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July 6TH 2005
WEDNESDAY

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Betty Wood, passes away, July 2, 2005

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"The Big Apple dance was an instantaneous hit of gigantic proportions."

--Betty Wood
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LEGENDARY SWING DANCER, BETTY WOOD, PASSES AWAY SATURDAY


Betty Wood & Kenneth Clark at the Roxy Theatre, New York, 1937

One of my dearest friends in the world passed away on Saturday, Betty Wood. I got to know her years ago, when I was living in England, and we both were teaching at the Swedish Lindy Hop camp, Herrang. It was love at first site. Betty was simply one of the warmest, loveliest, loving people I shall ever have the good fortune to know. She was, simply put, a bundle of love.

I would like to dedicate this newsletter to her.

Betty Wood was one of the original Big Apple Dancers who toured the country from 1936-1938 (see Link of the Week below). Betty retired in Florida, and loved reading this weekly newsletter. On a regular basis she would write a little note to me saying how envious she was of all our activities here and how she wished she could be here to join us. About two months ago, I put her number on my "speed dial" and began calling her frequently. We had such warm and loving conversations, and I got to tell her how much she meant to me and how much I loved her as "dancer hero" as "sister" as "friend". We had a mutual admiration love-fest.

When she saw that my Swing Shift Fliers were performing at the San Diego County Fair a week and a half ago, she sent this email; it's the last I ever got from her (note that her email address was SuziQSwinger1@aol.com):

Wish I could be there to see the performances!!!!!!SuziQSwinger1.............

One day, a few years ago, a package arrived in the mail from her to me. It was a bag filled with her old 1940s costume jewelry. She told me she wanted me to have it, as she knew I would love it and wear it with all my vintage clothes. Jeepers, was she right! (Tonight I'll wear her little pearl necklace which is my favorite.) I still haven't gotten over the surprise of that gift.


Rusty with the Big Apple Girls (Betty second from right)
Look at that radiant smile on Betty!

Betty Wood was suffering in the end with health problems, but each time I called her she sounded as chipper and upbeat as ever. She never offered complaint. It was only in answer to my questions about her health that I would hear anything.


Lance Benishek and Betty Wood

I would like to thank Lance Benishek who in 1992 was able to find Betty Wood and brought her out of retirement. He learned many different dance steps from her and they taught original 8 count collegiate shag and Big Apple together. Lance took Betty on trips to Sweden, England, and all over the United Sates to spread knowledge of these historic dances. Without Lance, we never would have had the great pleasure to meet the enchanting Betty Wood.

Betty, I shall so miss our conversations and just knowing you are there. You taught me so much about living with joy on the surface and deep inside. You will always be in my heart.



ANNOUNCING OUR SUMMER SCHEDULE!

*Monday Classes On Hiatus (NO Mondays for July & August)
*FEATURED CLASS: Dips and Tricks
*NEW! Your "Custom Class" -- to begin in August

* * * *

SUNDAY SERIES NOT TOO LATE TO JOIN

If you had to miss class last Sunday for the 4th of July holiday, remember it's not too late to join this Sunday -- we review EVERYTHING!

FEATURED CLASS: DIPS AND TRICKS
TUESDAYS AT 8:00PM

This is a brand new Featured Class for us, and we are thrilled to be offering it.

Partnered dips are a fun and exciting element to put into your dancing, right in the middle of a song, or as a dramatic finish. Dips are easy to do, but each one has its own special technique; we will be going through just 1-2 dips each week in order to make sure that we go through all the detail that will make you a "safe" partner on the dance floor.

"Tricks" are partnered moves that have a little extruded flair. They don't involve any flips, or things like that. They do include, safe and fun little pop ups and tosses. Please make sure you are good physical shape (please no chronic serious knee, ankle, hip, neck, or arm problems that could put you at risk -- call us if you're not sure 310 606 5606).

THE CUSTOM CLASS... TO BEGIN IN AUGUST
Advanced-Intermediate Lindy Hoppers

Note: The first group has been reserved for August. We will run the 9-10pm Tuesday slot as The Zone for this month (Advanced/Intermediate).

This is your chance to get exactly the training you want with the hands-on attention that only a small group class can allow.Here's how it works:

You pick the subject.
You put together your group.
You book us. (2-week or 4-week increments, Tuesdays from 9-10pm)
First come, first served.
Pricing is based on a sliding scale. (See below)

For complete information about the Custom Class, click HERE

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Yes, it's that time again, "The First Wednesday of the Month" when we have our Beginner Swing Dance Class at the Rhythm Club. We offer this super easy class for those who just want to check out the scene. Maybe they're not sure enough about swing dancing to sign up for a full 4-week Lindy By The Sea course yet... This class is just meant to give them a "taste" of the dance and the people, the environment, so to speak. Let all your co-workers, friends, relatives, and others (?) know about it. Oh yes, this is also a nice class for our shy beginner students who have been trying to get up their nerve o come to the Rhythm Club. Take the class and you'll meet a bunch of people right off the bat.


JULY 6

DEBUT!
WITH SPECIAL GUEST ARTIST
BOOGIE WOOGIE PIANIST EXTRAORDINAIRE
CARL SONNY LELAND!
JULY 13
JULY 20
WITH SPECIAL GUEST BRIAN ATKINSON
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


Cassandra Bugg
Judy Willis
Amanda McCullough
Peggy Nugent


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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DANCING IN THE PARK -- EL SEGUNDO
THIS THURSDAY EVENING FROM 6:00-8:00PM

For those of you who are looking for fun, free things to do this summer, there are many outdoor swing concert and dances. This Thursday (tomorrow), there is a swing concert in Library Park, in El Segundo featuring one of our Rhythm Club bands, Jumpin' Joz. Let's spread the good word of swing dancing!

July 7- Thursday - Community Concert - El Segundo - Library Park 600 block of Main Street- 6-8pm - Dancing

* * * * *

SECRET AGENT MAN CLASS PERFORMANCE AT RHYTHM CLUB

Click HERE to see a little scrapbook of pictures of the "Secret Agent Man Class".

Click HERE to see video of the performance!

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"MAD HOT BALLROOM:
ORDINARY KIDS, AN EXTRAORDINARY JOURNEY"

A MUST SEE!

I know, I know, this has been up for four weeks now. But, hey, remember, when you GO to the movie theatre and PAY money at the box office, you get COUNTED! Then the powers that be understand that people feel that dance is important, they put more funding in the schools for dance programs and they make more movies featuring dance! So go and be counted! And then when it comes out on DVD, why not pick up a copy there, too! You get the picture. Your money will speak for you (imagine dollar bill screaming "I love dance!").

If you haven't seen it yet, may we suggest that you run, don't walk, to the nearest theatre showing this documentary. Click HERE for the official site.

RUSTYFRANK.COM

Thanks to a new student recommendation, I now have my own "domain" -- "RustyFrank.com". For those of you who have trouble remember the complete name "SwingShiftOnTap.com"... here's something much easier, AND it brings you right to our site! Thanks to the entrepid Stanley Sheff, aka Maxwell DeMille, for making all this possible -- webhost extraordinaire.



Mora's Modern Swingtet at Rusty's Rhythm Club
Scrapbooks! Click HERE





Big Apple Poster, 1938

AN INTERVIEW WITH BETTY WOOD

AN INTERVIEW WITH BETTY WOOD: For those of you who never had the good fortune to meet Betty Wood, and for those of you who did, here's a chance to read a wonderful interview with her done by the folks at Jitterbuzz. In this interview, you'll learn the Big Apple (and the Little Apple) origins. Happy reading.




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 FUN!
BUT, WHAT THE HECK IS IT?

Many of you still don't know about our Swing Shift Rhythm Club. It's one of our best kept secrets. Now is the time to get the SSRC "above the radar."

THE SWING SHIFT RHYTHM CLUB (SSRC), founded in 2000 by Rusty Frank's swing dance students, The SSRC has two missions:

1. Having fun! (Fun) 2. Doing good deeds! (Philanthropy)

1. Having fun: Events where swing dancers can socialize and get to know each other outside of class (vintage clothes shopping, going to a dance-related movie, dancing in the park, eating at retro restaurants before a dance, etc.).

2. Doing good deeds: Events where we bring swing dancing to hospitals, senior homes, and community events for the purpose of good deeds, entertainment, and education in the Los Angeles area.

The SSRC is a volunteer club open to the public and the events are organized by its members. There are no dues. Members can attend as many or as few events as they wish.

"How do I join?"...
Right now, fill in your email address
and click the Yahoo log (that's it!):

Subscribe to SwingShiftRhythmClub

Then you will receive updates of activities (or you can organize one yourself!). Check the yahoogroup "Swing Shift Rhythm Club" calendar here for postings of upcoming events.

Join us in making the world a better place through dancing!

Thank you for joining!

Rusty Frank, Founder
Jessica Densmore, Philanthropic Events Coordinator
Cathryn Sayer, "Just for Fun" Events Coordinator
Norman Kajikawa, SSRC Photographer

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