August 10TH 2004


Swing Dancers at Harlem's Savoy Ballroom
The birthplace of Lindy Hop
and "The Home of Happy Feet"


"I've never seen so many people having so much fun in one room!"

~ new student in response to seeing 1,000 Lindy Hoppers
filling the floor at the Camp Hollywood Saturday nite dance
(We know how you feel!)



Monday morning, after sleeping for eleven hours (!), I woke up and realized I could finally step out of the rollercoster that I'd been on for the last month. And what a month. Choreographing the television show, our big USO Nite at the Rhythm Club, Camp Hollywood, hosting guests from Switzerland, the Hollywood Bowl performance with the Hollywood Hornets, and the Nathalie & Yuval Workshop. No wonder my friends get mad at me when they constantly hear me complaining that I don't accomplish anything.


The Hollywood Bowl performance last Friday nite was one of the highlights of my professional career. It was everything I'd dreamed it would be. Fun, overwhelming, beautiful, exhilerating, stunning, aweome... and more. We had our rehearsal on the new Bowl stage in the morning and afternoon. For those of you who don't know, there is a brand new Bowl shell and stage. It's "gynormous". You should have seen the face of the Philharmonic musicians as the Hornets ran through their numbers; they were absolutely delighted! I guess it's not every day they have dancers flipping around on their stage.

During the dinner hour, I took a walk up into the hills behind the Bowl and ran into the Big Bad Voodoo Daddy bass player who was also taking a breather. We ending up having a long and friendly talk about how the swing scene has evolved over the years and how lucky we both feel to be earning our livings doing what we love. I have to say all the BBVD guys were down to earth and really friendly, and they loved having the dancers on stage with them for the two numbers.

There will always be little memories that hop back at me. And one of them was the BBVD guys playing with the security camera: They discovered that there was a security camera in the hallway leading to their dressing room. I was watching the show from the main backstage consul where the security monitors were located. Suddenly we look up and see the BBVD going through all sorts of clowning senarios as they walked down their hallway: falling down, looking into the camera with a silly face, having a big "fist fight" in slow motion. I don't remember laughing so hard! These guys are FUNNY.

At around 5:00pm the audience started filing in. The Bowl has a unique feeling about it because it includes everyone. Ticket range in price from $500 to $5. No one is left out. People arrive early and picnic on the grounds or at their seats. It has a community atmosphere. By the time the show starts, it's "one" audience of friends. I will never forget the utter joy I felt dancing on stage looking out at that massive audience. I can't explain why, but I just feel so "at home" on stage... maybe I was a vaudevillian in a former life! Thanks again to the Hornets for letting me guest with them on that nite. You guys are the tops.


Call me the perpetual motion machine... but since I had a little down time last night, I decided to transfer the Level 2 video tap to dvd last night. It's done, and available for purchase. I'll be bringing them to the clases and club, and, of course, they are available on the website HERE.


Another set of classes in East Coast Swing and Lindy Hop began last Sunday and we had a wonderful turnout! You know how happy we are when we have big Level 1 and 2 classe, we know we are still "feeding the pond" with little swing fishies!

It's not too late to join this series. So tell your friends to come along this Sunday.


Our Balboa Tuesdays is going great. But, fellas, we could use about eight more leads in the 8:30pm Int/Adv series. There are still classes left in this series. Make your followers happy and show up!



For over three years, Alice "Birthday Girl" Infelise has been after me to make a little business card sized Lindy By The Sea and The Rhythm Club info giveaway. Don't say I don't work fast! I finally did it. They are little yellow cards and are for you to distribute freely to your friends and family. Take a bunch, put them in your wallet, ready for when someone asks, "Where can I learn to swing dance?", "Where can I go swing dancing?". Thanks for nudging me, Alice!

And here's a little note from Alice after picking up the cards Sunday:

Hi Rusty,

I want to tell you thank you for the cards. I have already given three out to interested dancers. A lot of people have no idea what I mean when I say we dance... and are so excited [when they see us Lindy Hop] that they want to start dancing...

Great classes yesterday. I may finally learn the swingout as a lead. I love how your teaching style has evolved. You make it so simple.

Love and see you Wednesday night.



The compliments and notes you send really are important to us. We work so hard, every moment, to be the best teachers for you. We are passionate, not just about this dance, but about making your experience a positive one. Everything we do in class, from name tags, to rotation, to "forced smiling" (hee hee), is thought out deeply. So when someone tells us they see this thoughtfulness, it makes our day. Here's one email that make our week!

Dear Rusty,

I am writing to tell you how impressed I am with you as a individual and professional .The warmth you share with your "dance family" not only keeps them connected but is encouraging and inviting to become better dancers without judgment I attended the workshop yesterday and had the was struck by your concern for your students. Not only is it apparent you care for their physical well being but the gentle confidence you instill is admirable..The underlying goal is clear, to enjoy what you are doing and all are welcome.

This letter from your student brings this war right into our own homes and is something I plan on sharing with my own teenage sons.I find Augie a sincere,earnest, example of a young man willing to give his life for country and at the same time never lose sight of the people and places that mean the most to him.




We have the new pre-registration discounts of 10% on the website now. So you can register right on our site "easy peasy lemon squeezy". Go HERE. Remember, pre-register for class(es), you'll get a 10% discount off the normal prices. You can pre-register over the phone (310 606 5606), by check, or at We hope that you'll enjoy taking advantage of this new offer...




Two of my favorite dancers (in the world!), Hasse and Marie will be my guests at the Rhythm Club tomorrow nite. I first met them years ago while teaching in Europe, and hopped on board as the "president" of their fan club. They made a splash at their American debut at Camp Hollywood last week, and now their fan club is full of American members! When you meet them Wednesday, you'll see why. Not only are they amazing dancers, they are just the nicest people you could hope to meet. And, yes, they are a couple -- oooh hhooo oooh.

And, I think we might just be able to talk them into doing a "display" for you all!

August 11 dollars-12.jpg
August 18 dollars-12.jpg
August 25 dollars-12.jpg
September 1
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



This Week's Celebrations

Karen Levin
Alice Infelise
Alan Burbank
Sasha Kremenestsky
Mike Phelan
Mark Waldman

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


Thursday, 16 September, 2004 - 7pm to 8pm

Little Company of Mary Hospital/Del Webb Center for Education

4201 Torrance Blvd, Torrance

Basic instruction on history and variety of swing dances for the Association (a lay order of the convent) to encourage participation by Association members in the dance program for patients at various LCOM facilities.

Saturday, 25 September, 2004 - 2pm to 3pm

Artesia Christian Home

11614 E. 183rd St., Artesia

One of our favorite places, especially since THEY keep asking for US. Simple program which will hopefully include a sample of ballroom as well as our usual audience and employee participation.

RSVP or questions, contact Jes at or 310-372-4821


It's been quite a week for Augie. He was "hit" by a bomb, he was bombed in his barracks, he was saved by his flack jacket, but injured, and okay! We also found out that our package never got to him, and upon it's return to us, we discovered many things had been stolen from it. Despite everything, Augie' spirits are till up, and he's so gratefull to all of you for staying in touch with him. Keep it up!

If you want to email him, click on this address and a composer window will pop up:

Here's the latest from him:

Hey Rusty, We are receiving incoming mortar fire right now. Have been for about 20 mins now but life continues. OK, one just hit right outside the building. Iam doing good though. Now another one. These guys really don't like me. lol But anyway, that was bad that someone stole all of my things. That's so sleezy. You need to write to somebody. I will try to get an address for you. It made it to Bagdad so the people who are doing this are Marines. How sad is that? But thank you for the effort through. Please tell everyone that they shouldn't send anything, not even letters, after August 15th because it probably souldn't get to me in time anyway. Thanks for all of your support though. I can't wait to see you all.

Well, yeah, I'm ok. The blast came from (3) 240mm mortars, I found out. Huge blasts and if they weren't burried so deep they would have pulvurized me and my whole crew. As it was, I will be the only one receiving the purple heart. I wasn't hurt badly though so I might even be able to make it on wednesday. Who knows? I hope so. I am going to be ok though. I had no nerve damage. Just a severe contusion in my shoulder. I am glad to be alive. Wow, this perkasette is really making me tired so I will go now. Take care though Rusty. I am glad that things are going well over there and I wish that I could have done the workshop with you all. Have fun.



Then this one arrived as "general" email to his family and friends this morning:

I just wanted to let you all know what's going down over here in good old Iraq. I hope that things are well with each one of you in back in the states. I can't wait to get back. We have been patrolling the Fallujah area and cracking down on weapons caches. We find a lot of them and blow them up in place. We have largely been successful. We usually find mortars, rockets, IED's, machine guns, rounds, and all kind of other explosives. Two days ago we found a large cache and blew it up. On our way way back to the base, my truck tripped a trigger device that was connected to an explosive. Four 240mm mortar rounds exploded right next to my truck. The blast peppered our vehicle with shrapnel and I caught a lot of it myself. I was injured and Evacuated to Bravo Surgical where I received treatement. I am doing ok now. I should be back on missions in another day or two. My flak jacket saved my life and I received minor injuries from the blast. We only have about three more weeks of operating until we stand down for maintenance purposes. In october we are coming home and in January I will be discharged from the Marine Corps to go to school. Believe me, I am looking forward to it. Everyone take care of yourselves and I will see you again soon.



AUGIE FREEMAN: For those of you who are new to our list, Augie Freeman is a young swing dancer from Lindy By The Sea who is currently serving with the Marines in Fallujah, Iraq. We have basically "adopted" him as our "swing son". Several months ago, we all chipped in and sent over the coolest package to him... but it never arrived. We had cookie, swing t-shirts, baseball caps, cds, books... all sorts of goodies. He was injured while on tour, but is doing great.

If you want to email him, click on this address and a composer window will pop up:

You can email Augie here:


EIRANERIAN.COM: Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! This is a site that is filled to the brim with Lindy Hop clips. Need we say more? Happy viewing!


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).


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 exit this list, visit: