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NEWSLETTER


SATURDAY, APRIL 9TH 2011

DON'T MISS THE NEWS BELOW

 


A NOTE FROM RUSTY
Home sweet home!
My trip to China

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

PICTURE OF THE WEEK

CLIP OF THE WEEK

... and now our schedule of events:

WORKSHOPS
Tap for Lindy Hoppers! Sunday, April 17

LINDY BY THE SEA NEWS
Current Series:
Tues, April 5: Intermediates
Thurs, April 7: Beginners
Register Here

RUSTY'S RHYTHM CLUB
Beg. Swing Dance Lesson taught by Rusty's Rhythm Corps
begins 1/2 hr before dance

04-13 Dark - Hall Renovation
04-20 Dean Mora Quintet
04-27 Rumble King - Rusty's Debut!
Cover Charge $15, Every Wed. Special - $10 after 10:00
Rusty's "passes" - limit 5 a night... get there early!
See our 2011 Rhythm Club line-up

... dancing around town:

ADDED ATTRACTIONS
Dancing Events Around Town
Tap Event at the Colburn School - Free, and I'll be speaking
Camp Hollywood

... and a few more things:

SWING SHIFT RHYTHM CLUB NEWS
"Fun & Philanthropy" -- Join our club

SCRAPBOOKS
See our pics

HELP IS HERE FOR YOU
Need dancing? Can't afford it? Then it's FREE

and, don't forget...

JOIN OUR FACEBOOK GROUPS
Rusty's Rhythm Club
Lindy By The Sea

(So don't stop scrolling...)



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THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME

I had an amazing trip to China. Two weeks flew by. I have attempted to write up the trip, but realize it is hopeless to get every memory in there. What I have tried to do is tell you how it all came about and some of the highlights.

I want to thank everyone over in China who made my trip so exceptional, and everyone here at home who kept our swing ball rolling - Ron & Gio at Lindy by the Sea, all the great volunteers at Rusty's, and, of course, all of you for keeping our dancing alive.

PHOTOS ON FACEBOOK AND OUR WEBSITE


I have posted 200 of the 1,212 photos I took on the trip both on Facebook and our website. The Facebook scrapbook is more organized in order of my trip... so, if you can look there, I'd recommend it. Otherwise, enjoy the random order on the website.

CLICK HERE FOR FACEBOOK SCRAPBOOK

CLICK HERE FOR WEBSITE SCRAPBOOK


YOU NEVER KNOW WHERE YOUR
DANCING SHOES WILL TAKE YOU!

MY PERSONAL TAP DANCE CULTURAL EXCHANGE IN CHINA

In a recent issue of the International Tap Association newsletter, I was fascinated by a piece written by Chinese tapper, Jiefang Chen. I immediately recognized his name, as he had bought quite a few of my "Tapping With The Masters" instructional DVDs. I was deeply moved and intrigued by the content of this article - how Jiefang was using my Leonard Reed Shim Sham Shimmy DVDs to teach his students the tap basics and getting them dancing within a matter of months. I was compelled by his description of the uphill battle he faced for two reasons: The common perception in China that tap dancing is Irish (as a result of a tour of the show Riverdance), and how people in China are reluctant to "pay" for knowledge, including dance classes.

In December 2010, I wrote a short email to Jiefang: "I wanted to say thank you for forwarding your wonderful and thoughtful article on American Tap in China. I was fascinated and thoroughly impressed with what you are doing. If I can be of any help in the future, please let me know. I would love to meet you one day. All the very best, Rusty Frank."

I was not prepared for his reply that arrived the next day, for it included a short clip of him and his adult students doing the Shim Sham Shimmy (if you missed it, you can see it here on You Tube). Within moments I found myself in a puddle of tears - this clip just simply grabbed at my heartstrings, and, from that moment on, wouldn't let go.


With Jiefang and his students

From what I knew about China (which was admittedly very little) there would be scarce funding for foreign teachers. I had been hoarding my frequent flyer miles for a decade with the idea of doing something special one day, and it looked like I had found that something VERY special. I offered to Jiefang that I would fly myself over, waive my fee, and do some teaching in order to help ignite their fledgling tap dance scene.

Jiefang responded, "How's March?"

The ball got rolling at a frenetic speed, and before I knew it, I was on a plane heading for Shanghai on my own personal cultural exchange.

MEET JIEFANG CHEN
CHINA'S TAP TIGER


When you combine passion with drive, what you are met with is a force beyond reckoning, and if this were a person, he would be named Jiefang Chen.

This dapper and sturdy 72-year old Shanghai resident is a tap fanatic on a mission - to create an American Tap Dance Teacher Certification program in China. I was extremely skeptical about this agenda prior to arriving in China and had had some nervous discussions back home about establishing a curriculum for this Chinese certification program. It just seemed that tap needed to be a bit of a free spirit. But after spending two weeks with Jiefang and meeting with tap instructors from across China, I am fully convinced that his vision is one critical for the Chinese culture. All the young talent coming up across that huge nation will be aided by the formal recognition of the Teacher's Certificate in getting employment, and thereby enabled to pass on the art form.


Beijing Tap Teachers and Rusty jump for joy

The dancers with whom I spoke reckoned there were about 1,000 tap dancers in China, but they felt, with a little push, this number could grow exponentially.

During my short stay, I taught and performed with dancers on six different occasions, and, without exception, they were thrilled to meet and work with an American tap dancer. They were keen students of all levels and could pick up steps and rhythms quickly. As there was a strong language barrier, I was teaching with movement and rhythm.


One of my favorite students, and the only child, this lovely six-year old girl brought me flowers and loads of hugs! At one point she came running over to me with her parents' iPhone and showed a clip of me dancing, pointing to me then the video,
as though saying, "See! That's you!"


Jiefang's goal is to get the ball rolling and pass it all on to the younger generation. "I am an old man," he says repeatedly. Yes, well this "old man" has the tenacity and strength of a tiger. Given half a chance he'll reach his goal.

SOME SOCIAL TIME, TOO, WITH "SHANGHAI SWINGS"
(BUT, OF COURSE!)

As much as I love teaching, and you all know I do, I also found time to do some nice sightseeing around Shanghai, meet up with the local Lindy Hop swing dance scene, and take a couple side trips.

The first week was focused heavily teaching, I had to squeeze in my wanderings in between classes. I spent a lovely morning walking through a huge local park and took in the scenes, including: kite flying, dancing - both line dancing, and tango!, games, people resting with their families, etc.


Yu Gardens

Some of the visiting tap dancers from Beijing took me to the famous Bund where we took in the sights of the old and the new Shanghai and ended with a tap jam at The House of Blues & Jazz.


On The Bund

 

I took a fascinating tour on the history of Jews in Shanghai where I got to see the Ghetto in which Ron Campbell's mother-in-law was born and raised after her family escaped the Nazi's. (Shanghai was the last place on earth, literally, where Jews could find refuge at that time. Though the conditions were harsh, they survived.)


In The Jewish Ghetto of Shanghai of WWII era

My hosts, Jiefang and his wife Betty, took me for an overnight trip to Hangzhou ("Heaven is above, and Hangzhou and Suzhou are below" - made it to Suzhou later)


Shanghai Swings welcomed me famously. One of the "fearless leaders," Orchid Bae, sent out the following email:

"Dear all, Rusty will be in town from Mar. 25 to April 6. To the core group and specially the group of "ladies who lunch", Shanghai Swings is counting on you to uphold our reputation as one of the most welcoming swing scenes in Asia. :-) Yes, swing scenes around the world are generally friendly and open, but I like to believe we are one of the best or at least trying to be one! Orchid"


With Shanghai Swing ladies, center Orchid & Jacqueline, and three visiting German Lindy Hoppers

And, boy, oh, boy, did they answer the call! They made sure I had plenty to do in my free time. Jacqueline gave me two excellent walking tours, I had a lovely dinner with Ann, Akiko (the other Akiko), Jacqueline, and a dancer from Korea; I was hosted for THREE days in Suzhou by Loreto and Stu; and again at The House of Blues & Jazz in Shanghai with Shanghai Swings gang and other foreign visitors from Germany on my final night. The big joy was that there was a new band being featured at the club (they are on a three-month rotation) from New York. And the guitarist was Peter Davis, whose music I've long had in my iPod - "Goin' To Lindy Land."



FLYING HOME IN CLASS WITH A BIG SURPRISE
INAUGURAL SHANGHAI-L.A. FLIGHT

My trip concluded with a huge surprise. Turned out I was on the VERY first ever U.S. commercial airplane to fly direct from Shanghai to Los Angeles. Ever. There was a big ceremony with speeches and ribbon cutting, plus gifts of ebony and silver plated chopsticks for all the passengers. Pretty nifty!

CLOSING THOUGHTS

I had an amazing time. I was greeted over and over again with the greatest of warmth and enthusiasm, treated royally, and fed to the bursting point. I have memories to last a lifetime.

I definitely attained my goal in helping spark a few tap dance lights in China. And, I thrilled in passing on the work of my teachers & friends (Louis DaPron & Miriam Nelson) as well as a couple routines of my own.

When I think of my trip, it reveals itself like the montage ending of a happy movie - the smiling faces of all the students, teachers, and new friends I met on this journey.


And, of course, it's GREAT to be home!

 

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See you on the dance floor!




"We should consider everyday lost in which we don't dance."

~ Nietzsche

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Camp Hollywood - Live It!

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Camp Hollywood 2010 - Pro Strictly Lindy - Finals - Spotlights

See what I'm sayin'! You just can't miss Camp Hollywood!


 

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TAP FOR LINDY HOPPERS!
with Rusty Frank

I often get asked to teach tap dancing by Lindy Hoppers. I fashioned some material that is wonderfully accessible for social dancers and to really help them (YOU!) get their feet moving, while at the same time learning the basics of tap dance.

You can be a total tap beginner, or even have a little background, and you're certain to enjoy this workshop.

QUESTION:
"WILL TAP HELP MY LINDY?"

ANSWER:
"YES!"

I get asked that question often, and I can say that tap dancing will definitely help your dancing. How? It will get you moving your feet more intricately and learning some nifty syncopations that you can put in your dancing.

Sign up now!

Get the pre-registration discount


HERE ARE ALL THE DETAILS:

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OUR CURRENT SERIES
Swing & Lindy Hop

* PRE-REGISTER NOW and SAVE!*


TUESDAYS - INTERMEDIATES
April 5, 12, 19, 26
Taught by Rusty Frank & Ron Campbell

7:00pm Lindy Hop - The Track Series
8:00pm Featured class: Balboa!
9:00pm Master Track
(This Master Track is full - contact us to join the next series starting May 3rd.



THURSDAYS - BEGINNERS
April 7, 14, 21, 28
Taught by Rusty Frank & Giovanni "Gio" Quintero

7:00pm Level 1A - Intro to Swing Dance
8:00pm Level 2A - Beginning Lindy Hop
9:00pm Level 3    - Intro to Styling & Musicality



 

LOCATION:
El Segundo Woman's Club
541 Standard St. (at Mariposa), El Segundo 90245

NO PARTNER NEEDED!


* REGISTER AND SAVE! *

PRICES FOR OUR 4-WEEK SERIES:
$42/Series ($38 Student/Senior)*
$22/Series Second Series on Same Day($20 Student/Senior)
$15/Class Drop-In($12 Student/Senior) and $7 additional class(es) on same day!!

$10 SPECIAL FOR TUESDAY STUDENTS!
Brush up on your basics in Lindy 1-3 and pay only $10 for each series.

*Includes Pre-Registration Discount

* TUESDAY'S FEATURED CLASS:
BALBOA!

CLICK HERE TO SEE A CLIP
and see if you recognize anyone

Balboa today is commonly used as a general term for dances that originated in Southern California during the 1920s and 1930s. It is a form of swing dance that started as early as 1915 and gained in popularity in the 1930s and 1940s.

The art of Balboa is in the subtle communication between the lead and follow, including weight shifts, which most viewers cannot see. As a result, Balboa is considered more of a "dancer's dance" than a "spectator's dance".

Balboa is danced to a wide variety of tempos. Because the basic step takes up such a small space, Balboa can be danced to fast music (over 300 beats per minute). Balboa is also danced to slow music (under 100 beats per minute), which allows more time for intricate footwork and variations.


Questions? Info: RustyFrank.com ~ (310) 606-5606

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WEEKLY SWING DANCES TO LIVE MUSIC

We have dances every Wednesday at Rusty's, except for the weeks when the dance is held on Friday. Usually our Friday dances are on the first Friday of each month. The $15 admission includes a half-hour dance lesson at 7:30 pm and live music with some of the hottest bands around. As we have occasional changes, make sure to check our online schedule for current info.



Wednesday, April 13
DARK FOR HALL RENOVATION

Wednesday, April 20
Dean Mora Quintet

Wednesday, April 27
Debut - Rumble King!

Friday, May 6
Phat Cat Swinger


RUSTY'S RHYTHM CLUB
Fun & Friendly
All ages
No partner needed
Great social dancing atmosphere
2300 sq ft maple dance floor
Air Conditioning
Free parking
Bar

Located at the Westchester Elk's Lodge
8025 W. Manchester Avenue, Playa Del Rey 90293

Read about our Frequent Dancer Card and Passes Policy

"$10 AFTER 10" - ON WEDNESDAYS
Don't forget about our special discount after 10:00pm!
You'll still have another one-hour set of live music
and 1/2 hour of DJ Robert Vangor.

BE PROUD TO SAY: "I SUPPORT LIVE MUSIC!"


This Week's Celebrations

Billy Higgins
Barb Nelis
Dale Frank
Kiersten Stuessy
Shannon McHugh

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

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Rusty Speaking at the Colburn Tap Festival

Sunday, April 10... It's FREE! Come Along

The Colburn School of Performing Arts is devoting an entire day to tap dance. Much of the day is free, and it's all open the public.

I'll be doing a fun clip show and history talk at 12:45pm and then on a panel at 2:30. There is tap show in the early evening.

If you're looking for something fun to do... and get excited about our upcoming Tap Workshop (April 17th), come along!

Los Angeles is full of incredible tap dance artists, and loads of them are part of this festival. It's quite the opportunity. So if you are of a mind... I'll see you there.

Click HERE for all the details.


Camp Hollywood!!!

I'll be there, will you?

Let's get the biggest Lindy By The Sea crowd there yet!

 

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Founded in 2000 by Rusty Frank's swing dance students, the club has two missions: Having Fun and doing good deeds. Volunteers go to hospitals, ,senior homes, and community events for the purpose of good deeds, entertainment, and education in the Los Angeles area.

The Swing Shift Rhythm Club (SSRC) is a volunteer club open to the public and the events are organized by it's members. There are no dues, members can attend as many or as few events as they wish.

HOW TO JOIN THE CLUB:

1. Join our Facebook page "Swing Shift Rhythm Club"
or
2. Send an email to Rita

"Fun & Philanthropy"

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All Scrapbooks! Click HERE


 

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LOST YOUR JOB? TOOK A PAY CUT?
DON'T BE A STRANGER!
WE'LL WORK SOMETHING OUT FOR YOU

Every now and again, people just disappear from our scene who have been regular dancers. I wonder why. Did they get married, did they move, or did they suffer some financial hit.

If it's economics, please know that you are always welcome. Don't stay away. We can work something out! Here's some options:

~ I am happy to work out trades... you could sit at the door for a bit at the Rhythm Club in exchange for the dance that night.

~ Find me at the Rhythm Club, and just pay what you can.

~ I'll give you some Rhythm Club passes until this era blows over for you.

~ And the same thing goes for all Lindy By The Sea classes!

I know that dancing really helps in hard times. So don't be a stranger! We'll work it out to meet your needs.

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JOIN OUR FACEBOOK PAGES

I started these Facebook pages to give all of us a chance to network, to know what's going on, to set up carpools, post photographs, videos, etc.

"RUSTY'S RHYTHM CLUB FAN"

"LINDY BY THE SEA" FACEBOOK FAN CLUB GROUP



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www.rustyfrank.com




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