A fundraiser for the Calabasas Library.
6-9 PM - doors open at 5:30 PM.
Live Jazz Age music from Randy Woltz and Sheila Murphy Nelson. Refreshments provided by the Friends of the Calabasas Library.
Walter Nelson MC and dance instructor.
Roaring 20s style attire encouraged but not required.
Learn and dance the (very easy) Jazz Age forms of the Foxtrot, Tango and Charleston (dance instruction from 6 - 6:30 with additional pointers throughout the evening). Beginners VERY welcome. In the 1920s, EVERYBODY danced, so they danced in a way ANYBODY could do.
Attendees are asked to make a donation to the Calabasas Library fund.
Sponsored by the Friends of the Calabasas Library and the Calabasas Historical Society.
This is part of the "Calabasas Reads" project, this year focusing on "The Great Gatsby". There are additional events linked to this project - details right here: http://www.cityofcalabasas.com/events/library/great-gatsby.html
Location: The mission revival style Calabasas central library building.
In the Jazz Age, nearly everyone danced, so they did dances almost anyone could do.
Generally, when people think about the dances of the Jazz Age (the 1920s & 30s), they bring to mind exuberant youth dances like the Charleston or Lindy Hop, or the theatrical dances of Fred and Ginger.
What Fred & Ginger did was theater and spectacle, and was never intended to be an accurate representation of how ordinary folks danced. Countless examples of normal, workaday social dancing can be seen in movies of the period but not being done by exhibition dancers like Fred and Ginger. If you want to see how it was really done, look at the folks in the background or characters who are dancing to move the story along rather than to show off their skills.
The theme for this evening will be the dancing to the Jazz and Blues tunes of the 1920s and 30s, with a special focus on the "Collegiate" style of the late '20s and early '30s (after Charleston but before Shag and Lindy).
As always, beginners are welcome, no partners are needed, and Jazz Age attire is encouraged but not required.
Cost: $10 by cash or check at the door.
The program will alternate between instruction and free dancing to DJed music.
Walter Nelson will be your instructor and DJ, and film clips from the era will be at the core of the program.
Feel free to bring snacks and refreshments to share.
There is ample free parking in front of the church on Winnetka Ave and in their parking lot. Enter at the central gate that faces Winnetka Ave. Turn left in the courtyard to the church hall.
RSVP on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1118634698250277/
Note the change in start time from earlier programs.
Fashion or Health?
Bareback or Decency?
by Jane Dixon
The question of clothes is really becoming a serious matter.
Or perhaps it is better to say the matter of NO clothes is really becoming serious.
Whichever way you put itâ€”the issue remains the sameâ€”it is better to pay the merchant a couple of hundreds for a few extra yards of material and keep in health or to pay the physician a couple of hundreds for few extra treatments to stay in fashion?
â€śOne must make oneâ€™s choicesâ€ť as they would say in dear old Mayfair.
There are any number of women who are frank to confess â€śthey would rather be dead than out of fashionâ€ť
Well, it looks now as if they are going to be dead anyhow.
The woman is not extant whose physique can withstand the rigors of the North American climate with nothing between her and a snow storm but a wisp of material and dab or two of trimming.
The lady from the Rue de la Paix was swathed in black satin.
There was not very much to the satin. In fact, there was nothing to it below the kneeâ€”nothing except a row of fringe that flopped dismally along the silk sheathed limbs like the water soaked grass wardrobe of a native Hawaiian hula dancer.
Also, the lady wore sans sleeves,. There was a tissue trifle that began at the armpits and stopped abruptly half way to the elbow, as if ashamed of even this small concession to the conventions.
Here endeth the chapter, so far as the frock is concerned.
A word more of silk-sheathed limbs. The sheathing was of an extraordinary web known in the parlance of the trade as â€śfishnetâ€ť. This term is self-explanatory. At a distance of ten feet it would take a trained observer to distinguish anything but the holes in the net.
With this â€śstriking outfitâ€ť which might more truthfully be called a â€ścomedy makeupâ€ť, went a pair of those funny little snub-nosed slippers we once introduced in Paris and of which the Parisienne has never been able to cure herself. You know the kind I meanâ€”with the ends describing a half circle, the vamp hitting the tops of the toes and the six-inch heels giving the wearer the continued appearance of a toe-dancer who had outlived her art.
At this moment there is no "vintage dance" in the San Fernando Valley. There's barely any Swing dancing. I will try to do a little bit to remedy that.
The "Dancing in the Valley" project will involve recurring, inexpensive, informal vintage dance gatherings here in my neighborhood.
I understand that much of Southern California regards the Valley as a sort of Siberia - a distant, strange and inaccessible land, so I have, with the generous support of the Episcopal Church of Saint-Martin-in-the-Fields and Vicar Gabriel Ferrer (son of Jose Ferrer BTW), set up a program that does not depend on huge numbers to cover the costs.
I have also chosen a time that works for the Church and also competes with very few other programs - Sunday evening 6-9 PM. For Valley residents, it is conveniently close and for those from other areas, you can brave the less-bad-than-most-times Sunday afternoon traffic, dine at one of our inexpensive local establishments, and then partake of free and convenient parking with a low-key, friendly evening of dance and socializing. It then ends in time for folks with jobs to get home and get to bed.
Each event, happening more or less once a month, will have a different theme. The first will focus on dancing in Weimar Berlin in the '20s and '30s. Future ones will mostly be Jazz Age, but I reserve the option to divert into other eras, from the Regency to Victorian to Ragtime, depending on my mood and the level of demand.
The first hour will be instruction, with the following two hours dancing to recorded music with yours truly as the DJ. If we start getting sufficient numbers, we can hire some live music.
Here's a link to the first event: http://www.walternelson.com/dr/berlin-tanzen
I hope to see you soon here, in the San Fernando Valley, my home (cue Bing Crosby).
Here's the link to the PDF
The proper title is:
MODELING CIVIL WAR IRONCLAD SHIPS
Steven Lund and William Hathaway
Editor's note: I post this to address questions I have received from time to time about the topic. Unlike much of what I post, I do not advocate its return. I think this a bad custom, and am delighted that it has fallen into disuse. The annoyance of having an already brief dance cut short, its tendency to add further evidence of popularity to a few and lack of it to many more, and the fact that the lady has no option of refusing make it entirely obnoxious. However, for purposes of education here it is.
From "Modern Ballroom Dancing" by Lillian Ray, 1930.
Program dances have gone out almost entirely. Cutting in during dances has become a recognized practice. The man who wishes to cut in taps the girl's partner on the shoulder quietly. The dancer must relinquish his partner courteously and cheerfully. The girl has no choice in the matter.
The custom has its drawbacks as it is often annoying to leave a partner whom you particularly like, to dance with one for whom you may not care in the least. However, it is not good form to refuse to dance with a man who cuts in. Nor can the first partner of the girl cut in on the man who took her from him. He can cut in on her next partner though. A man must not continue to cut in on the same man when he dances with another partner. For example if John Bart cuts in on Harry Gray when the latter is dancing with Janet Stone, John cannot cut in on Harry when he dances with Helen Barclay. If he did so, Harry would think, and rightly, that John was deliberately trying to spoil his evening and take all his partners from him.
From "Bernice Bobs Her Hair" by F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1920
No matter how beautiful or brilliant a girl may be, the reputation of not being frequently cut in on makes her position at a dance unfortunate. Perhaps boys prefer her company to that of the butterflies with whom they dance a dozen times an evening, but youth in this jazz-nourished generation is temperamentally restless, and the idea of fox-trotting more than one full fox trot with the same girl is distasteful, not to say odious. When it comes to several dances and the intermissions between she can be quite sure that a young man, once relieved, will never tread on her wayward toes again.
No MODERN book on ballroom dancing would be complete without including a few Collegiate Steps for the younger generation. These hopping and jumping steps are lively if not dignified. They reflect the brisk tempo of young America. They will be seen more often at fraternity dances and Village night clubs than in the ballrooms of the more pretentious and formal hotels and country clubs. But these Collegiate Steps are too much a part of present day dancing to be shunned as stepchildren.
All the steps detailed in the following pages should be danced with plenty of pep and abandon. They are, after all, to be used in a spirit of fun. Even the starting position for the Collegiate Steps is less formal than that for the older and more dignified dances. The collegiates affect a crooked elbow and a closer hold than their elders. Figure shows the position for the Collegiate Walk, which is similar to the Fox Trot but sharper and snappier.