After much contemplation, I sent out my "Open Letter" about rising gas prices and keeping Swing Dancing alive through it all. For those of you who didn't get to read it, I have included it in this newsletter below (Click HERE).
Many of you sent in such enthusiastic responses, and I appreciate it.
I was also very taken by local dancer and bike rider John Silva. He sent me a list of suggestions, and then actually did one of them for me:
i just posted your event on yelp a few minutes ago and started a thread titled 'May I have this dance?' with links to your event. We'll see what kind of interest comes of this. Log onto yelp-it's free. good luck!
RESPONSES FROM RUSTY'S OPEN LETTER
Nice letter, Rusty. It reminds me of the fact that we have been able to enjoy swing dancing for more years now in this renaissance that we have been fortunate to be a part of than the original folk did the first time around! There is much to be grateful for.
Hi There Rusty,
I appreciate this letter. I am one of the "original" swing dancers - I learned at the age of 10 in 1946. From that time on to the present, it is my favorite activity. I would hope that there would be a place for my husband and me, or just me alone, to go closer to home - Westwood. It is not so much the gas at this point, it's the "driving at night."
Thanks! Nickie Miner
(Anyone come over from Westwood that could pick her up on occasion?)
Nice letter, Rusty, and you are so right. It applies to many things in our
life, that when we let them go, including ourselves, they just waste away or
Good Girl Rusty;
Sometimes, it just needs to be spelled out........
The gas prices end up influencing SO MANY other day to day issues...
Like ripples in a pond. It's crippling a lot of people (families
especially) but it's about priorities....and keeping a community
afloat.....with so many good reasons to do so.
And yes, American's are a bit removed from the general European mind-set
which I think simplifies things, is less impressed w/ the glitz and
bling, and holds
Things dear, that are easy, basic, work, and make sense... Americans'
are being forced to pull in their belts, but we need to anyway -
That still doesn't mean we have to give up our healthy habits!
Again, my hat's off to you for verbalizing some basic, important
And sending an S.O.S. out there for our beloved dance community.
Jann Olson, Santa Barbara
Rusty, that was a WONDERFUL message and I'm so glad you said that.
THANK YOU for your support of dancing AND live swing-music!
-Pete Jacobs, Bandleader Wartime Radio Revue
TICKETS ON SALE! WIN THE RAFFLE!
A FREE PRIVATE LESSON WITH RUSTY
That's right! We're having a raffle for the first 50 people who purchase their tickets for the Bill Elliott Swing Orchestra "A Night At The Hollywood Canteen" dance, August 17th. The raffle winner gets a free one-hour private lesson (for one or two people) with yours truly - value $80!
So don't miss out on your chance... and get your tickets today!
LINDY BY THE SEA -- SUNDAY'S MOVE TO THURSDAYS!
HERE'S OUR NEW SCHEDULE OF CLASSES
In celebration of our last Sunday class, we thought it would be fun to go out to dinner after the last class THIS Sunday, June 22. Anyone is welcome to join us. Just meet us at Lindy By The Sea (Rebekah Lodge, 406 East Grand Ave, 90245) at about 5:15 and off we'll go.
FEATURED CLASSES -- BALBOA! BALBOA!
TUESDAY FEATURED CLASSES!!!! (Yes, that's right, two, count 'em, two)
8:30 Balboa: Beginner/Intermediate
9:30 Balboa: Intermediate Advanced Balboa (taking the place of June's Master Track time slot)
SPECIAL OFFER FOR PEOPLE TAKING BOTH BALBOA CLASSES!!!!
FREE Beginner/Intermediate class for anyone taking Intermediate/Advanced class!!!
(why not review your basics and help those newbies)
Here's the lowdown:
-Beginner/Intermediate Balboa Class Description:
This class is designed to go over the Balboa Basics listed below. Complete Bal beginners may join.
Bal Send out (Bal Swingout)
-Intermediate/Advanced Balboa Class Description:
Our intention is to have a truly challenging Balboa Class.
To join this class, must be able to demonstrate that you know the moves listed in the Beg/Int class.
If it's your birthday this week, just let us know at the Rhythm Club so you can get your birthday dance!
SAVE SOME DATES!
WE'VE GOT HIM BACK AND ALL THE FUN!
THE BILL ELLIOTT SWING ORCHESTRA SUNDAY, AUGUST 17TH
JUMP, JIVE, AND SAIL THE LINDY CRUISE
JANUARY 4-11, 2009
Well, you've heard all about it now! "Jump, Jive, and Sail" - The LIndy Cruise to the Caribbean. Don't forget, the first 50 people who sign up for this cruise get $50 off their passage. Let's make this an unforgettable trip.
Regarding High Gas Prices
And Keeping Swing Dancing Alive
June 17, 2008
My dear friends,
I have been giving this a lot of thought over the past two months, and finally decided I would like to share my reflections with you all.
We who live in North America have been so lucky for years with our low gasoline prices; so lucky we just didnÕt even know it. I travel to Europe once or twice a year, and each time I was astounded at the high prices they have been paying all along. As a matter of fact, last month when I was there, they were paying over $100 to fill up a basic car! They always think we are so ŅfunnyÓ to be complaining.
So now that our prices are going up, how will that affect our lives? Our choices of what we do? What we buy? Where we go?
I want to appeal to you, in these musings, to make sure that you consider the following:
How does that affect swing dancing? Well, bottom line, if you donÕt support the swing dance clubs that keep it going for you year round, wellÉ you can fill in the rest. ItÕs America; you know how it works here.
Swing Dancing was ŅkilledÓ once before, right after WWII. For many reasons, people stopped going out to the nightclubs that featured live bands. Venues just had to shut their doors.
So many of us remember the decades when there was no place to dance, no place to hear live music. It was just a dream of the years gone by.
It wasnÕt until our Swing Dance revival in the late 1990Õs that loads of Swing Dance venues began opening for all of us to enjoy. Imagine how thrilling it was to be able to finally live that dream. Live bands! People to dance with! People who shared the same passion! It was euphoric!
Please - donÕt let what happened in the late Ō40Õs happen again! Keep the Swing Dance clubs alive this time.
How can you do it?
1. Make a commitment to support with the good ol' American dollar those people (like myself at RustyÕs Rhythm Club, the Stevens family at PBDA, Lance Powell at Lindy Groove, Maxwell's Cicada Club, and so on) who keep this scene going for you year after year.
2. Go to their venues and pay your entrance fee with a smile on your face and a thank you in your heart for the fact that you have a place to go dancing.
3. If they have a bar or serve dinner, put extra in your budget to support that, too.
4. Especially make sure to support club nights with live music! By doing so, you are also supporting our wonderful local musicians and their ability to keep doing what they do.
5. Carpool! ItÕs not only good for your pocketbook; itÕs good for the environmentÉ a double good deed.
6. Take your pocket change and put it in a Ņdance fundÓ pot. YouÕd be amazed at how quickly that can add up.
7. Look around and see which regulars are missing, and call them, invite them out.
8. I donÕt mean to pick on Starbucks, but think about how much you spend on one drink there, and maybe decide to share the wealth with your beloved swing dance venues.
9. Maybe youÕve got some more ideas? Share them with others.
What about all these great summer free dances?
Yes, they are terrific. (IÕve always said ŅfreeÓ is one of my favorite words, for many reasons.)
Go out to these free summer dances, dance up a storm, have fun, spread the good word of Swing Dancing. Why not put a few business cards in your pocket from local clubs and hand them out to people when they talk with you about Swing Dancing? IÕve always contended that you dancers are the very best word out there!
So what is the bottom line?
During this time of gas prices going up and the summer free dances, donÕt forget about the clubs whose ongoing survival depends on you. Make sure you include them in your regular dancing plans. YouÕll be the ones who benefit!
Thank you for letting me share my thoughts with you.
I have been amazed and delighted that we have kept swing dancing alive again for so many years.
LetÕs keep it going and going!
"Making a difference through swing dancing"
JOIN THE SWING SHIFT RHYTHM CLUB NOW!
UPCOMING SSRC EVENTS
Torrance Historical Society Event, Thursday, July 17,'08 5-8 PM
The Torrance Historical Society is holding ... what else? ... a Historical Fair,
featuring exhibits representing WWII. They have tried to get swing dancers to
attend and dance for the past few years for "atmosphere" and hope to be more
successful THIS year.
We will be dancing on the street in front of the Historical Society building to the
DJ's choice of music ('30s-'50s) EXCEPT for between 6pm-6:30pm when we can
give him OUR CHOICE of music; at this point in time we will be directed to a
"stage area" to dance and we "may" be filmed by the local Torrance Cable TV channel.
After we are featured we can stay and watch other performers, and wait to dance
when more swing music is featured (DJ's choice at this point), or we can peruse
the vintage stores and eat at one of the many local restaurants to round out the
evening (still time for Lindy Groove if you haven't had enough!!!).
There will be water available.
Parking will be difficult so be prepared/give yourself some time to get to the
Current participants include:
Reetha Garretty, Catherine Sayer, Katie Albee, Laura Greenlund,
John Apodaca, Scott Giordano, Tony Mercuro, Jeremy Heckman,
Steve Densmore has volunteered to photograph and eat...Jes has volunteered
to shop (spend his money) at the vintage shops...
Event at Heritage Rehab. Center, Saturday, June 28,'08, 2:30pm-3:30pm
A request from Adele, a friend of Debbie Wastling, to come dance at the
Heritage Rehab. Center, Saturday, June 28, '08, 2:30pm-3:30pm for the
residents as part of Luau month - Guess this means dress Hawaiian!!!
The address is: 21414 Vermont Ave., Torrance
The phone # : 310-320-8714, ask for Adele
This sounds close to Alpine Village, so we could gather there afterwards and
celebrate...something or other...
This is a bit short notice, but the residents would enjoy our program.
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). Basically, we swing like a gate!
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!):