Tuesday, July 26, 2011

CH 2011 - "A Day at the Races" Outfit

I only made one new outfit for Camp Hollywood this year, for Friday night. The theme was A Day at the Races but it was also the night of the Balboa contest finals, so I didn't want to be too "theme-y". I decided to wear some 30's daywear but was still undecided as to exactly WHAT -  until Kate posted some Summer Inspiration from 1938. The Sunback Dress (4th picture down, #7754) caught my eye and I knew that was the way to go.

I have a similar sundress pattern that I've made several times, so I grabbed that and headed to Jo-Ann's - and actually found some cream rayon herringbone there! Miracles do happen. The striped fabric was hiding in the upholstery section, but it softened up after washing.

Hollywood Pattern #1788 - c. 1939
Simplicity #2762 -  c. 1938

And here's an action shot - the belt kept spinning around all night - I think I need a well-placed snap.
Doesn't rayon just move the best though? :)

Photo by Alex Vasallo

And last but not least, here's a video of the Balboa contest finals. Can't leave that out, I guess!

Camp Hollywood 2011 - Balboa Finals
Video by Sandra Carranza

Monday, July 25, 2011

Camp Hollywood 2011 - Balboa

This past weekend was the 14th annual Camp Hollywood, and as usual we packed up the car and drove 20 minutes to the LAX Marriott hotel for our "big" summer getaway. Hey, a couple days off work? I'll take it.

Out of all the swing dance weekend camps, Camp Hollywood is particularly dear to me. Not only is it the biggest swing event in the region, and is kind of a "family reunion" with longtime friends whom we don't get to see much, but it's also the camp where I first learned sugar pushes and swivels, took my first Balboa lesson, and saw Groovie Movie and Buck Privates for the first time. Way back in 1998, when I was a senior in high school. Without a doubt, that weekend changed my life.

This year Chris and I competed in Balboa, and won 2nd place (congrats to Jacob and Valerie for beating us again! ;) We were watching footage this morning at 4am when we got home, and I was particularly excited about how we danced in the prelims - I couldn't remember much about this dance after it happened, so I was surprised at how much I like it! 

Camp Hollywood 2011 Balboa Prelims
(I'm unfortunately blanking on the name of the guy who filmed and was awesome enough to pass us a copy)

And for those who are wondering, I'm wearing the trousers I made from Wearing History 30's Trousers pattern (blogged about here). I got so many compliments on them that I must make more soon! 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

LOOK Ma - More Dancing!

Here's the final installment from the Swing Issue of LOOK Magazine - September 27, 1938.
I wonder what happened with the photo contest - heck, I'd enter for $50 in today's money!

 [In the previous post] are the four basic movements in the LOOK Hop, a new swing dance created by vivacious Rita Rio, whose popular all-girl swing band has made a hit in movies, on the radio and in ballrooms.
Rita says much of the fun in dancing the LOOK Hop lies in working out additional steps after mastering the "L," double O" and the "K". [Below] she and her partner, Bill Furrow, demonstrate other steps.
LOOK will pay $50 to the amateur submitting the best set of pictures showing a couple doing the LOOK Hop.

"Gettin' in the mood," Rita calls this. So far, so good; it's easy.

"The cuddle and coo" is an easy one, too, but from here on the steps get more complicated.

Allee-oop, and hang on tight; if the boy friend is husky, this is all right.

This looks as if it takes practice, but it also looks like lot of fun.

The secret of success in this "step" is for the girl to hold on.

In the spirit of the dance, now both partners take a look. You may go on from here.

Monday, July 18, 2011

How to Do the LOOK Hop

Rita Rio is back! This time she teaches you to dance the LOOK Hop. 
I dare you to try this at the next dance you go to!

Band Leader Rita Rio Introduces the LOOK Hop - Try It
From Look Magazine, September 27, 1938

They Face, one arm overhead, one arm out, forming "L". For 8 counts continue basic step: Jump with toes in, knees together, slightly bent; jump on toes, feet apart, knees straight.

Continuing basic step, girl turns back to partner as feet are apart, and both form an "O" with arms, the man's to the right, the girl's to the left.

As Toes are turned in on basic step, man drops arm in circle over partner's head. Girl's arms form "O" in front. Continue, reversing arms from side to side 8 times.

Girl Continues with back to boy, both standing on right foot, left leg extended to side, knee straight, right arm over head, left arm extended diagonally from shoulder to form "K". Hop on right foot in circle for 8 counts.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Picture Definitions of Swing Terms Pt. 3

From Look Magazine, September 27, 1938

 Irene Daye makes a lovely canary (girl vocalist) for Gene Krupa. Even tin ears (persons who dislike swing) like Irene, and of course rug cutters (swing dancers) do.

 Speaking of swing, here's Jack Benny as a squeaker (violinist), Dick Powell at the plumbing (trumpet), Bing Crosby drumming, Tommy Dorsey, chief ridesman (ace musician) behind Bing, and Shirley Ross at the 88 (piano). Peeking over Bing's hat is Ken Murray. These spooks (white musicians) put out real gut-bucket (lowdown music) without groanbox (accordian) or grunt horn (tuba).

 Hot Man (a musician who can swing it) Bunny Berigan can send (arouse the alligators) on an iron horn (trumpet), even if he closes his eyes when he hits a lick (a hot phrase in rhythm).
When you think of Eddie Duchin, you think of a moth box (piano), but Eddie here shows he's at home on a woodpile (xylophone) too. He's also an ace monkey hurdler (organist).
When you place a cat (swing musician) beside a doghouse (bass fiddle), anything might happen, even barrel-house (where every man swings for himself). However, Jimmy Dorsey's ace drummer, Ray McKinley, sticks to his voodoo boilers (drums).

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Picture Definitions of Swing Terms Pt. 2

From Look Magazine, September 27, 1938

Sliver-Sucker (clarinetist) Benny Goodman, and Skin-Beater (drummer) Gene Krupa get in the groove (hit their stride) at a jam session (musicians playing for their own amusement) after working hours. 

 Big Apple dancers will swing it anywhere, even if the music is nothing more than corn-on-the-cob (a harmonica) and a belly fiddle (guitar).

This is the Little Apple, a miniature version of the dance [above], and you don't even have to leave home to do it if you have a platter (a record) made by hepcats (swing musicians). 

There's nothing long-haired (symphonic) about it when Scat-Singer Leo Watson and Trumpeter Charlie Frankhouser swing it with Gene Krupa's band. 

Bogie men (critics who say what they think) call Herb Haymer of Jimmy Dorsey's band one of the world's best on a gobble pipe (saxophone).

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Picture Definitions of Swing Terms Pt. 1

From Look Magazine, September 27, 1938

Alligators (swing fans) like these girls can't sit still when the swing (latest type of hot jazz music) band gets whacky (swings its wildest).

She savvies jive (understands the language of swing) and pleases the jitterbug (same as alligators). It's Ina Ray Hutton - as if you didn't know.

You never see dancing like this when paper men (musicians who play by note only) are reading the spots (notes) and schmaltzing it (playing sweet, sentimental music). These are shag dancers.

Paul Whiteman, the old man (leader), bends an ear as Jack Teagarden gets hot on the slush pump (trombone). Even ickies (persons who don't understand swing) can appreciate such a push-pipe player.

Do You Know These Swing Terms?

How many do you know? Picture definitions in the following posts.

From Look Magazine, September 27, 1938


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Give Swing a Chance Says Benny Goodman

Benny Goodman, $125,000-a-year "King of Swing", now 28, chose to play a clarinet when he was 9, because it was so pretty. Conductor Leopold Stokowski calls him one of the world's best clarinetists.

Give Swing a Chance Says Benny Goodman
by Benny Goodman

There is one thing swing critics cannot combat. That is, that the public approves of swing. So why not give it a chance to prove it is not a flash in the pan, but the only really truly American music we have? Every other form of musical expression portrayed as a dance form originated abroad. Swing, as it is now being written and created, originates solely in the minds of musicians who think in the American way.

Some persons object to modernizing old songs into swing tempo. The answer is that swing is still young and needs nourishment.

To educate the people to enjoy original swing creations, we must feed them something they know of, can understand and enjoy because the melody is familiar.

The present day swing artist is a pioneer, creating something that in the future will become the popular expression of the day. So the next time you hear swing, just figure to yourself that you are in on the birth of something your grandchildren will some day take for granted in the same manner as you take opera today, and you will feel as I always do - awed.

Look Magazine, September 27, 1938

Caprice XXIV - Adapted from Paganini's Caprice No. 24 in A minor

Monday, July 11, 2011

Look Magazine: Swing Issue, September 27, 1938

I've gone on a bit of a magazine collecting spree lately, and here is one of the spoils - the Swing Issue of Look Magazine from 1938. I'll be posting some of the goodies in the days to come - you can learn some new jive-talk and dance moves!

The cuties on the cover are Rita Rio and Bill Furrow. Rita Rio was the bandleader for an all-girl swing band, and went on to have an acting career under the name Dona Drake (Rita Rio is also a stage name, her real name is Eunice Westmoreland!).

Here are a couple of clips of Rita performing - Enjoy!

Rita Rio & Her Orchestra - Feed the Kitty

Rita Rio - My Margarita
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