Tonight's DJ, Jason Niesz!
And yes, he does have to spell it out every time someone asks him what his last name is.
Next Month: Constructing Your Charleston
Our Intermediate series Constructing Your Charleston for all dancers who have taken the beginner Lindy Hop series. Charlestons are the Lindy moves that involve kicks and various ways of facing your partner.
Thriller! week 3
What you need to know: It'll be 7:30 to 9 every Tuesday night(so each class is 1.5 hour for maximum drilling of the moves so you'll feel super confident)) Jeff Booth, who painstakingly broke down the entire Thriller Choreography from the music video and concert footage, will once again teach his incredible Thriller class. And dancers will have several opportunities to perform it; For the end of the Month Jam Cellar, as well as the October Glen Echo Dance It's $80 for the entire 6-hour experience; You'll know Thriller the way Michael Jackson actually danced it, and something to wow friends with for years to come.
Community: Amalgamated Vintage
This just in: DC actually has a good vintage store now for men's clothes. And women's clothes. It's called Amalgamated Classic Clothing and Dry Goods, and it's in Alexandria. You can visit them at www.amalgamated-clothing.com. Mention the swing dance scene to the very nice woman who owns the place.
"The Sketchy Guy"
A story of the Haunted Jam Cellar
Some time ago, it must have been a year or so, I was at the Jam Cellar, talking to my DJ friend during one of her more scratchy selections, when a girl in front of me did a styling in her swivels that I could only describe as "Rosy." Rosy, you see was a dancer in these parts once, and had what it took to one day be a professional, if she had desired it. And, I think she had desired it at one point. At the very least, she loved dancing, and was quickly becoming damn good at it when I saw her last. She said she practiced a few hours a week, and even did this thing where she would spend part of the night practicing by herself-not just solo dancing, but dancing by herself, just to get better at styling and what not. However, it had now been a good six months since I had seen Rosy on the dance floor, and I asked my DJ friend about it.
My friend, who shall remain anonymous to keep her from being bugged about it, told me this story:
You haven't heard, have you? As you remember, Boobs (she calls me "Boobs" instead of "Bobby;" our friendship has other 6th grade aspects to it, as well), she used to come out every Tuesday. About six months before the disappeared, she was dancing here one night when a man approached her to dance. He was wearing a black hoodie and had straight black hair was what she said he looked like, later. Anyway, he said his name was "Eric," and he asked her to dance. She said it was not weird at first, he was just a little jerky with his arms and didn't know Lindy Hop, only a stomping-version of east coast swing. He asked her to dance a few more times that night, and, well, you know Rosy, she said yes.
The next few weeks, he kept popping up after she was done dancing with someone and asked her to dance. The dances were getting worse, too. He ceased asking her to dance and instead just held out his hand. He occasionally would "accidentally" swipe her boob on side-passes. He was bathing less, she noticed. It apparently was so bad one night that another dancer came up to ask her to dance right in the middle of one of her dances with Eric. Even though she appreciated him trying to save her, she wasn't rude enough — well, I don't think it would have been "rude"—but it definitely wasn't in her personality to stop dancing with Eric in the middle of a song.
Over the next few weeks, this got worse and worse, Eric asking her to dance sometimes three songs in a row before he'd smile a really creepy smile and leave. The guys always tried to dance with her before he'd ask her to dance, but they were always too late. When the guys did dance with her, they found that she was dancing really weird because of all the dances with the sketchy guy. If you remember, she stopped looking happy when she came out dancing, which was totally strange. I mean, she was one of the happiest dancers I ever saw. Then, one night, Eric asked her to dance five songs in a row, on a Boilermaker night, no less, when she had a row of other guys trying to get her for a dance. She tried to turn him down, but he picked up her hand and just started dancing. You know Rosy-she sighed and kept on dancing. At this point Jeff Booth, you know, Jeff-I-only-get-upset-at -disappointing-Cure-albums- Booth, stepped up. "Just what's the [expletive omitted] deal, here, [exple tive omitted] douche-[expletive omitted]?"
"Sorry, Jeff, he just kept asking me to dance," Rosy said, who as you know, absolutely hates making a scene.
"Haha, that's [expletive omitted] hilarious, [expletive omitted, though if I recall, it involved sheep]." He said. "You're being a [expletive omitted, inv. human anatomy]."
"What?" Rosy said, who realized that Jeff was talking to her.
"It's Boilermaker night," he said. "Are you going to dance with yourself all night long, and then make some stupid joke when real guys are asking you to dance?"
At this point, she protested, pointing to the Sketchy Guy that had been dancing with her for proof. Only, she didn't. I mean, she pointed, but he wasn't there. No one was. Later that night, she told Jeff everything, and Jeff, aside from being a great listener, knows everyone. "Holy [scatological expletive omitted]," He said. "You weren't dancing here ten years ago, were you?"
She nodded "no."
"Well, at the height of the neo-swing craze, The Jam Cellar was called Hep-Cat Daddy-O's. We had, on average, about three hundred people here a night. Our Jam Circle's would last two or three repeats of "Rock This Town," at least. There was this one guy, "Sketchy Eric" they called him, who would only dance with the best girls or beginner girls he was trying to hit on. Anyway, he was hated around here, but we never had an excuse to throw him out. Then, one jam circle, everyone who knew any tricks had already gone out to dance, so, of course, it was time for two guys to go out and dance. During the first few minutes of the jam, Eric had suckered some guy into working on an aerial with him in a corner, so when the time came, the two guys went out, did some basics, and then this guy took Eric into the candlestick-of-death move. Eric, as you know, is about two hundred pounds heavier than Debra, and his partner, who was supposed to hold him up, slipped at the part where Eric dives down his back. There was no chance for Eric, the doctor's didn't even try. In fact, it was about ten years ago exactly."
Above their heads, the Boilermakers were packing up their gear, and dancers hung around in the halls talking. To get them to leave, the DJ started playing Brian Setzer's "Rock this Town."
* * *
"I haven't seen Rosy since," said my friend, finishing her story. "I called her, though, a few weeks ago, and she said she's taken up Tennis. I didn't have the heart to tell her that was Eric's other passion."
By this time, my friend was playing some music that was actually recorded in the 1900s, and I noticed an intermediate dancer working on her swing-outs and swivels by herself. I tightened up my dance shoes, walked over to her, and insisted that she allow me to cut in.
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