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The New York Swing Dance Society Celebrates the 80th Anniversary of the Savoy Ballroom

by Marcy Gross, Robert Abrams
March 11, 2006
St. Cyril's
502 West 41st Street
(just West of 10th Avenue)
New York, NY 10036
Check out Marcy's website at www.marcygross.com.

The New York Swing Dance Society Celebrates the 80th Anniversary of the Savoy Ballroom

Marcy S. Gross
March 11, 2006

The New York Swing Dance Society held its dance in Manhattan at the St. Cyril and St. Methodius Croatian Hall last night, 502 West 41st Street, near 10th Avenue from 5:30 p.m. - 12:00 midnight. The space held hundreds of dancers with room to spare. The temperature was also comfortable — you could either break a sweat if you are one of our more active dancers, or you could "chill out" in the seating areas, in the hallway, or near the entrance/exit.

Some history for Swing:

This was the date the Savoy Ballroom opened 80 years ago, March 12, 1926, on Lenox Avenue between 140th and 141st Street. It was shut down on July 10, 1958 and replaced by a housing complex called the Delano Village. It was the Lindyhop hotspot of the day — grounded floorcraft, airsteps (aerials), competitions… This was where Frankie Manning (now a very young 91 years old) made his name in the dance circles. Yes, I am proud to say that I took a few of Frankie's classes — He is a great teacher!

The list of events were as follows:

*

A panel in the afternoon discussed the re-birth of Swing dance (a/k/a the "family" of Lindyhop, Jitterbug, Balboa, Shag, for example);
* Norma Miller discussed her new book on dancing at the Savoy; and most importantly…
* Line dances — if you do not know the dances, you can always try to follow the people around you; and
* Performances included hand dancing, steppers, and Lindyhop…and one outstanding tap dance.

The City Rhythm Orchestra was great, as usual, keeping us dancing and packing the floor. The band breaks were filled with DJ'd music, and Eric Silvey was a great stage host for this event.

All ages attended, from 6 to 106 (okay, close!), from all over the world. One could sit, stand, eat, speak with friends, meet lots of great new people.., or do the dance.

Whether you dance (anything — Swing, Salsa, ChaCha, Rumba, Waltz), want to learn, or are really shy, this is a great part of our culture that should be continued and shared with future generations.

Kudos to Margaret Batiuchok, president and co-founder of the New York Swing Dance Society, who organized this great function.

If you are interested in other Swing dances and activities, (for me, it is a sport!!), write to mgross13@aol.com. You can always stop over and talk to Robert Abrams or me in person if you see us at the events.





Catrine Ljunggren
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Darlene Gist
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Larry Schulz
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Margaret Batiuchok
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Peter Loggins
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Terry Monaghan
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Swing dancing
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Swing dancing
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Swing dancing
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



The City Rhythm Orchestra
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Swing dancing
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Swing dancing
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Swing dancing
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Swing dancing
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Swing dancing
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



The place is packed
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Swing dancing
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams

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