In honor of last week's post about the Balboa Rendezvous, I thought I'd share a 1938 Look Magazine article with you about some of the incredible dancing that used to take place there! The Rendezvous Ballroom was huge, roughly 1 city block wide and 1 city block long - but I think 5,000 kids in there would still have been crowded! No wonder they could only dance chest to chest. :)
5,000 Young Californians Rise at Dawn for a...
6 A.M. SWING PARTY
On June 18 in Balboa, Cal., the amazing swing music fad in the U.S. hit a new high. On that day some 5,000 "cats" and "alligators" rose at dawn to "cut rugs" and "kick out" at 6 o'clock in the morning. The occasion was a "jam session" or "swingaree" staged by radio station KEHE to celebrate the end of the school year.
The night before the party, "ickies" and "jitterbugs" started arriving. Many came in parties composed of members of local swing clubs. Most of them came by car, some by foot. One young man drove 396 miles from Tonopah, Nev. One came on crutches.
From 6 to 8 in the morning, the ballroom of the Balboa Rendezvous shook with their dancing of the Big Apple, the Varsity, the Suzie-Q while the orchestra and a phonograph "gave out" with "licks" and "solid senders."
Those shirts! Those ties! So terrible, and so AWESOME!
Dancing in a hat and gloves...but no stockings. Those wild jitterbugs!
This photo has been one of my personal favorites since I was 16 years old -
I wanted to be her SO badly.
Still do. :)