August 24TH 2004
"Dancing is wonderful training for girls,
- Christopher Morley
A LESSON ON THE ROAD
Thursday night, I was driving along a road, and was stopped by the police (ugh! didn't stop fully at a stop sign). When the officer asked for my drivers license, I explained that it was in my trunk and asked if it was okay for me to get out of my car, open my trunk and get it out of my purse there. He told me to go ahead and get it. I opened my trunk revealing about 20 instructional swing dance dvds and videos, a ton of swing cds, tap shoes, swing dance shoes, water bottles (you know, your normal swing dance paraphernalia!). I saw the officer's eyes pop. When I handed him my license he noted that I lived in El Segundo. He looked back and forth at me, the license, the videos, and asked, "Do you swing dance?" I replied that I did and that I taught it. He then said, "You teach swing dancing in EL SEGUNDO?"
I tried to imagine what was on his mind. Was I a crazy person? How could anyone make a living teaching swing dancing in such a small town, especially El Segundo?
I proudly proclaimed, "Yes, I do!"
I guess the average person would think it impossible that someone could make a living teaching a 60 year old dance. I often wonder at it myself. It is amazing. It is crazy. It is absolutely wonderful!
We are doing something terrific, we together. We are taking this 60-year old dance, and this "old-timey" music, and we are giving it a new life. We should be awfully proud of ourselves, because we are doing this one dance, one lesson, one song at a time.
When the officer heard my answer, a great big smile broke out over his face. I think we all get this response when we tell people we are swing dancing. Don't you?
Oh, yes, I still got the ticket.
NEW TUESDAY NITE CLASSES BEGINS TONITE
RUSTY & ROBERT HAVE A FRIENDLY "BATTLE"
& OCTOBER 13
|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)
This Week's Celebrations
If it's your birthday this week, just let us know at the Rhythm Club so you can get your birthday dance!
The wonderful Argonaut article that appeared a couple of weeks ago about Rusty and The Rhythm Club is online. If you missed it, here's a chance to take a look:
We had such a great response from that article on our USO 1940s nite, and since then. Thanks to the Argonaut, and especially writer Rahne Pistor for his fine work on the story.
I thought I would just pull three all-nighters last week, what the heck, and now have the complete "Lindy Hop with Rusty & Peter" series on DVD. That's right, all three of the wonderful instructional videos are now also available on DVD. You can get them in class or on the website HERE.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 310-372-4821
This has been a quiet week from Augie. "No news is good news"? My dad did receive an email from him, but I haven't heard from him since the 19th. Of course, this makes me one nervous "swing mom". Here's the email I received from him:
Hey swing mom!! Checked my messages again today....finally. Thank you for keeping up with me. You have been so cool. I could keep saying that because it's nice to know that people care about us over here. I know how you feel about war though. I wish that it wasn't necessary either. Sometimes I even wonder if it is. I was talking to a guy at the mess hall today and he was on crutches. He had a rocket blow up next to his leg and was lucky to keep it. He said his best friend lost his arm in the same explosion. I still have a huge piece of shrapnel from the IED that got me. I should show it to you when I get back.
Things are good over here. I got the day off and went to the pool. We watched Van Helsing in my room with my portable DVD player. Such a small screen but it's worth every penny I paid for it. It's good to hear about your club and the world of swing though. I have to hear that it still exists so that I have something to back to. I can't wait to get back to it. We had swing night last night but I didn't go cause I hadn't slept for three days. I crashed for about 20 hours. No lie. So I am well rested but I have to wait until next week to go to swing night again. I hope that I will have the chance. We got separated from the unit that we have been operating with now. We are going to be doing security for the Explosive Ordinance Disposal Team. Those guys blow up bombs that failed to kill people. I hope it is an easy task. I am tired of combat if ya know what i mean. The guys that we went out with a few days ago got hit. We were supposed to be with them. This is their first time here and that ambush was their first taste of combat. They were so eager to get into. Well, today three of them died.
Well, that's all that's all that's going on here. Thanks for writing again rusty and for all of your support. It will be nice to see you and all of your pals once I get back. Talk to you later.
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:
Martin's 78 Turntable/: "They didn't call it the Roaring 20's for nothing". That's how Martin's page starts... and inside this site is hour upon hour of listening pleasure for your from his massive 78 record collection.
* 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!
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.