May 17th 2005
Rusty in Scotland 1997
Read below for "The Hershey Bar Story"
""It wos fun. I wos tayerd after it.
Most of ol I like wen you took yoor clots off. I wos happy as enafin.
I was rubbish at it."
----John, P4" (child after swing dance lesson from Susan & Gary in Scotland)
For more fun children's swing dancing comments, click HERE
RUSTY HITS THE ROAD AGAIN --
THIS TIME IT'S SCOTLAND!
Click HERE or go to the Link of the Week to read bout it
One of the most exciting parts of my job, besides teaching you (!), is all the travel I get to do. For the past ten years, I have been invited to teach at anywhere from 2-7 dance festivals annually. This year, it amounts to a perfect four: Norway, Scotland, Philadelphia, and Atlanta.
What I love so much about travelling for work is the combination of seeing new places and meeting new people who turn out to be "old friends." What I mean by this is what I have said for years - that dancers have the same fine core where ever you find them. They are kind, generous, enthusiastic, fun, and LOVE dancing!
People often ask me how it is that I get invited. Well this Scotland connection is a fun story. From 1996-1998, I performed on a 51-city European tour with a Glenn Miller orchestra as a featured dance act with London-based Lindy Hopper Simon Selmon.
Pictured L-R "In The Mood" John Miller (Glenn Miller's nephew), Fiona, Rusty, and Simon
This tour stands out as one of the great highlights of my performing career. Simon and I were the only dancers in the show, and did eight dances ranging from Lindy Hop to Tap Dancing, from Boogie routines to a beautiful Fred and Ginger number. We travelled, just like in the 1940s, in a big bus with the band and played throughout England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Belgium, and France. As fun as it was, it also was a hectic experience: We would drive all day from one city to the next, arrive just in time to set up the stage and do a sound and dance check, have dinner, and then do the show. Site-seeing was limited to how fast I could run around the theater district while they were setting up the stage (about an hour). Sometimes we would play the same city for two nights, like in Nottingham, and, in that case, we had an entire day for site-seeing.
Rusty Frank & Simon Selmon
I remember at one point in this tour turning to Simon and asking him: "How many dancers besides us do you think are touring with a Big Band right now?" He starred at me for a moment, thinking, and I replied: "None. We're it. Just us!" It was simply so rare to be able to have this experience, I shall ever be grateful for it.
Some of the parts that really stand out in my memory were the endless hours sitting on the bus, either taking in the countryside or listening to these seasoned musicians tell stories of their careers. It also gave me a grand opportunity to have them explain musicality to me. I learned a lot.
There was an ol' story (and I'm not sure to which band it is attributed or whether or not it's even apocryphal) of an orchestra on tour in the U.S. in the 1940s. The band was big enough that there were two buses. Our story-teller was sitting on one bus and the atmosphere was lively, for sure. A lot of joke telling, smoking, and all around loudness. These guys got to wondering what was going on in the other bus, so they decided to send over a "spy." He returned after one day of travelling and reported back, "You're not gonna believe it, guys, they're READING!"
I loved that story because it really encapsulated the environment on my bus. Me, Simon, and the two band singers sat in the middle. In the back, they spent countless hours telling risque limericks, smoking cigarettes, yelling and laughing. The fellows in the front read, studied music, talked about literature... I did ventured once or twice to the back of the bus, but spent most of my wandering bus hours in the front!
Anyway... one of our stops was in Edinburgh, Scotland - February 23, 1997, to be exact. It was a beautiful old theater, one of those with the gold gilt boxes around the sides. I remember this theater particularly, because there was a group of people dressed in Allied Forces WWII gear. They were sitting up in one of those side boxes off to my right. You've got to try to imagine this... Here I was doing a show comprised completely of 1940's music, dressed in 1940's style costumes, performing in a vintage theater, and now this gang up in the box! It is the closest to "time travel" I've ever gotten!
The boys in the box at the Festival Theatre, Edinburgh, Scotland 2/23/97
At the end of the show, when we were onstage taking our bows, one of the fellows through down from the box a "Hershey Bar". He'll never know how much that meant to me. Hershey Bars were then not easy to come by in Scotland, and the fact that he parted with one as a gesture of thanks for the performance, was deeply touching to me. I have the bar right in front of me now, being a sentimental sap I have saved it these past years, and on the back is a sticker:
Courtesy of the
Scottish Military Re-enactment Society
789th Bombardment Squadron
United States 8th Army
Air Force, 1944
Sponsored by G.I. Joe's, Army & Outdoor Store
Dairy Road, Edinburgh. 0131 313 1943
Rusty with a "Russian Priest" and her beloved Hershey Bar!
An element of each performance was bringing members of the audience up on stage for a "contest". Edinburgh happened to be home to quite a number of Lindy Hoppers, so this contest was super.
"In The Mood" dance contestants after the Edinburgh show, 2/23/97
Now, I've been writing on, and still you don't know how I happened to be invited to Scotland. Maybe you've guessed by now?
Well... two of the contestants of that Scotland dance contest were the invitees -- Gary and Susan of the Fly Right Dance Company. They were visiting in Los Angeles last year and during our get together they told me the story of how that contest was a turning point in their life. For it was just after that they went "pro" with their dancing, teaching and performing. It was that contest that set them off on this path and gave them the confidence to do it. During our visit, they told me how they never forgot me and have been working on getting me over there for a teaching visit and they had succeeded! Little beknownst to me!
The planning of this particular trip is well-timed, as it ties in to National Tap Day, May 25th (I'll tell you more about this important day in next week's newsletter).
So, there you have it, one story of how I got invited to teach in Scotland.
I'll be leaving on Wednesday and returning on Tuesday, May 24th. Ron and Gio will be running classes -- so have a ball. Remember, please remember, the Rhythm Club is CLOSED this Wednesday, May 18th for the final floor work, and then reopened on May 25th with The Campus Five!)
JUNE SCHEDULE POSTED
FEATURED CLASS - LINDY RUEDA!
The new schedule is posted below, so we have opened up Pre-Registration. For you Sunday Level 3 people, we're looking forward to you joining our Track and the Featured Class on Monday and/or Tuesday.
ONE WEEK OFF FOR SUNDAY PEOPLE ONLY BEFORE STARTING NEW SCHEDULE
NEW SUNDAY SERIES BEGINS JUNE 5TH
After this coming Sunday's class, we will take May 29th off, and then begin our new Sunday series of classes on June 5th. Help spred the word.
MONDAY AND TUESDAY... NO BREAK FOR THE "WICKED"
We will be starting our new series on May 30th and 31st, and, as we have added a 5th week for this series, they'll be no break between series. Happy dancing! So mark it in your calendars to add one more week to this series. The price for this additional week will be $10 a class and $5 for each additional class on the same nite; and for Golden Ticket people $6 plus $3 for each additional class on same day. Remember, this is optional for you.
WHAT THE HECK IS A RUEDA?
HOW ABOUT A "SWING SQUARE DANCE"
Rueda came from the Salsa world, and simply put, is a Swing Square Dance. We partner up and stand in a circle, like in class. The caller (Rusty or Ron) calls out the moves throughout the song, and all the leaders follow the calls. Many of the moves involve passes from one partner to the next (like in a Square Dance). We use all the Level 1, 2, & 3 moves, PLUS there are a bunch of moves just for the Swing Rueda: "Po Po Bump", "Lone Star," etc.
We love this class! It is such a high, such a laugh, AND such a good opportunity to get the basics down pat.
If you are a Level 3 or up, come along and join the fun.
DANCE CLASSES! WHAT A BARGAIN!
We have a lot of wonderful options at Lindy By The Sea. Such as any second class taken on the same day is 1/2 price, and our "Golden Ticket" allows you to take ALL of our classes in a given series for only $100 or $90!! if you pre-register! What a deal. If you took four classes in the series, it would break down to $5.62 a class -- where else are ya gonna find that kind of bargain.
As mentioned last week, Ron and I have decided to add one more week in this series that is optional to you. We felt that it would be an excellent idea for those in the "Secret Agent Man" class, and for those in the Track, you would get a "review" week. This will also keep us with the Sunday classes who will be taking one week off for Memorial Weekend (NOTE: We will NOT (again NOT) be taking a week off).
"I learn it on Monday, I practice it on Tuesday"
We have been noticing a rise in "Golden Tickets" as a result of our dual nite Tracks. People have been buying this all-in-one card as an opportunity to real pace themselves. As we have heard, "On Monday nite I learn the moves, on Tuesday nite, I practice the moves." If you would like to take advantage of our best offer, sign up for a Golden Ticket ($100, all the classes you want in the month series, or $90 (!!!!) pre-registered).
USE YOUR QUICK STOP CARD TO PRE-REGISTER AND SAVE 10% ON CLASSES
(click on image to find out how it works and how you can get one!)
We have pre-registration discounts of 10% on the website. So you can register with your Quick Stop Card, or 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 on-line We hope that you'll enjoy taking advantage of this new offer...
COUNTDOWN TIME FOR OUR NEW FLOOR AT THE RHYTHM CLUB!
ONE MORE WEEK!!
Well, only one more week (May 25th!), before our new floor will be debuted! The floor has been installed and has been getting "used" to the room's environment. On May 18th, we will be closed, as that is the week the finish coats will be applied to the floor. The entire floor installation has been completely supervised and put in by our very own Michael D'Angelo. He's the best. And we're the luckiest.
Please make sure to let everyone know about our schedule, especially those who are not on the internet. Here's the schedule:
May 18th Closed (finish put on our new floor!)
May 25th Grand Re-Opening at Elks Lodge!!!!
This Week's Celebrations
will be celebrated next week!
If it's your birthday this week, just let us know at the Rhythm Club so you can get your birthday dance!
Here's some information about an upcoming event with our "Swing Shift Rhythm Club". We hope you will consider joining this wonderful yahoogroup made up of US for the purpose of doing good deeds in the community through swing dancing and just having plain ol' fun! Go to the bottom of this newsletter for information on joining
FROM JESSICA DENSMORE - OUR "GOOD DEEDS COORDINATOR"
We have an Event at
Little Company of Mary Sub Acute Care Center
3620 West Lomita Blvd. (between Hawthorne and Madison)
Torrance, CA 90505
3rd floor Dayroom
310-378-8587 (#4262 Shirley Torstensen, Activity Coordinator)
According to Activity Coordinator, Shirley, "Most of our residents
are vent or trach. Some are very responsive and enjoy live
entertainment. For others, the dance and music would provide a
wonderful sensory stimuli."
Not only do we need 4-6 couples to dance, we also need "hold hands"
with residents, a narrator, DJ, (digital) photographer, all that
stuff. As well as the usual display of Lindy and West Coast, we hope
for a sample of Ballroom or Latin, as well as a tap number from a
local tap student.
Hope to hear from you soon. You can talk to me at classes, at the Rhythm Club, or via my email below.