ideas to make our Lindy By The Sea - Rhythm Club booth just super. He brought over some great stuff from the museum, such as a vintage 48 stages American Flag and some vintage recruitment posters on a-frames. He suggested we make some tri-fold standees with loads of pictures of our activities, which we did, and along with our new blue banner and all of our other stuff, the booth was really a standout. This year we got electricity (whaa hoo), and so we played swing music and danced in front of our booth all day.

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Special thanks to all the volunteers who came throughout the day... I know I'll leave someone off (please forgive me), but special thanks to those who stayed for over four hours!!! -- John, Jeremy, Naomi, Norm, Forrest, Priscilla, Tony, Dan, Alice, Kenn, Giononne, Dana... and all of you who stopped by to add some swingin' fun to the booth.

Rusty got to do a little class from the main stage in the late afternoon, and this time she taught Sing Limm's Charleston. And then everyone just did some mighty fine social dancing for the crowd. Another fun day! And, believe me, we sure made a lot of new friends Saturday!!!

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JOIN THE SWING SHIFT RHYTHM CLUB TODAY!

Our Swing Shift Rhythm Club (SSRC) is the volunteer arm of our local swing dance community. Through the SSRC, we visit senior homes, children hospitals, and entertain and dance at street fairs. The purpose of the club is to do some good deeds and promote the fun of swing dancing.

Anyone can join the club. The events are varied, and purely volunteer in nature. You'll get a notice through the SSRC Yahoo Group website of upcoming events, and you can chose which one(s) you'd like to attend.

JOIN NOW! -- click SWING SHIFT RHYTHM CLUB -- send your first and last name and email address.

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BILL ELLIOTT SWING ORCHESTRA NIGHT
AT THE RHYTHM CLUB A SMASH!

Yep, there's a SCRAPBOOK

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We had a rousing time at the Rhythm Club last Wednesday with known other than the Bill Elliott Swing Orchestra on stage with Cassie Miller and Bill's Lucky Stars. They kept 200 dancing fan(atics) hoppin' all nite long with their fantastic repertoire of music. The crowd was delighted with a special show hosted by the notorious Maxwell DeMille (of Maxwell's At The Argyle fame).

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First on hand was Rusty with her new tap dance partner, Gregory Gast. "Rusty & Gregory, Tops in Taps" delighted the crowd with a nifty song and dance "I've Got My Fingers Crossed" which they sang and danced with Bill's band.

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Next up was Rusty's performance team -- The Swing Shift Fliers -- for a great Lindy Hop dance to "Jeep Jockey Jump". Thanks to everyone who supported our recent costume fundraiser for the team -- you got to see the results with the entire team sporting their vintage-style nautical costumes.

The show closed out with a wild-crazy Charleston to Bill's orchestra playing "Oh, Lady Be Good". The team had never done the routine to that song, and boy were they surprised when it fit like a glove! Each of the Fliers was absolutely thrilled to dance and perform live with the world-renown Bill Elliott Swing Orchestra. They were heard saying, "We really felt like we were flying with that big sound behind us!"

The infamous "Mildred" made an appearance with her big plaid blow.. That gal really gets around. Thanks, Bill, you are, as always, a dream to work with! You're a genius, and a grand guy. In other words, the best!


SPEAKING OF THE SWING SHIFT FLIERS...
There is a SCRAPBOOK with loads of new pics....

Thanks loads to Todd, Jenn's husband, for contributing so many of these photographs!

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SATIN BALLROOM, SATURDAY, OCTOBER 18TH
RUSTY & CHANDLER GUEST INSTRUCTORS!
SWING SESSION CD RELEASE PARTY

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Make sure to mark your calendars for Saturday, October 18th, for the next Satin Ballroom. This one will certainly prove to be a doozy! First of all, The Swing Session, one of the world's favorite modern swing groups, will be debuting their new name (any guesses???) and their new cd. Second, our very own Rusty Frank is the guest instructor for the opening class along with her good pal Chandler Smith of Retroglide Dance. Come along and join all your Lindy By The Sea pals for a great night out! For further details and advance tickets, Satin Ballroom


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Click HERE
Rusty & Gregory
Tops In Taps The Rhythm Club
9/24/03

Click HERE
Swing Shift Fliers
Performing Charleston The Rhythm Club
9/24/03

Click HERE
Swing Shift Fliers
Performing Jeep Jockey The Rhythm Club
9/24/03
Download the latest free Quicktime Player HERE


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DONALD O'CONNOR FAN WEBSITEHere's a fan website devoted to Donald O'Connor. You might want to do your own google on him, there's so much to see. This site includes loads of pictures from his long career in show business, from the circus, to vaudeville, to movies, to shows.... You'll sure enjoy it.

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Swing Shift
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).

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


HAVE YOU JOINED THE SWING SHIFT RHYTHM CLUB?

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



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