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FEBRUARY 4TH 2004
WEDNESDAY

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Ann Miller
born: April 12, 1923
died: January 22, 2004
obit CNN.com

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I guess that I've always tried to make all my dancing very happy-hearted and very fresh and very with it. It wasn't dull! I tell you, I've danced -- I looked at my feet tonight, I thought, "Feet, you've danced me millions of miles!"

~ Ann Miller to Rusty Frank 2/9/89
"TAP! The Greatest Tap Dance Stars and Their Stories 1900-1955"
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FEBRUARY 27, 28, 29
WEEKEN WORKSHOP WITH NATHALIE & YUVAL!

Click HERE to pre-register!

Two of our favorite teachers, direct from New York, will be leading a fabulous weekend workshop at the end of this month. You may not know this, but I actually fly them all the way from the island of Manhattan just for you! Please make a special point of coming to this workshop (and help me have less heart palpitations by pre-registering!). All the info is below - click HERE


FEBRUARY 1, 2004 COMMUNITY FORUM

Our very first Community Swing Forum was quite a success. Thirty-eight people attended, widely representing our Los Angeles and Orange County region. I was very pleased with the many ideas that were contributed. I want to thank everyone who took the time to attend.

NOTES ONLINE HERE

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Rusty & Jeff Nicholl, host of laswinginfo.com at Community Swing Forum

ANN MILLER AND BILLY MAY PASS AWAY

We lost two great contributors to our world of dance and song. On January 23, the legendary tap dancer, Ann Miller, passed away, and on January 22, we lost the magnificent swing arranger/composer Billy May (obit).

I had the great pleasure to meet and get to know Ann Miller while working on two projects, one, my book "TAP! The Greatest Tap Dance Stars and Their Stories 1900-1955", and for my documentary project "TAP! The Tempo of America". She was warm, funny, full of zest and life. What impressed me most was that she was always a "star". Whenever I saw her, whether it be at a dance event or in the privacy of her own home, she was dressed and coiffed like the true MGM star that she was. She took this stardom very seriously. I'll miss getting a Christmas card from her each year -- it was such a treat to have an envelope show up in my mail boxed addressed from "Ann Miller"!

Bill May is the composer and arranger of one of my all-time favorite swing tunes "Lean Baby." You have heard it for sure, as I play it in all beginning Lindy Hop classes. You may not know his name, but, believe me, you do know his music. He was the main arranger for Frank Sinatra, and when you think of that big, fat orchestra swing sound -- that's Billy May!


"SWING!" SHOW
SAVE FEBRUARY 14TH FOR A GROUP OUTING
TO SEE THE SHOW!

Remember, the "Swing" show begins next week for it's three-week run at the Civic Light Opera in Redondo Beach. Come along and help with our information booth in the lobby (call me 310 606 5606 or email me info@swingshiftontap.com). Remember, you can get a FREE ticket for opening nite if you help with the table, or you can see the show the performance you host the table, or you can get half price tickets by phoning their box office and saying you're on "Rusty's List" (310 372 4477).

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Click HERE to pre-register!

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SAVE THESE DATES
FOR FURTHER NATHALIE & YUVAL WORKSHOPS:

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June 4-6
September 24-26

NEW SCHEDULE ANNOUNCED FOR UPCOMING SERIES
MONDAYS MOVE TO TUESDAYS

Starting in the February series, Sunday will be the beginner-intermediate swing classes, and Tuesday will become the Featured Class and Level 4 night. Mark your calendars now. Make sure to spread the news.

Tuesday's Featured Class is "Classic Lindy Hop". Ah! This class will be delicious! We're going to be digging back to the early days of Lindy Hop's resurgence for those tasty character moves that are just beginning to resurface on the dance floor here in Los Angeles: Johnny's Drop, The Mini Dip, Passing Kicks, Touches, Groucho, Tango, and so on. These are the moves that really give Lindy Hop it's syncopated character. They're stylish, they're fun, and really part of the dance's unique heritage.

Level 2 and up

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DATE GUEST ARTIST ADMISSION
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Rusty's Birthday -- Let's have some fun!
Performance by Chester Whitmore!
Master of Ceremonies Maxwell DeMille
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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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This Week's Celebrations (actually, through the end of the year)


Richard Cheng
Debby Emrani
Adam Rakunas
Joyce Yamamoto

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

"SWING!" SHOW -- GET YOUR FREE TICKET FOR OPENING NITE HELP WITH OUR LINDY-BY-THE-SEA/RHYTHM CLUB BOOTH

The response has been great for our "Swing!" Show booth. Thanks to everyone who has set up to volunteer at our booth. There are still a few dates open for you to volunteer in exchange for a free ticket to the opening nite performance on February 14th, 8:00pm.

If you would like to volunteer at our booth, give Rusty a call: 310 606 5606.

We already have about 30 people coming opening nite. So why not come along and join the Valentine's group! 310 606 5606.

And remember, you can also get 1/2 priced tickets by calling the box office and saying you are on "Rusty's List". 310 372-4477

DINNER BEFOREHAND: We're also talking about having dinner together somewhere before the show (and after the Huell Howser event below. Any ideas?

Here's the
LINK for the show.

GET ON TELEVISION?
HUELL HOWSER "CALIFORNIA GOLD"
FILMING AT FORT MCARTHUR 2/14/04 NOON-5PM

Huell Howser/California Gold will be filming "at random" around the fort - We thought it would be fun to have a bunch of retro-dressed swing dancers hanging around. Wanna have some fun? And maybe get on television (your one second of fame).

Questions? RSVP? contact Jes jdensmore@mail.com or 310-372-4821 (LMM)

Report from Jessica Densmore on the San Pedro Pavillion Event of Saturday, January 31,'04:

Participants included:

Wendy & Gilbert Concepcion

Rita Catanzarite

Norman Kajikawa

Dan and Jessica

The San Pedro Pavillion was a new place for us to bring a little Swing to patients, employees and Associates of LCOM Convent, another volunteer group. Activity Director LuAnn was not available, but her coworker, Barbara, was the audience Cheerleader.

Norm set up the new combination Karaoke/CD player and narration began on the combination Swing dance history and Swing traditions script. Dancers were introduced to the audience and couples were sent out in shifts during the music selections (we don't want to exhaust our leads so we give them plenty of breaks). Music selections included such classics as In The Mood by Glenn Miller as well as Whaddaya Want by Casey McGill. For variety a bit of jazz was added, Wade in the Water by Eva Cassidy, and a favorite "food" classic, Potato Chips by Slim Galliard.

We demonstrated such Lindy traditions as the Steal Dance and the Birthday Dance.

Highlight of the Event was participation by Orderly, Robert and Associate, Lori; also a very shy nurse whose name we did not catch. They were taught basic steps and joined us for several dances. One of the residents inched her way onto the dance floor in her wheelchair so it was decided to dance around her. She seemed most pleased.

Other memorable moments included a light spoof of Ballroom dance (our regular Ballroom couple was unavailable) which had Norm and Rita continuing to segway into Swing dance. Dan added to this by an impressive dip of Rita...then proceeded to dip all the ladies in turn. Wendy and Gilbert not only danced but continued to encourage audience participation, patients as well as employees and patient families who stopped by to see the program. Rita was a good sport being the foil in the Ballroom skit (we hear she is a pretty impressive Ballroom dancer).

Norm had the presence of mind to take some photos (I will forward these separately) of the participants in mid-performance.

Our program ran over by about 10 minutes, but no one seemed to mind. Good music, good friends, the perfect Swing Event.

Jes

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

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converses make a splash at Lindy By The Sea!

TAKE CARE, AUGIE!

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Our new Rhythm pal, Augie, is heading over to Iraq as a Marine. We wish you safety, Augie!


WORKSHOP WITH MIKE CONVERTINO A HIT!

We had a great time with Mike Convertino at his second workshop at Lindy-By-The-Sea. Everyone enjoyed his classes and excellent teaching! We promise to try to remember all you taught us! Here's some photos for your happy reminiscing:

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Rusty's book!: You may or may not know that Rusty is the author of "TAP! The Greatest Tap Dance Stars and Their Stories 1900-1955." This book was first published in 1990 and has been in print since that time. Rusty interviewed thirty tap dancers for her book, from movie stars to broadway stars, from chorus kids to vaudeville performers. She travelled around the United States collecting these first-hand interviews. Her book has come to be known as "The Bible" of tap. Sadly, many of the subjects have passed away, two weeks ago Ann Miller joining that list. You can check out a copy of Rusty's book at the library, or you can purchase a copy for yourself or a friend at Rusty's site: http://swingshiftontap.com/ontap.asp or at http://amazon.com. Happy reading!






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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).




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.

If you wish to unsubscribe, visit:
http://swingshiftontap.com/maillist/mail-list.asp