April 22, 2017
Awww my life is a million times better since I started learning how to dance from Rusty Frank! She's one of my heroes because she's smart, kind, funny, joyful, beautiful, empathetic and energetic!
April 28, 2016
Really looking forward to dancing tonight!! Lessons from Rusty Frank are the highlight of my week!!
March 2, 2016
HEY EVERYBODY! I started taking Lindy Hop swing dancing break out of my shell get my body moving lessons from Rusty Frank in November, and it's been great! Rusty's teaching methods are great for doofuses (that's me) through experts. This is something I wanted to do for a long time, and I'm finally doing it. You should, too! I'm still overthinking the moves in my head and stumbling on my footwork and stepping on my partner, but hot damn I know some basic moves and can hold my own on the dance floor without looking like a complete idiot. So sign up, bust a move, and meet some new cool people.
September 24, 2015
You are AWESOME Rusty... And your ability to bring such a fabulous group of people together through dance restores a lot of souls on a weekly basis!! We love you!
Taking dance class with you is one of the pleasures of my life.
May 28, 2015
As someone with no dance experience, and who always hated trying to dance before, I am having a surprising amount of fun in your class! Thanks for all your work.
May 26, 2015
Thanks for bringing us all together to enjoy dancing, Rusty! Coming to class and going to the dances is usually the highlight of my day and I'm so glad to be part of the group!
March 7, 2015
Thanks a lot for the great event last night! I never suspected dancing could be that much fun.
See you Thursday! [At Lindy By The Sea class]
September 26, 2014
Carolyn and I had a wonderful time in your class last night, and we are looking forward to our next lesson. The way you broke down the dance moves was very helpful for me; it actually made me a better dancer after only one lesson! Amazing! Thank you so much for being such a good teacher.
All the best,
NOTE: I received this letter in response to my thank you to Melissa for making our special event photo booths.
September 18, 2014
I am so happy the photo booths are such a hit! I am really excited to see all the pics David took as well!
You are a big reason we are still in Southern California. Before we started swing dancing I was getting very homesick because I had not made many new friends in this area. We were considering moving back up north. But dancing has introduced us to such a wonderful community...one that I can't imagine leaving! It has been discouraging for me with my back injuries preventing me from dancing as much as the others who started at the same time as me but your classes, dances and the opportunities to help and provide photo entertainment keeps me focused on what dancing is really all about - having fun! I had a BLAST last night. I LOVED Barbara Morrison! Yes, treasure is a good word, you are definitely a treasure to me as well!
July 29, 2014
I just wanted to thank you and your lively staff for your influence on us students and on the Lindy community. You help people in many ways which may not be so apparent. Obviously, you educate us on dance techniques, etiquette, and history. For some people, dance classes & events are what get them through their stressful week. You also are instrumental in building people's confidence, not only in social dance settings, but also in everyday life.
My reason for joining dance classes may be unique. I had a wake-up call last year when I started noticing that my efficiency at work was inferior to my younger coworkers'. They were sharper, faster, and more ambitious than I was. Although I had over a decade more Architectural experience than they did, they were outperforming me. As a result of falling into a comfort zone from following the same monotonous routine for years, my mind wasn't being stimulated and I was gradually becoming mentally dull in every way. My thought process was becoming more and more unorganized.
I never had a passion for any form of dance before, but a few months ago when my friend, Mark, encouraged me to join some of the dance classes he has attended, I thought that would be a great opportunity to mentally challenge myself. For me, learning how to dance is as mentally challenging as learning languages, musical instruments, & sports. They all can involve memorization, technique, strategy, quick decision-making, creativity, and much more. Since introducing dance into my life, I've made improvements in my memory retention, mental sharpness & reaction time. My thought process is much more cohesive than it was a year ago. I'm still a work in process and have a long way to go with my dance & career goals. But there have been several times in the recent past when my boss has acknowledged the vast improvement of my mental state and work performance. I've even received a raise and an unexpected bonus a few weeks ago.
Thank you for making a positive impact on my life, Rusty & Dance Community! I'm looking forward to continuing my growth with you.
April 14, 2014
Like all our experiences with your dance program, we thoroughly enjoyed our time with you and the other fabulous dancers and instructors on the Lindy Cruise. You have been so helpful and accommodating to us when asked, and the trip provided so much fun that I wanted to thank you again.
I personally learned a lot (sometimes I just learn how much I don't know). We had a truly wonderful time with one of the nicest groups of people ever assembled. Its true what you say about swing music putting a silly smile on your face. The dance is the physical expression of that happiness and I cant dance without smiling (unless I am learning a new step) and you helped provide a great venue for smiles and laughs.
We learn slowly, but are plugging along and slowly improving. Thanks for your help and encouraging venues.
Keith and Lynda Farrell
April 5, 2014
You've done a wonderful job bringing all of these people together to be able to enjoy such great music, and dance. Everyone I talked to sung your praises. Well done.
September 25, 2013
I want to thank you for your class and your positive energy !
I can't tell you how much I love to dance and it's actually changing my life and my spirit.
June 12, 2013
Yeee Rusty, you're like air, flowers, and light all bundled up together. Thank you for welcoming me in. You have made a difference in my life, you're my tour guide in something that has come to give me endless, boundless, happiness. I will forever be grateful and will be so happy to feel like I am giving back an aiota of what you've given me, when I come to assist in the beginners class. I know we're not there yet, but it's a bright spot for sure, in a fun filled journey. I do apprecaite your kind words, guidance, energy, and aura.
This one is in two parts:PART 1
June 10, 2013
Thank you dear Rusty for all your efforts and wonderful lessons. Your create an amazing community and for me as a immigrant who lost the community and friends, is the biggest gift after all. People come to your class for learning the dance and stay because of your humanity and humility.
We all love you as one of our best friends and teachers.
Hope I be around and see your 50th celebration sometimes. :) Thanks and thanks and thanks.
I asked Reza to tell me a little bit of his story. I knew he was an immigrant, but I didn't know from where or his background. This is what he wrote back. And, I want to tell all who read this, that Reza has truly become part of our swing dance family, and his beautiful, warm smile melts all of our hearts.
June 19, 2013
Hello dear Rusty,
Hope all is well.
Thank you so much for your kind email and friendly compliment; I feel like I found my old friends again.
It will be my honor if you want to share any part of my story, but please fell free to correct any grammar or spelling check; you know English is my second language ;)
As you asked, a short story about me:
I was born and grown up in a historic and mystical city in Iran that name is Esfahan (or Isfahan)
Fell in love with architecture and historic buildings and became an architect there; got my licence is architecture and construction supervision. Very successful there and had a huge friends community that I've never felt alone; had everything except FREEDOM!
I think You know about the situation in Iran after the Islamic revolution.
Finally decide to choose freedom and leave everything behind. was a big challenge for me and still is.
Always dance was a dream for me and especially in a Islamic country which is forbidden to dance; so moving here was a great opportunity in my life for achieving my dreams.
Also I am a member of a spiritual group for years and when the government of Iran found out about our community, put some of the friends in prison and I was one of the lucky people that escape; Over there I am officially a Muslim (That I have never been) and a Muslim can not change his/her religion; Also only 4 religion are allow to be active in Iran and can go to school and can live.
Now I'm working as an architectural model maker in El Segundo and sometimes I do design for a friend who is an architect.
I will never forget El Segundo and people of it who opened their heart with full of love for all the human beings without checking their race, language, and background; people like you that bring happiness to others life.
Wish you all the best in your life and hope to can be a good student for you.
May 23, 2013
I wanted to personally thank you! Ever since I started doing the lessons with you and Gio, I haven't been able to get enough of swingin! Even though I haven't been to lessons in a while (I hope to return possibly in the summer or fall for intermediate) or been to your club, I haven't stopped dancing! Every week for the last month and a half, i think this week will be week #7, I have been at Downtown Disney on Saturday night for swing dancing! At first, it was very intimidating to get out there on the floor, a pretty small floor, and dance! But over time, I had a group of friends who went regularly and started to build up my confidence! Then one week, I took full advantage of the social dancing aspect and asked a total of maybe 10+ girls to dance over a 3 hour period. And even beyond that, I have introduced many of my friends to Saturday night swing at Downtown Disney including a lovely girl whom I am now dating So I wanted to thank you so much for being so encouraging, fun, and exciting to learn from! I am really wanting to learn more and get out there on the floor with some of the big boys who really know how to swing! I have even seen many classmates there on Saturday nights! It's fun to dance with certain partners outside of the classroom and in the real dancing world!
I am excited to rejoin the classes again when I am able to! But for now, thank you for what you and Gio have been doing for our community and for me as well Swing Dancing has helped me to break out of my introverted shell and be much more social and confident, especially with the female crowd. It has already been working so many more swing dancing dates are a must!
March 8, 2013
I just wanted to let you know how much my family enjoyed your beginning classes (Level 1 & Level 2) last night! As a teacher of technology for Kindergarten through 8th grade, I was able to truly appreciate how you break down the steps of each move for all stages of learners. It was so helpful to see not only the follower part, but to see it as a whole with the leader part as well. We enjoyed the lightheartedness between you and Gio, and just the all-round sense of fun ... even when it got a little frustrating because the moves are new for us. I believe our learning curve is high right now as we are also doing level 2, but we were quite excited to see just how much we learned in one night!
Thank you for such a wonderful evening, and we look forward to many more!
Debra LaRiviere (and Chris and Travis, also)
December 20, 2012
Thanks so much for getting me hooked on swing since day 1. The people I've met through class are now my closest friends and we go everywhere together.
I want to thank you for a fantastic first lesson. Your teaching technique is simple, clear and extremely enjoyable. I love the way you got us past the awkwardness of dancing with strangers. I have to admit I suffered a lot of anxiety before but you and your partners quickly dispelled it. Simply put: it was THE best dance lesson I've ever taken. I had a blast! After one lesson (and a little practice) I actually went out to a club and danced (a little) and for the first time in my life didn't feel like I had two left feet (just 1 1/2). Now I look forward to the next and many more lessons.
September 2, 20144
I know you've taught hundreds (thousands?) of students, and we haven't been in touch for a few years (you first taught me at USC in 1999, took me to get my first swing dancing dress in 2003, I believe, and taught me in the master's class in 2005), but I just wanted to let you know that I'm thinking of you.
I'm currently working on my Ph.D. in Renaissance literature at NYU and I'm in Paris for the semester for research, and of course one of my favorite things to do is dance! In fact, I'm going to see the Jive Aces at the Caveau de la Huchette next week! So I just wanted to thank you for having brought a lot of joy into my life. More than ten years after I took my first lesson with you, I'm still dancing, and here in this lovely city where I can sometimes feel a bit lonely, it's a real treasure to be in the middle of a swing-out and feeling totally at home.
Yelp Review ~ 8/4/2011, Chris L.
If you've never taken a group dance lesson, this is a great place to start, regardless of style of dance.
Group lessons involve everyone being in a circle, with leaders and followers partnered up in pairs. Learning a dance can be daunting and it involves not only making your body do something it may never have done before, it also involves meeting new people and, gasp, dancing with them!
Rusty the instructor will start on the basics of a dance move and have you try it out with your partner and then the leaders will rotate counter clockwise to the next follower in the circle (note: other classes may have the followers move instead of the leaders, and the direction may be clockwise - it really doesn't matter. Rusty does say that making the leaders rotate gets them used to approaching followers which will help them overcome the initial shyness on the dance floor.). This repeats until the end of the class hour.
The beauty of Lindy by the Sea is that Rusty is a great teacher. She and her teaching partners know how to break down a move and also keep the pacing of the class at a reasonable speed so you have time to learn it. On top of that, the people who attend Rusty's classes are really nice. I've been to classes in other locations with other instructors and for some reason, the people at Rusty's seem to be the nicest ones.
Rusty teaches her classes in blocks of 4-6 weeks. So she builds moves progressively from one week to next. This leaves enough time to actually learn moves and practice them. It's a nice pace.
Rusty also tries to instill in her students some dancing etiquette - such as being aware of other dancers so you don't run them over, being aware of the limited space you have on a dance floor so you don't run other dancers over, how to ask someone to dance, how to be asked to dance - little things like that make a difference. I wish more teachers taught these things.
Yelp Review ~ 6/1/2011 Kelly S.
I have taken various types of dance lessons in my life (not swing). After completing my first series at Lindy by the Sea, I was astounded at the amount of material covered and how solidly everybody learned it -- not just those who are naturally decent at dancing -- everybody. This is a very rare feat, and it is due to the competence, attention, and devotion of the instructors, Rusty and Gio. What's more, this was not a swing bootcamp, which one might expect is needed to achieve the amount of progress seen in one four-hour (one hour per week for four weeks) series. It's fun, full of laughter and stories and shared happiness.
One great feature of the Lindy by the Sea environment is its focus on social dancing. Not only do you learn the mechanics of swing dancing, you also learn what to expect if you go to a swing club and what the customs and courtesies of that scene are, which makes going to your first dance sooo much easier.
Rusty has classes for every level of dancer. I highly recommend you check them out!
Yelp Review ~ 4/19/2010, Chris Cantrell
Every six months or so, I try and find something to learn that I've never done before. Three months ago, I hopped on Yelp and looked up 'Swing Dancing Lessons'. There were a couple of spots a little closer to me, but based on the reviews I read here, I decided to give Rusty's a try.
Boy am I glad I did.
For starters, you can go with another person or- like myself- you can go without a partner. But since everyone gets paired up with everyone multiple times throughout the night (the 'followers' stand in a circle while the 'leaders' rotate around), it was never a big deal. This teaching style really reinforces the 'social dancing' aspect of the lessons, because you're not picking up other people's bad habits and they're not having to overcompensate for yours. Also, Rusty (and her assistant Geo) go out of their way to reinforce the dancing 'roles' of leaders and followers... which is actually a very difficult thing to teach when you're just learning the basic steps- but it was definitely the best way to learn.
The environment always feels very safe- nothing pretentious from any of the students and definitely not from the teachers- everyone's always laughing and having a great time. Which is a relief, because I came to Rusty's as a truly awful dancer, and when you're a clutz who's trying to learn to dance, your ego's in tatters just by walking through the door. But it was a very safe, fun environment.
And the ages vary all over the place- it's actually kind of blast to follow up a dance with a twenty year old by dancing with a nice lady in her seventies.
All in all, I give it two huge thumbs up. If you're thinking of learning to dance, I can't think of a better place to send you. There was even someone who was driving two hours up from San Diego to take a class this session and the first two sessions there was a guy traveling down ninety minutes from Thousand Oaks. I'm not sure I'd ever travel that far for any class on anything... but it really says a lot to me about the quality of teaching that I'm getting at Lindy By the Sea. This place is really, really excellent.
Oh, and it's dirt cheap. So that's good, too.
Yelp Review ~ 7/31/2010, Chris F.
I have wanted to learn to swing dance for years, even before the craze started by that Gap commercial so long ago. I tried a couple different times with different group lessons over the years, but I never was able to follow through.
It is so much different with Rusty and Gio! I'm one month into the group lessons, and I love every minute of the classes. The class structure has you rotating through partners all night, which helps in two big ways. First, you don't have to worry about coming alone. I'd say the majority of students come by themselves, though there are definitely some couples too. At first, the couples often are disappointed that they won't be learning together the whole time, but it's actually much better that way, because dancing with different people really helps strengthen your dancing way quicker. Plus, it's fun!
The actual instruction is so clear, I'm amazed. I look at some of the moves as they demonstrate them, and in my mind I think that there is no way I'll be able to pick that up during the month-long class. 15 minutes later, I'm not only doing them, I'm now thinking, "Wow, what did I think was so hard about this?". The whole experience ends up being so exciting and invigorating, I go home afterward and look at all the classes they offer and try to figure out how I can take as many as I can as fast as I can.
If you've wanted to learn to swing dance, run, don't walk, to Lindy by the Sea. You won't regret it.
Yelp Review ~ 6/10/2010 Danielle Doyle
For me, Lindy By the Sea equals happiness. In fact, I was recently with some of my new swing friends and we were told we were "dressed like happiness." Now clothes are great and fun to shop for and wear, but I think how you are feeling when you wear them is what people are really noticing. Rusty has said in Lindy By The Sea classes that the best thing you can wear when you are dancing is a smile. I find I don't even have to think about putting on a smile when I am at Lindy By The Sea; it is naturally plastered across my face. This carries over to any swing event I go to. I think it has every thing to do with the atmosphere that Rusty and her Rhythm Pals, Gio and Ron, have created and the foundation they are giving to their students. They love Lindy Hop and they love to teach it! It is a very fun, supportive, and caring environment. There is clapping and cheering and big smiles throughout the entire class. How can you not love a place like that? I look forward to dance class all day and am super charged for hours after.
The fact that I am looking forward to dance class actually cracks me up. See, I have been wanting to do this for the last 12 years because I love the music and it looks like a blast. But, I was terrified of couples dancing and dancing in general. I would just freeze up if anyone asked me to couples' dance. But it was more than that. You could say I have processing dyslexia, for lack of a better term. When it comes to things like aerobics, dancing, even Twister, I hear "Left hand forward, right foot back" but a part of my brain sends the opposite signal while another part of my brain tries to fix the first signal. The result is I freeze for a second or two. Thus 12 years go by and no dancing. Thankfully I heard about Lindy By The Sea last year, and with the help of a friend, pushed myself into it. I was told that the instructors and instruction was fabulous and that it was broken down in such a way that it would reduce any problems I might have with processing. Rusty, Ron and Gio are so great at what they do that I have had very little processing issues and can't get enough of their classes. The repetition of each piece of the move really helps. Since the place is so positive I don't feel embarrassed about not getting it right the first time (which is huge for me, being the overachiever that I am). We are all learning and as Rusty says we all have our own journey on getting there. (See, great place huh?)
Being a teacher, I really appreciate the time and thought that was put into the development of the curriculum and the flow of the classes. There is no lost time; one technique flows seamlessly into the next. I really enjoy dancing with all of the leaders in a night, thanks to the constant rotation in every class. (Which is exactly what you will experience while social dancing at a club.) Before you know it you have met a bunch of people, have learned to dance, and sadly class is over...but wait, there are 3 beginning level classes in one night!
I just can't say enough about how much I love this place, the instructors and the people in class!
"Happiness is excitement that has found a settling down place. But there is always a little corner that keeps flapping around. ~ E.L. Konigsburg
Hey, whatcha doing still reading this? Go sign up for Level 1 (A or B) and come have the time of your life!
I was a student of yours in El Segundo a few years ago. Life prevented me from dancing for a few years. I just started again and I wanted to thank you for all the great info and lessons. The things I picked up from you have thoroughly impressed the local teachers up here. Thank you for starting me out on the right foot! (or left foot for the rock step, I should say....!) ;D
September 8, 2009
We found Rusty when we realized we were getting married in less than a month and needed to learn to dance. She offers both private lessons and Lindy by the Sea courses -- I highly recommend both, but if you're short on time like we were, the private lessons were the best thing that a *complete dance novice* like myself could ask for.
In 3 lessons, Rusty had us pretty darn decently holding our own on the dance floor. She took our song & gave me a number of moves & (maybe more importantly) the confidence to lead assertively. Objectively, the whole routine looks good and is totally worth it if you're going to have to dance in front of all of your family & friends and don't want to look prepubescent.
We've started going to the classes ("Lindy by the Sea" with Rusty & Geo) as well and they are very very very very accomodating to people at all levels, and it doesn't make a dime's worth of difference if you come alone or in a pair.
Really wish I'd discovered this a year ago.
March 14, 2009
I seriously love the class, the students, you and Ron are awesome.
February 26, 2009
I so enjoy the classes and the way you instruct the them. You are a true credit to your profession and your fun, positive teaching method makes me want to take more classes..... see you on Tues!
August 29, 2008
Thought I'd give you and Gio a bit of feedback.
You guys teach a totally enjoyable class. You're good people to listen to. I doubt people even realize that they are really learning quite a bit because they truly are having a lot of fun on that dance floor.
I can see that while you both are teaching your eyes roam the room to check up on the fact that everyone is learning the elements being taught and maybe to give a little assist here and there.
Bye from one happy and satisfied dancer.
Take care and I look forward to next weeks class for two very fine and fun instructors who really have it down
August 29, 2008
Thank you so much for spearheading the revival of Swing Dancing. Good clean blissful fun.
August 4, 2008
You are the best beginning swing instructor I've ever known. You have a unique ability to make people feel comfortable learning something that is difficult and unfamiliar. It is truly a gift, for all who have learned from you. Dancing is a wonderful way to be healthy and happy at the same time. Thanks to you - that happiness can be experienced by anyone willing to take a little bit of time out of their day to attend your classes.
June 7, 2008
The joy you bring to people is exponential: you spread the fun and energy and sociability of dance to all your students, and they take that happiness and confidence and send it out into the world.
We need all the music and joy and kindness and friendship that life offers us; it gets us through the rough and lonely times and helps us bear our burdens with more grace.
April 27, 2008
I LOVE your website! It's so colorful, and cheerful, and there's so much to look at and read that I haven't gotten thru all of it yet. lol. All of the events look ridiculously fun! Sigh...one day I'll get back out to CA and join in the frivolity.
I want to Lindy, Bal, Shag and Charleston with all of you out there! ; )
Cheers (from Chicago),
March 27, 2008
Thank you so much for the lessons and notes, the reassurance, the emphasis on all the real fundametals (vs just tricky footwork), and for forming an entire dance community that all feel comfortable in, vs just a place to learn dance steps.
Its a joy to be a part of it.
March 3, 2008
Good Morning Rusty
My friends called me yesterday to say how much they loved your class... I knew they would / have been trying to get them to start for a while now.... Anyway - they said how great you are and they are looking forward to more classes....Just thought you might want to start your week off with a "thumbs up"...
See you soon
PS... you do such a great job....
February 16, 2008
I'm so looking forward to the March gig* with you and BESO [Bill Elliott Swing Orchestr]! It's truly going to feel like old times!
I took a long look at your website, and just had a big grin on my face because you are just keepin it goin!!!! The swing scene had such a huge resurgence, and then the wave went back out again....and only the loyal remain! So, I am thankful for you sister.
love you Cassie Miller**
*Referring to "Rusty's Decade of Dance Party" March 16, 2008.
January 21, 2008
I am really getting a lot out of your classes. Your passion and enthusiasm for dance makes it a lot of fun. Thank you for being you. You rock!!!
January 21, 2008
Just want to tell you again thank you... What a wonderful job you do... It must be difficult to deal with so many personalities at times... you do a great job at that and keeping your business of dancing running smooth...
GREAT JOB.... I can't tell you how much I am enjoying being a part of what you have created...MUCH THANKS
If you ever need any help please do not hesitate to ask, it would be my pleasure....
January 16, 2008
First of all, I love all of your classes! The instruction is very clear, organized, thorough and i cannot believe how much i have learned in such a short amount of time. Marc is really enjoying himself, and we practice dancing all the time. In fact, he said the other day, "i love this, it's so much fun." So, thank you for being a great teacher and having a great welcoming school. I am constantly inviting my friends to join the classes at Lindy by the Sea!
December 20, 2007
Oh, it's so fun playing dress-up [at the annual Holiday Party]. Must do more again.....
I had a lot of fun tonight, Rusty. Swing dancing has opened the door to so much happiness in my life. Thanks for being my teacher. Happy New Year!!!
December 19, 2007
I wanted to tell you what a lovely group of people you have attending classes. You are terrific! Love your attitude and energy.
November 24, 2007
Thanks for being such a great teacher and for creating a place where people can come and socialize and play and learn - people who share a love of that wonderful style of music and dance.
November 17, 2007
I have thoroughly enjoyed our Jeep Jockey class, as have all members of our team, plus Lisa from another team who has attended one of our "off-site" rehearsals. I believe these choreography classes really challenge us as dancers, help us perfect moves we already know, and help form new friendships within the swing dance community. Thanks for having it!
November 16, 2007
We've just spent a wonderful morning wa. tching you tap and lindy hop and introduce and interview Leonard Reed.I showed the class some video footage of tap dancers and then some excerpts from the Omnibus programme where you (with your wonderfully decorated neck brace) talked about various tap dancers.
I then talked about your own dance life and all your related works in teaching and preserving the dance of some of the 'old' masters. After that we watched you teaching the first step of the Shim Sham and we watched you dancing with Leonard and Peter. We were all bowled over by the kitchen 'lesson' from Leonard and then hearing him speak in that final interview was so moving.
Everyone thinks that your work in preserving the origins of tap steps and routines is invaluable and we all fully appreciate the time and effort you put into this aspect of your life.
Remarks were: your dancing was so much in the style of the period; that you danced with your whole body; that your face was so expressive and that you have such 'joie de vivre' that you make everyone want to dance. The only concerned question was for your poor neck and admiration at your comeback after your accident.
I have given out your shop email address and I hope that some will be buying your DVD's. I am also going to suggest to Dance base that they should have these in their DVD library if they dont have them already and I shall be telling my tap teacher about them. I am also supposed to be writing an article for the German dance magazine Ballettanz which will have the theme of 'Filling in the Gaps' that is to say the importance of direct contact between dance originators and the young dancers of today in whatever dance discipline.
A very big 'thank you' from all of us. Health and strength to you to keep up the good work.
With very best wishes.Agnes
November 15, 2007
Last Saturday night I saw some of your students dancing at Harvelles in Redondo Beach. I was so excited... they were so good!!!! Everyone I spoke to recommended you and your classes. So I'm hoping that you have something starting soon so I can come and join the fun. Dancing is just such a joy for me... feeds my soul. It was just great to see all those folks out on the dance floor dancing like they were on Dancing With the Stars'. I was really impressed. Now I want to be one of your students. I would really appreciate your letting me know what your class schedule is and how soon I can get started... my feet just won't stay still.
Thanks, Rusty'.can't wait to hear from you.
You had two people, who a couple of years ago knew hardly anything from Lindy, make it to the top ten and then to a runner up [at PBDA's Jack and Jill contest 11/3/07]. Not bad Ms. Frank.
An event like this doesn't mean much in the scheme of things, but it meant a lot to me.
Thanks for all your help these last couple of years.
October 25, 2007
Thank you also for a FANTASTIC evening [at The Rhythm Club], and the most fun birthday celebration I could have imagined. The only good thing about being away for awhile is being hit with that wave of happiness upon returning.
You have created something so extraordinary and magical that it can't really be described, only experienced.
See you soon,
April 30, 2007
I LOVED the classes today, I had a lot of fun.
April 30, 2007
I just wanted to let you know that we LOVED the class on Sunday and can't wait for next week to learn more!
Thanks so much....you're an incredible teacher :)Crystal
April 8, 2007
It was fun seeing you at the Balboa Rendezvous (San Diego).
One more thought: THANK YOU for getting us all in such a good place for an event like this, and making dance such a joyous experience week after week. You're one in a million.
February 15, 2007
Thanks again for such a spectacular evening at the RC [Note: The Valentine's Dance}. You are irreplaceable!
February 14, 2007
I know I've been away for a while, but please don't ever take me off your waiting list because I'm coming back! I just watched your Black History Month reel - you are not only a fabulous dancer, but just plain brilliant.
All the best,Joan
January 16, 2007
I love your newsletter -- a great combo of interesting content and happy ideas and feelings about dancing. I always read all of it!
Keep up the great work, Rusty. You bring much joy to the world through yourself and dance. Hope you never lose sight of that fact!
January 11, 2007
How's everything going? Hope you remember me. Just as I got good enough to start feeling rather smug I had to go back to England. While in London, they were all thoroughly dazzled by everything I learnt in your class about how to lead, and there are some girls in my circle of friends who are very grateful for the reduction in bashed noses and twisted arms.
I still miss the Rhythm Club. I know I was only there for a few months but those were some of the best evenings out I've ever had. Let me know how you are and I look forward to hearing from you,
November 28, 2006
Both classes were fun and very lively! I'm glad I stumbled upon your website!Isabelle
November 1, 2006
In case Denyl didn't mention it to you, she and I went to a wedding Sat night and we received all sorts of praise for our swing dancing. The DJ even pulled us aside to ask what music he might play to facilitate. The night was our "debut" in the world as dance partners and it was a blast. Of course, the feedback fuels the obsession. :-)
I get the sense that interest in Swing is on the rise here on the westside, perhaps because of Dance with the Stars and So You Think You can Dance (or because my enthusiasm is contagious!) I will certainly recommend you to those who ask.
September 26, 2006
I just can't tell you how much learning to Lindy Hop has done for me. I've seen a real transformation in myself in the last year and a big part of that has to do with how easily I've been embraced by the little Lindy Hopping world we have. I'm so happy to have found something that I enjoy so much.
May 17, 2006
I want to thank you for coming up with the "Master Track." I look forward to coming to class every week. I love music and I love to dance. I have a new appreciation for the music now and you have taught me how to dance. Yes dance, not just going from one move to the next, but having fun with the music and my dance partner. You have replaced that bored look on my dance partners face with a big smile. Thank you. Thank you.
May 16, 2006
I'm Brandi Smith--a fairly new student and I was at the Rythm Club last wed. (girl in the pink and black skirt) I had a blast--and thanks for the self-defense tips, they really helped! And, yes it is quite fun to dress up on big band nights!
I just wanted to let you know, because I have soo much fun in class, and you are a great teacher--I recomend you highly to anyone who is even slightly interested!
Take care and see ya soon!
May 2, 2006
So great to see the Lovely Jeannie Veloz - WOW - I want to be just like HER when I grow up!!!! What a doll! Looks like you had a great attendance. Keep up the good work.
Your whole dance program is just exactly what I think is missing all over the country - Not only do you teach and bring people together socially, but you incorporate doing good deeds, educating people in customs, manners, flair, and you keep the positive energy flowing. We need so much more of this in our World these days. And - your up to the minute newsletters are always enjoyable.
Anyway Girl - just wanted to drop you a line - and give you a Big "Atta-Girl"
Jann Olsen, Santa Barbara, CA
I have to tell you the master track has been even more fun the second time. In the first series, I found out what I need to work on to improve my dancing...but since I was overwhelmed, it was hard for me to concentrate on different things at one time. I guess I was thinking too much while I was dancing and I always ended up not being able to do anything. Now I feel like I am able to see my problems better and also see what I need to work on more clearly. It's like the things you and Ron have been telling me suddenly made sense in my mind. I noticed that you've been really encouraging me to get better the last few months, and I really appreciate it. Thank you.
March 23, 2006
I've been meaning to send you an email for a couple of weeks and I'm just now getting around to it.
A couple of weeks ago, my friend Kristi (she was one of your USC students a few years ago) and I were dancing at the Derby. We each, independently of one another, had a couple of guys after we danced with them say, "You're a very good dancer. How long have you been dancing and where did you learn?" Of course we answered with pride, "Rusty Frank!" It's definitely a testament to your abilities as a teacher, dancer and just overall good person when a total klutz like me can take lessons for just 6 short months and be able to get that sort of reaction on the social dance floor. You've no idea what a gift you've given me. Keep up the good work!
By the way, I love the new website. The look of it is just perfect and it's very easy to navigate.
Thanks so much for everything you do. You are one special lady!
February 7, 2006
I love your classes. I tell everyone about it, and am trying to get you more students!!! The class means alot to me...being a mom of two busy little kids that do so many classes of their own, it's so nice and refreshing to finally have something for myself; it's been a long time!! So, thank you for your efforts. I love the classes!!!!Mia
February 1, 2006
I just had to tell you how much I am enjoying your classes. I wished I had discovered you years ago. If I can dance and look nearly as good as you, I will be happy. You are the greatest!!
December 6, 2005
What a marvelous thing this Lindy Hop is. What a beautiful, fun, playful, exciting, exhuberant, spontaneous, INGENIOUS thing this Lindy Hop is. The more one learns, the more one appreciates its nuances.
Thank you again for all you do to perpetuate this dance.
October 17, 2005
Just wanted to pay you a compliment. Your explanation in class today of the mechanics of a swingout with an outside turn was excellent. From several comments it's apparent that even an experienced dancer can forget some of these things and could benefit from a refresher course with you. No one around gives as consistently excellent explanations as you. We leaders like to understand the moves we're leading.
October 6, 2005
My name is Jeanette Jolley. I know we have never met before but I attended the Rhythm Club last night for the first time. I wanted to send you a quick note to say Thank you for such a wonderful place and a wonderful time I had.
I am a previous swing dancer. I started dancing at age 12 and stayed with it for over 12 years. A few years ago I stopped due to work becoming too hectic. When I found your club so close to my home the other day I made a new commitment to start back again. I enjoyed myself so much last night, met so many good people and amazing dancers, I felt alive again. I am a bit rusty (no pun intended) with my moves and have decided to take your class this Sunday.
Thank you so much for running the club. I know that is alot of work, and keeping such a fun environment! I look forward to meeting you.
RE: The "Hurricane Relief Fundraiser" benefiting the American Red Cross at Rusty's Rhythm Club, September 14, 2005. Raised $7,000!
September 16, 2005
I am sorry that I was unable to attend last night's fundraiser.
Even though I have already contributed to the Red Cross, I would like support the rhythm club fund. The Rhythm Club, it's dancers the musicians and DJs and you, Rusty, have enriched my life with dance and music and I would like to be part of this important and humanitarian effort. The hurricane and flood impacted so many and this is the least that I can do.
In love and service,
September 15, 2005
Two weeks ago, I thought "fundraiser - hmmm, great idea...but everyone's so busy, and in just two weeks?" What you pulled off last night shows just what amazing things can be done with the right combination of heart, hard work, and imagination.
Even though most attendees had probably already donated something to Katrina relief, you created such an atmosphere of enthusiasm and generosity that the three thousand dollars you raised is nothing short of remarkable.
Not incidentally, you also concocted one of the most fantastic, fun evenings at the Rhythm Club in recent memory. And I'm not just saying that because I won the Camp Hollywood pass! (That really happened, right? I didn't dream it?)
Your fan, Steven
July 29, 2005
I just got your reply and have to say that it's this type of grace that you are showing that touches peoples hearts. It's so nice to find someone who is genuine and sincere and shows it by their actions. I have this within my close group of friends, but it is rare to find outside of that, as I'm sure you know. Thank you very much.
(Note: Lindy by the Sea offers Performance Classes on occasion, and this letter came in following our "Secret Agent Man" routine.)
June 20, 2005
Thank you for this great message, and for the video! I've sent your email on to numerous friends and family so they can see it. I had a terrific time, and really enjoyed the group. You may not have seen us, but after the performance, when we went back in the hallway, we all hugged and congratulated each other.
Dancing has been a wonderful adventure for me. I may not be as energetic or artful as others, but I have a great time in your classes, and on the dance floor. The next time you have a performance class, I'll be the first to sign up.
June 7, 2005
I just also wanted to tell you that you have done so much for me, that Thanks does not even cover what I feel. You are the best and dancing has done so much for me. I dream about the routine most nights. I can not believe it has been one year since I started dancing.
This is so much fun I can not even explain how wonderful this is. I always carry your card with me and if anyone is interested I pass it out.
You killed us tonight but it was worth it ["Secret Agent Man" rehearsal]. Can't wait till next week.
May 12, 2005
Wanted to thank you for keeping us on your email list. Don't know when we'll get back to California, but we certainly love living vicariously through your newsletters. We fervently hope 'the locals' know just how fortunate they are to have you, and we're sure they do. We're a little backwards here in the Midwest, and are more than a little embarrassed to admit that we hadn't heard of you until our introduction in California. We've rectified that, however, and have made sure everyone in these parts fully understands who you are and your incredible contribution to dance, and thereby all of us!
Keep smilin' and dancin'........oh, and BTW.....just love your haircut.......very complimentary!! And.......hope you're totally recovered, or close, from your recent surgery.
All the best,
Bob and Gayle Moses
February 8, 2005
Good morning -
I'm still flying high from the Monday Track session - in fact, that series could quite possibly be the best thing ever to happen on Monday in history.
I'm always so impressed that the moves you teach are fun, very leadable, and very musical - unlike some moves taught elsewhere whose intricacies seem to have more in common with building a large parking structure.
January 31, 2005
Congratulations on the success of the fundraiser [American Red Cross Tsunami Relief]! Three times more than the target, plus everyone had such a nice time.
BTW, just wanted to say that I have been really Lindy-phobic and was convinced I could never ever learn it. But your classes are so easy to follow that a lot of things make sense now. Plus I'm having fun!
See you in class--
January 19, 2005
Jim and I were at the third street prominade in Santa Monica Sunday evening with friends watching a fabulous guitar player/singer......when suddenly we burst into dancing!!!!!!It was wonderful and it never would have happened without YOU!!!!!
January 13, 2005
Just wanted to say thank you for another incredible evening of music. The fact that you can get arguably the best swing band in the country to play regularly at your venue is a testament to your determination and passion.
Sometimes last night, I would be focused on my dancing, then realize afresh that I was hearing some of my favorite music, played live, and was forced to pause in amazement (not that this is the best thing to do while dancing with a partner!).
I wonder how many people really knew what an extraordinary creative event they were getting for their 12 dollars.
Thank you for making such musical magic possible!
December 23, 2004
Thanks again for the CD and the fun night of DJing. I think everyone there had a great time.
The best gift you've ever given me comes every Wednesday night when I walk into the Rhythm Club. No matter how stressful the day has been or what's weighing on my mind, it never seems to stay with me once I enter your magic dance kingdom. Thanks so much for all the hard work you do in keeping the doors open each week. Sometimes I come home from other clubs feeling less than satisfied with my dancing, the music or the venue itself, but that almost never happens at the Rhythm Club.
Tonight is a typical example. I was tired and burned out from doing my LMU grades all day and trying to get over a slight cough, and wasn't expecting a great night, but within a few minutes of dancing everything was wonderful and none of my other problems seemed to matter. I call it my Wed. night therapy.
Looking forward to another great year working with you.
Robert "The Professor" Vangor
Thanks, Rusty -
What a wonderful dance venue you have! Thank you for creating such a splendid place to enjoy swing. I'm encouraging several friends to join me at the Rhythm Club tonight - see you then...
August 4, 2004
I am writing to tell you how impressed I am with you as a individual and professional. The warmth you share with your "dance family" not only keeps them connected but is encouraging and inviting to become better dancers without judgment.
I attended the workshop yesterday and was struck by your concern for your students. Not only is it apparent you care for their physical well being but the gentle confidence you instill is admirable..The underlying goal is clear, to enjoy what you are doing and all are welcome.
This letter from your student [Augie Freeman, currently a Marine serving in Fallujah, Iraq] brings this war right into our own homes and is something I plan on sharing with my own teenage sons.I find Augie a sincere, earnest example of a young man willing to give his life for country and at the same time never lose sight of the people and places that mean the most to him.
August 1, 2004
i just wanted to comment on your site...it's fabulous!!! and i love your new pictures too. you look mavelous rusty! keep on swingin' and jivin'; a tapping and a grooving. i live in texas and it has been a while since i have visted your site. you go girl!!!
a tiny tapper,sharon
April 9, 2004
We LOVE our dance lessons! Thank you sooooo much for your effort/energy/expertise/focus/dedication. And for really knowing how to TEACH effectively, not just how to dance well.
AB & BB
March 14, 2004
It has taken me a few days to think about what to say to you in this letter. Every time I think that you have made me happy, you have gone and made me happier. Your special tribute to my 80th birthday made me feel special. It was one of the finest moments of my life. and I have had a lot of fine moments, but your recognition of my 80th will remain with me forever. It's like a present that lasts and lasts and never is forgotten. Again, let me thank you from the bottom of my heart for that memory.
As always, I remain,
Pete "Mr. 5x5" Vincent
December 31, 2003
I just wanted to drop you a note and wish you a happy New Year and thank you for all of the things you have done for your swing community in the past year. You da best!
See you soon,
December 18, 2003
Hi, I had a great time last night at the Bill Elliot Swing Dance and also at the End of Series Party. Really enjoying picking up dancing again, and you are so much fun to watch perform and your enthusiasm for the art form is contagious during class and the dances. Thanks so much for your amazing energy.
Hope your holidays are swingin'! Look forward to classes in January.
November 12, 2003
Hello gorgeous lady!
Miss "Tink" from Perth here. How are you?! I've just had a squizz at your website and found you've cut all of your hair off! You look absolutely sensational! Beautifully poised and lovely as ever :) and the style suits you perfectly.
Rusty, I remember with great fondness the passion, enthusiasm and all-out class you ooozzed while you were here. You give me immense inspiration, not just in dancing but for everything I do. You're whole outlook on life astounds me. You are one of the most truly lovely and whole hearted people I have ever met - someone who will continue to inspire me for a long time to come :)
Take care and hopefully I'll hear from you soon!
All my love and best wishes
May 23, 2003,
August 19, 2003Hi Rusty,
I've been meaning to tell you something. You know how a dance community will advertise a workshop or a very special opportunity to catch a class taught by "so and so" or the famous dance team "whoosit and whatsit"? People arrange a part of thier lives, clear their calendars and pay their money for the great fortune to learn from these renown dancers/teachers.
Well, I want to tell you about a particularly fine teacher. This teacher has a feel for the class. Undoubtedly, this person remembers when they were first being taught and is able to put themselves into their student's shoes. While the class atmosphere is light, and fun, there is rarely a glimpse of this dance expert's ego. The class is not about this teacher, it is always about teachng the students. This teacher's ability to communicate, coupled with their singular grasp of their craft, enables them to break down the moves and impart them easily to the class. Though constrained always by time, I have always been taught an array of moves in one lesson.
I could go on and on...........................You are this teacher Rusty. Only recently did I really get how fabulous you are as a teacher. I'm pretty slow at times and am sure folks who read this would "DUHHH!" me to death.
I just wanted to acknowledge you from my end and tell you that I truly appreciate the energy and professionalism you give in your work.
May 23, 2003,
Hey ya Rusty!
It's Mark your swing student writing to you to share some swing thoughts!! i wanted to tell you how much fun the monday night charleston class was this week. i had a blast even though i only retained about 10%! For me the big shift was the thought you and Ron kept putting out... that we would only 'get about 30%' etc. it helped a lot so i could just relax and have fun and laugh at my attempts instead of getting all frustrated...so much of life is our attitude!!
On the dance floor I find myself thinking with an 'adventure dance attitude' because that has helped me not get so impatient with my current ability...I think of each dance as a 'little dance adventure'...and it gets me excited about it...instead of looking around at what all the other dancers are doing...ie...Hmmm...i wonder where this lady and I are going...dancewise of course...Are we going to do a slow and cool, fast and furious, chat and move? And like all trips, not all are fun and successful...some just don't work out...Some make you feel like..."Hey! let's go again and some make you feel like...'man, I need to sit and regroup!!' Some are refreshing and energizing and some you just smile and get through it. As I dance more and get a little more skilled I am finding that each dance partner is so different!!!
May 23, 2003
I just wanted to let you know how excited I am about getting back into the "swing" of things. After my surgery I was a little hesitant to come back to class because I thought I would be really far behind, but everyone in class was so helpful it didn't matter that I hadn't been there in a month. I am so happy I found such a great group of people to dance & practice with. All of you have made Kyle & I feel so welcomed.
May 17, 2003
Wolf and I went dancing last night at..... The band was great, but it didn't feel the same to either of us. Honestly, the ambience wasn't there and neither was the fun. People weren't smiling like they do at the Rhythm Club and I think that was mainly do to the fact that you weren't there. When you come to your dance classes or swing dances the joy that you have for swing dancing spills over into them. It makes such a difference to have someone teaching a lesson who is smiling and having fun themselves. The crowd that you draw at the Rhythm club is really nice and you teach people how to interact with each other on the dance floor and that makes a HUGE difference. You've really got a good thing going and we both really appreciate you and your Rhythm pals and all that you do.
May 13, 2003
Wow! What a great message to come home to!!! [Rusty wrote an "encouraging email to Mark] I printed it out to remind me during those times when I get frustrated with my skill level. Your kind and encouraging words inspire me to continue to work at being a GREAT swing dancer. It was quite a stretch for me so that info about others going through it 2, 3 or 4 times was helpful. I really appreciate the help you , Ron, and Gio give me. I LOVE swing dancing! It's so fun and I love the way you have chosen to run your club. As a teacher it's a reflection of the way you have taught people to interact and dance. Life is better with dance! Thanks again for seeing that I 'get it' : )
your 'up n coming' student,
March 26th, 2003
Just thought I would send a little thank you for teaching us how to swing dance. My girlfriend and I plan on going to clubs and showing off our stuff at school dances. You and Ron did a fabulous job, and you both were a pleasure. Hope to see you dancin' around.
(From Jerry Jordan and Chandler Smith -- Retroglide Dance -- to their students)
March 5th, 2003
Link of the Month: http://www.swingshiftontap.com
This is the link to Rusty Frank and her Rhythm Pals' Web site. Get details about the upcoming "Taste of Dance," a recap of Rusty's birthday party last Wednesday where Jerry and Chandler performed, and how to get on her e-mail list. She sends out great updates with lots of pictures, and her Rhythm Club in Playa del Rey is a great Wednesday-night dance outing. Rusty's a peach!
March 4th, 2003
We had so much fun on your birthday, you are the greatest! With all of the wonderful energy you give off, it's impossible to not love you. You have added quite a bit of joy to our lives as well, thank you so much.
March 4th, 2003
I just wanted to say hi and let you know what a great time I am having in class. Annette and I were so nervous and thought class would be intimidating but it turned out to be one of the best experiences I have ever had. Each week on Sunday I look forward to class....not to mention this fabulous club on wednesday nights(I think you may know the place). It is a chance for me to forget all my frustrations from the week. My biggest concern is that we will run out of classes to take. Annette and I would possibly like to take private lessons soon so we can be the best gosh darn lindy hoppers we can be.
Let me know what you think.
February 25, 2003
Kyle & I just wanted to wish you a very happy birthday. I would also like to thank you. We look forward to seeing your smiling face at least once a week & we always have a wonderful time in class. I believe dancing together has already improved the relationship between Kyle & I, & we have you to thank for that. I just wanted to let you know that even though we haven't known you for that long you have become an important person in our lives.
February 10, 2003
I just wanted to drop a note and let you know how appreciative I am that you have started this team. Your great smile, animated face, and sweet angel spirit are a joy for me to come to every Sunday. I'm glad that I have had the chance to meet you not to mention dance under your instruction. Dancing is such a joy.
See ya on Wednesday at the CLUB.
January 14, 2003
See Rusty for the most fun in town! . . .
the South Bay - hmm Southern California -
maybe even the world!
January 13, 2003
Tabitha from your level one class here again. I just wanted to let you know I can't get enough! It's only my second week and I already feel like I am ready to go out there and try some moves. On my way out yesterday I purchased one of your instructional videos for level one. Myself and two other friends from class (Annette and Michelly) went back to my pad to practice our steps while watching the video. We decided we needed partners so we rounded up three of our male friends and had them watch the video with us to learn the moves. By the end of the night I am happy to report we were all having a blast. Needless to say we need a lot more practice but what look forward to learning through just going out there and doing it.
Your are such a great instructor and make this whole experience incredibly fun!
See ya wednesday night!!
January 12, 2003
I just wanted to let you know how much fun I'm having in your classes. Everyone is so nice and helpful! Gio is doing a great job and Jessica and Glenn are fantastic. I look forward to it every week and it sure beats the other exercise that I have to do :).
January 7, 2003
I just wanted to let you know my girlfriends and I had a wonderful time in class on Sunday. You are a terrific instructor, your assistant (Gio) is great and I can't wait for the next classes. Thank you so much and we'll see you on Sunday :o)
January 7, 2003
Tabitha here from your new level one class. I just wanted to say how much fun I had on sunday and can't wait to get out there and try my new moves. I can't wait to see what comes in the weeks ahead.
See ya Sunday
To La La Land Lovers,
The Suzy Q was the Swingingist Venue in town last Friday night, (November 22) with a capacity crowd; too many to count and still arriving after 11pm. Besides Mora's Modern Swingtette big band playing the nostalgic music of the 1940' & 1950's, the popular team of Rusty and Peter (Rhythm Club) put on a hilariously entertaining Jitterbug Revue with some dozen of their students, who all demonstrated their professional dancing talents. Congratulations Rusty and Peter. You prove with your students' high level of Jitterbugging development your professional teaching abilities; my personal endorsement for future students.
July 14, 2002
Dear Rusty & Peter,
Thank you for your kind words and for inviting us to perform at the Rhythm Club. It is such a pleasure and privilege to be able to play for dancers who enjoy and appreciate our music. I have gotten many comments from band members as to how much fun they had performing for such a wonderful crowd. Your club has a very "homey" atmosphere, which I believe is largely due to the tone you two set, which makes for a great environment to play and dance in.
We wish you continued success and hope to see you very soon. Please pass along our thanks and appreciation to everyone who came...the best gigs always result from when the band & dancers can connect...and your guests were very much open to connecting with us...this gig will count as one of my personal favorites in almost 9 years of performing with the Esquires.
Wolf Fengler & the Esquires Big Band
April 16, 2002
Rusty & Peter,
I just wanted to shoot you a quick email and tell you how nice it was to finally meet the two of you. (Ryan Roemer is a friend from high school and I met Gigi at LindyGroove through Ryan. They both speak VERY highly of the two of you!)
I thought the [Lindy Styling] workshop was GREAT! I got tons of new stuff and can't wait to try it all out tonight!
I was so impressed with how well you handled such a sizable workshop. That is truly a testament to your ability and experience as instructors. And, you're both so cute!
Thank you for your generosity of time and energy and for sharing so much of yourselves.
See you on the dance floor!
Calendar Admin at SwingInfo.com
March 12, 2002
I think it's great that you and Peter are doing instruction videos. I honestly think that you two are the best teachers in L.A., possibly the world. For me, your classes were one of my first fun experiences dancing Lindy. I know you will do just about the same with the countless others who will be using your tapes.
February 27, 2002
You keep giving out all that wonderful energy and enthusiasm, and you will never get rid of us! We love you and the spirit in which you teach. You and Peter are truly adding so much joy to our lives and our dance skills. We never really learned how to dance til we met you. We only knew lots of steps. Thanks again and many happy birthdays to come.
January 7, 2002
Dear Rusty and Peter,
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
I think you two are the best teachers around!!! My fiance and I always recommend your classes to people interested in Swing lessons. You both are adorable. I also want to thank you because if it was not for your swing club (at 705) back in 1999, my fiance and I would not have met. Dave and I got engaged December 13th 2001!! We met at your club on 9/14/99 in Hermosa Beach.
December 14, 2001
I would like to let you
know that your dancihg with me Wednesday evening (at the Rhythm Club) was
one of my finer moments of my life. To once again just dancing with someone
that knew the dance, was such a thrill for an old man like me to once again
do the lindy. I'm sorry that I left without saying that you and goodbye,
but I would have started crying with emotion. Again I want to thank you for
your kindness and making an old man happy again. After all, it was over
sixty years since the last time I had a partner that could follow me.
March 13, 2001
Dear Rusty and Peter,
You guys are the cutest, most swing-sational cats around. I've taken lessons with so many instructors, and they usually have one or more of following problems: stone face, barking orders, not enough repitition of new moves, demonstrating too few times in a way that not every student can see them, acting like everyone should know everything perfectly or they're idiots. You never do those things, and you really bring out the joy of swinging in every class. You love dancing and you make me love dancing. I really appreciate it when Rusty comes around and offers a little advice. I no longer follow like a sack of potatoes! Yay!
Thank again for great classes!
March 7, 2001
I would like to thank you and Peter for being so pleasant and friendly. Being a teacher myself I have always found being a student, even just a student of dance, somewhat stressful. But you and Peter have put the fun element back into learning. I have taken many many courses in ballroom dancing and two different courses in west-coast swing. In each case, after a few weeks the instructor expects a modicum of perfection and keeps loading more and more complicated patterns on us not realizing many of us do not have time during the week to practice; so because the students have not attained the level of competence that they expect they become more and more sarcastic as time goes on. These instructors totally forget that most of us are taking a dance class for recreational purposes, to have fun, and to be moderately skillful on the dance floor in social situations; people's lives do not depend (as they do when I teach engineers the mathematics of building bridges) on my ability to execute a lock whip with a double outside turn. Please keep smiling!
March 6, 2001
I know I have expressed it to you before, but it never hurts to say it again: I just don't know where I would be without swing dancing and the warm & loving attitude that you and Peter give to your classes and your students. I was so thrilled when you came to chat with me on Valentine's Day at 705. I know that your time is tight with so many students and friends around and therefore those few moments were very special to me. Thank you so very, very much.
P.S. Did I forget to say "Thank You"? Well, Thank You!
February 18, 2001
The lesson you and Peter gave last night [Satin Ballroom} was so good. I heard so many good things from beginning ladies about it. It seems they all got it. All your extra stuff is greatly appreciated too. you know, the things about etiquette, the constant rotation, the emphasis on utilizing the taxi dancers. And of course your great "patter"... it really makes the lessons enjoyable for all, I believe.
You're the best. cu later.
January 26, 2001
Dear Rusty and Peter,
I just want to express my thanks and appreciation to any and all who have made my experience with swing dancing and the swing scene such a genuine pleasure. Without a doubt, swing has touched me deeply and I have met a great deal of wonderful people who I consider genuine friends is this unique sect of Los Angeles.
Swing has changed my life. No where else have I met more friendly, open, receptive people than at Hermosa Beach's 705 club as well as at the Manhattan Beach Neptunian's Women's Club. I just wish to thank Rusty and Peter, Swing Shift, for making this all possible for me, and to thank all of my friends that have been a constant source of enjoyment in this fantastic group of Swing Dancers. Thank you all!
My best wishes.
December 22, 2000
Dear Rusty and Peter,
I did not even dance one Lindy step at the Christmas party last Sunday, because I could not remember a darn thing! And that's okay, because I look forward to repeating Level 1 over and over and over, if it means being in the same room with two of the most wonderful people I have ever met.
As instructors you are extremely well-organized, thorough, entertaining--and compassionate with us beginners.
Far more important, however, is how you measure up as people. The letter you sent tells me so much about your gratitude, love, and appreciation for friends and life, that I caught myself sitting silent and still, pondering how much I have to be grateful for.
Someday I will get these feet to do what they're supposed to on a dance floor, but for now I am content being part of your dance class, your circle of dance friends, and your universe of love.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukkah, and, yes, may 2001 be a bit less hectic.
December 21, 2000
Hi Rusty: It was fabulous to see you and Peter dance last night. The two of you dancing are pure ambrosia.
November 17, 2000
You two are so great. Thanks for teaching me to swing! I love that for the time I am dancing I concentrate on following, no other thoughts or stresses can be there....its a great way to put life in perspective.
September 10, 2000
I like to think that goodness breeds goodness, and you two are a strong source for a lot of goodness in this town!
September 8, 2000
Dear Rusty and Peter,
An inspiration comes along
In dance and music and in song
Its sweet melody in heart and soul
Invites us all and makes us whole!
Thank you for being an inspiration by showing your love of dance to the world... We are looking forward to your complete recovery...
We love you!!
Stan, Monica and Amby Jane Ricker of Ridgecrest
June 1, 2000
Dear Rusty & Peter,
I had an absolute BLAST at 705 ! You are the best !...... in a class all by yourselves !!!
Your friend and student,
February 27, 2000 Rusty and Peter,
My God, I had a great time tonight!!!
I am, of course, referring to the End of Series party/Dance Derby. And as I drove home afterward, head spinning, it struck me just how ingenious this whole setup is. Allow me to detail why this is so amazing to me...
In the End of Series party, you have fashioned an environment that is basically a "rejection free" zone. How Fantastic is THAT!!! It's like being handed a Cup of Confidence at the door! Now, I am painfully shy by nature, as I'm sure you know (GRRREAT, RRRROTATE!!!) But even I will ask girls to dance at these parties. (Yes, friends and neighbors, even ME!)
Add to that the "encouragement" of the Dance Derby. I wish I could remember the name of the girl who spawned this excellent idea (I'm horrible with names, thank God for those name tags!) [editor's note: Cheryll Lynn!] You turn something into a competition and I am THERE! I may not have won a free series tonight, but I won nonetheless. Just in the hour and a half of the Derby, I danced with 24 different girls; girls I probably wouldn't have asked otherwise (for reasons I no longer understand), and had the best time doing it!!
("Say Mike, would you like a refill on that Cup of Confidence?" "Why yes. Yes I would!")
I also received many compliments on my lead. ("Another cup?") What a rush that is!!! And this is absolutely thanks to you two. From the very beginning, you really focused on teaching a strong lead, a lead with no gray areas. Everyone benefits!!
Like I said, this is ingenious!! A rejection-free zone, encouragement to dance with so many terrific girls, and they compliment ME on my lead?
"Barkeep!!! A Cup of Confidence for everyone, on me!!!"
February 23, 2000
Thank you, Rusty & Peter!
You may not hear often enough how much you both enrich the lives of so many so often... so thank you for sharing your gifts of athleticism, coordination, charisma, and the ability to see the green grass in the game of life.
February 17, 2000
Hi Rusty and Peter!
Thanks so much for my first birthday dance ever!! I had a blast :-) I hope to sneak another one in this weekend up in Mammoth. Indigo is playing on Sunday night!
I also want to thank you two for getting me into Lindy Hop! Last year on my birthday (Feb. 19th) was the Satin Ballroom and you were the instructors. I wanted to do something different for a party and found out about the SB on the internet. I had only been taught basic East Coast swing by some friends here and there but nothing formal, but I knew enough to get by and have fun! But when I saw you guys dance and all the other dancers dance, I realized what I was missing out on. I thought you were really fun ( and still do ), so I started taking lessons with you in Manhattan Beach in April. Then I left in tears each week because I felt I couldn't catch on!!!!!! I can Tango with the best of them, but this Lindy swing out thing just baffled me! Anyway, you guys were just so much fun that I signed up again and it finally clicked :-)
Thanks for what you do and for being so encouraging!!!
Happy Swinging! Charmay<
February 2, 2000
Dear Rusty and Peter,
I did not get a chance to thank you for another wonderful month of dance classes, including the dips and drops class (that was a kick!).
As you know, I think the world of you guys and am e for every class that I take with you, including the basics at Pointe 705. It's obvious that you love what you do and that's how you keep so many people coming back for more.
Thanks for doing what you love and sharing it with all of us!
January 17, 2000
Rusty and Peter,
Hi! This is Mike.
("Who the heck is Mike?")
I take your classes on Sunday. I am repeating Level 1 and taking Level 2.
Anyway, I just had to tell you guys that this class is one of the most enjoyable things I've done in a long time. I am trying to come more often to the Wednesday night activities, since it is always a fantastic time. It is also the place where I was first introduced to your classes.
So, basically, just wanted to say thanks, and I'm glad that I am counted amongst the "dead"* that show up in record numbers each week.
See you Wednesday and Sunday.
*Note from Rusty &
Peter: This was in response to the constant question we are asked, "Is swing
dying?" Gary Zembow's clever retort during our packed class, "Yes! And all
the dead people are here!"
January 27, 2000
I have been meaning to write and tell you how much I enjoyed your musical number (note: Silent Movie Theatre performance January 18th 2000). You both are full of wonderful surprises! I never knew you could sing too! Your voices mesh well together and Peter, where did you get that voice! You must pull it up from your toes! You guys are my idols. See you both soon.
January 10, 2000
Dear Rusty & Peter,
First of all. You two are the most incredible instructors in movement that I have ever experienced!
I have really enjoyed taking instruction from you . You combine the perfect amount of humor and rigor in the wonderful format of dance ! My hat is off to you both!
Thanks for the nice compliment the other evening at the Palladium.
Now let me give you one. You and Peter add immeasurably to an evening of dance with your very competent and professional dance lessons and other things that you do to keep the evening moving. I really appreciate your efforts at helping to make a fun evening, as do other dancers who have had the opportunity to compare your contributions with those of other instructors who were given the same job.
Swing Shift is a class act.
January 21, 2000
Rusty and Peter,
I wanted drop you a quick note and let you know what is going on in my life. For the past 2 weeks or so, going out about 4-5 times a week, I have been getting compliments on my dancing. They have ranged from you are an excellent lead to that was so much fun, to "I'm going to look for you next week and make sure that I dance with you." I'm not telling you this because I want to brag about myself, but rather I think that it reflects greatly on you and your ability as teachers instead of on me and the way that I dance. A lot of people out here are "move" oriented rather than trying to get the basics down. There isn't much in the way of swing etiquette and a lot of leads out here practice a style of dancing that I believe you guys would call "Wrong." I've come to realize how fortunate I was to have taken lessons from you and I wanted to thank you for being such wonderful teachers and instilling in me the basics to build upon, the ability to make dancing fun, and a love for the dance as well as the music.
Jim "Lefty" DePrado
Rusty & Peter, I just wanted to let you know how much fun I had seeing you guys perform last night at the Silent Movie Theater. You were wonderful! It was a treat to hear Rusty sing! : ) Krista
Rusty & Peter:
I've been having such a great time at your classes I wanted to tell you what great teachers you both are and to thank you. I was first introduced to swing by another set of teachers, then I tried some others, but after I saw you at the last Satin Ballroom I switched because you are the best in the LA area.
While I've become addicted to swing I must mention that this is a miracle because I've never danced in my life, (except a few times in high school and at weddings.)
Thanks, Gary Zembow
Out of all the dance instructors I have had, you two have been the most fun and helpful
Kirk Tuey, Design
Dear Rusty & Peter,
Great class tonight!! I just wanted to say what a great job you two are doing. I have talked with a lot of other people in class and at 705 who have taken other classes and everyone says you two are the best. You do a great job at breaking down the moves and going over the details. Taking level I and II again really helped. Anyway I just wanted to send my congrats to both of you for doing a great job!
Hey Hepcats !
Thanks again for a great class. You guys make it soo easy. I have wanted to learn swing dancing for at least 15 years. Every time I tried to learn the basics my two left feet got in the way. I am a Singer/Actor. I do several musicals a year. I love the style from the late 20 - the War Years. I have sung countless number while talented people danced around me as I did repeated touch-steps. Thanks for bringing me closes to one of my dreams. You guys are great and fully appreciated.
Hi Rusty and Peter,
The Symposium was terrific! Your preparation and work paid off in your interesting, fun presentation. You showed us that there a wealth of history that all of us share because of our involvement with the music and the dance called Swing. You always charm us by the way you dance together. Now we know a little bit more about how you listen and dance to the music. Thank you for sharing that information with us in such a creative, experiential way. Everyone was so impressed by the results that showed up in the groups. Rusty, when you pointed out what was different in each group we were able to see some of the interesting elements that make dance interpretation come to life.
Swing Shift is such a good example of the Partnership of Dance. It is obvious that you care for each other and it shows up with how you teach and share your information about the dance with us. This is wonderful for all of us to see since swing dance is a partnership and a relationship even if it is only for 2.5 minutes. What a wonderful experience for us to be taught by a knowledgeable and respectful couple.
You both enhance my goal to live joyfully -- Thanks.
Dear Rusty and Peter,
I just wanted to drop you a line and let you know how fabulous I think you guys are. I have been attending Pointe 705 for about 2 months now. I am definately hooked!! I've always loved Big Band music and have always wanted to learn to swing. My first taste of Swing dancing came from a little known country bar here in the south bay. But, I've always wanted to be able to go to a club specifically to swing dance.
You two are deifinately the best teachers that I've come accross yet...not snooty or snobby...and if you make a mistake...you are there to give guidance, not criticism. I really love the sense of humor that you throw into the dance instructions....I have to admit that since my first class with you at Pointe705...I've definately been deducting brownie points for a guy running me into the wall....or letting go of my hand and getting me lost....or just plain clothes lining me!! And I really do love the way that you get into it by dressing the part. I have been out there recruiting more people like myself.....my sister is going to be attending your upcoming class at the Neptunian club with me. And I met a guy the other night at Tony P's.....he's definately interested also. He will be attending Pointe 705 as well as the upcoming class. I wanted you to know how genuinly appreciated you are!!!
Rusty & Peter
Again, thank you SO much for one of the funnest weekends I've had in months (Aerials Workshop with Nathalie and Yuval). I have so badly got the swing bug. My bet is you'll see lots of my volleyball friends who live in Manhattan and Hermosa in your classes from now on. (I hope so anyways.) It's all I can talk about... I know you put SO much work into the weekend. I just want you to know how much joy you're bringing into my life. You and Peter are the greatest. Thanks for giving so much of your time and spirit to us.
Thank you so much Rusty and Peter!
I LOVED the Dips and Drops workshop ...fancy looking stuff, without the pain! If you're able to bring Nathalie and Yuval out again, hopefully they'll have more D&D's up their sleeve that they can teach. I appreciate so much that, through your classes and Pointe 705 Wednesdays, a real swing scene is finally developing in the beach community. I've always loved to dance and I'm having sooo much fun these days.
See ya in class
I have to say that of all the instructors out there that I know at all, you and Peter seem to have the most upbeat and cheerful attitude about the dancing... it's very clear that you guys just adore what you're doing -- and I think that's really an important part of what Lindy Hop is all about. Thanks for all you do for the swing community! You guys are just awesome!
I just wanted to write you a quick note thanking you for your lessons. You two are the greatest teachers, and I'm having a blast with the class. You know how to make it easy to understand and fun. I'm graduating from USC this year (actually, more like this Friday!), and I've always wanted to learn how to swing dance before I graduate, so here I am! I plan on going to as many of the classes as I can.
Thank you again!
You and Peter are doing a wonderful job of teaching this great dance. I, among others, fully appreciate your attempts to make the Lindy world a safer, friendlier place to really dance to the music. (I've heard you make mention of dance floor etiquette and Savoy & Hollywood styles in classes. And I've been to a listening to the music workshop you gave at Harvest Moon.) I look forward to being able to share a dance with you sometime soon!
Cheers to you, Peter and Rusty!
You guessed it -- the April 14th invitation of the local community service groups called Jaycees (for Junior Chamber of Commerce) to Swing Shift at Pointe 705 was a smashing success! The reason for success is in the people, namely you two. So I wish to thank you Thank you for making the love of swing so contagious, Rusty and Peter! May many more hearts be moved and toes be tapped to the thing called swing through your leadership!
With warm regards,
Dear Rusty and Peter:
I wanted to write you a letter to thank you for helping John and I prepare for our "first song" at our wedding reception. You made it very easy for us to learn to dance to "Swing Lover"; the two of you are talented instructors who are accessible, accommodating, and patient. I was amazed at the progress that John and I made in only three lessons. We were very pleased when our dance successfully surprised everyone at the wedding reception and set the part off on the right foot, so to speak. For the record, you were right: the "mess around" and "the dip" got plenty of hoots and hollers! Thanks again. Taking swing lessons with the two of you was a pleasure. We'd recommend you to anyone who wants to learn to swing dance or to improve their abilities.
Dear Rusty and Peter,
Thank you so much for the outstanding performance you did at our client's swing event in San Diego at Jimmy Love's nightclub. Swing Shift's stage presence, charisma, and vibrant costumes made for an authentic "swinging affair". The client called us that next day raving about the wonderful time they had. Your cooperation, expertise and professionalism made it a pleasure to work with you. We hope to do it again soon.
Hi Rusty and Peter,
Thanks so much for the terrific, inspiring lesson yesterday. I went home and made notes to better get the changes into my brain. Oh how hard it is to break habits. However, you were right on when you pointed out the techniques that make such a difference towards being a good Savoy dancer -- and a better dancer overall. All of your students appreciate you both so much. I'm sure you get told that, but it needs to be said to you often. Teaching dance is a Love Occupation. We receive that love every time we are in your presence. Thank you for that gift.