Monthly Archives: April 2018

STEP BY STEP ROCK & ROLL PARTY DANCES

2007, $2.99, at Goodwill on Colorado, Eagle Rock

First Impression: DVD Fun? Rock & Roll!?

Second Impression: Metal! (goat horns)

Years ago, when I actually wanted to leave the house and see people, I was part of the swing dancing scene in Los Angeles. Interest in swing dancing has faded considerably since the late 90’s, but at the time it was everything. Back then, I could walk into a different club any night of the week, throw my purse in a corner, and immediately start dancing with someone I knew.

This basic instructional DVD brought back a lot of fond memories of that time: taking classes, going to clubs all over the city, and always searching for the perfect vintage dress to wear out dancing.

One of my dance teachers pointed out that back in the 40’s, no one wore vintage clothes to go swing dancing. They wore their contemporary wardrobe! The instructors in this video are modeling the approach that I saw a lot of people take; approximating a vintage look with machine-washable clothes from JC Penney.

Instructors Evan and Noel are all about the high-waisted baggy pants and the wingtip spectator flats.  Her shirt is tied around her waist to reveal a lack of tattoos. I remember back in the day, you couldn’t really be competitive in the scene unless you had era-appropriate tattoos of anchors or pinups or whatever. Some girls actually had a black line tattooed down the back of their legs so they would always look like they were wearing silk stockings.

I guess no one with permanent stocking tattoos could ever foresee a time when they might not be swing dancing every single night of the week, but times indeed have changed. As for me, I sold my vintage wardrobe so I could afford to attend a national theatre conference. I put my time, energy, and money into my career and I’m glad I did. This DVD helped to remind me that I still know all the steps, and would probably have a good time if I went out dancing once in awhile… if I only knew of any swing clubs still open.

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