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#1 2013-11-18 10:36:02

jimbo
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Registered: 2009-07-28
Posts: 3326
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Learning how to dance to Rock & Roll music

In the mid 50's Rock & Roll emerged and started to overide what was known as popular music. Learning to dance to this type of music was a whole lot different than dancing the Foxtrot or Boxstep. (I always thought that dancing to Rock & Roll was just a jazzed up version of the old Lindy Hop). I also remember my girlfriend Judy struggling to teach me the new steps I had to learn but being self conscious and having two left feet I didn't do very well. I was always afraid I was embarrassing her when we danced with other groups. My younger brother Bob being a natural dancer picked the R & R steps right away but I struggled with it for a long time.
I eventually overcame my stumbling feet and learned, but it sure took me a long time.

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#2 2013-11-18 11:19:27

Olivia
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Registered: 2009-03-01
Posts: 1334

Re: Learning how to dance to Rock & Roll music

My girlfriends & I used to get together after school, turn on American Bandstand, & learn from Justine & Bob, Joanne, etc. It was easier for the girls to learn because we would dance w/each other & learn the steps--lindy, fox trot, mashed potatoes, the bop, etc. It was a no-no for the guys to dance together, so you needed a sister or a girlfriend to teach you. I liked the Stroll & the Twist. Ther were less complicated & I found them easier to learn.

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#3 2013-11-18 13:12:11

jimbo
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Registered: 2009-07-28
Posts: 3326
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Re: Learning how to dance to Rock & Roll music

Olivia, I always considered myself a well coordinated guy. I played in all kinds of sports, baseball, football, stick ball, handball and some basketball, but when it came to learning how to dance I just think I was too self conscious in  trying to get my feet to do what my mind was telling them.
A lot of my friends did well but there were a few others, who like me  thought the whole world was watching for my mistake. I have long since overcome this self conscious trait I once had and to this day I enjoy dancing very much.
I just wonder how many guys and gals on this board went through the same thing I did when first learning how to dance.

Last edited by jimbo (2013-11-18 13:16:01)

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#4 2013-11-19 09:47:51

kay
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Registered: 2008-05-13
Posts: 1103

Re: Learning how to dance to Rock & Roll music

we lived to dance .when we went out we danced til we went home.I remember my friend teaching me the Lindy and the Savoy ,which was done in Rociaway -The Heights  girls did it . sort of like a fast hustle .
we did all he dances ,cha-cha,mambo,merinque...
wish i could still do them .for more than 2 minutes lol

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#5 2013-11-19 11:31:31

Pomonoker
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Registered: 2008-05-12
Posts: 436

Re: Learning how to dance to Rock & Roll music

Kay, I bet you could still "cut a mean rug"!

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#6 2013-11-20 10:48:45

CharlieP.
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Registered: 2008-05-12
Posts: 2492

Re: Learning how to dance to Rock & Roll music

michael, I agreed with you back then. UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL was the way to go. LOL

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#7 2013-11-20 11:03:45

kay
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Registered: 2008-05-13
Posts: 1103

Re: Learning how to dance to Rock & Roll music

we called t the grind ,my mother called it dancing on a dime .
well lets put it this way went to a dance on Saturday and danced all notght and slept all day Sunday .
thank You Pomonoker its what i always wanted to be ...

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#8 2013-11-20 12:33:22

jimbo
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Registered: 2009-07-28
Posts: 3326
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Re: Learning how to dance to Rock & Roll music

My friends and I would go to the Polish hops on LI. To this day I can't dance the polka when I'm sober.

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#9 2013-11-20 14:03:02

Olivia
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Registered: 2009-03-01
Posts: 1334

Re: Learning how to dance to Rock & Roll music

Jimbo--when we were just married, my ex & I used to go to the Lorelei to drink beer & do the polka. It was a German dance hall/brauhaus in the E. 80's. You're right. The beer made for much more graceful polkas.

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#10 2013-11-20 16:32:33

jimbo
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Registered: 2009-07-28
Posts: 3326
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Re: Learning how to dance to Rock & Roll music

Your right Olivia, kinda like floating on air. LOL

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#11 2013-11-21 12:10:46

CharlieP.
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Registered: 2008-05-12
Posts: 2492

Re: Learning how to dance to Rock & Roll music

Olivia,
          Funny,after about four Lowenbraus,I was dancing the polka without any lessons. LOL That was a great place back then. ALWAYS had fun there.

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#12 2013-11-21 17:17:26

Sal
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Registered: 2009-08-03
Posts: 2980

Re: Learning how to dance to Rock & Roll music

Dancing-Don't ask me!


Back in the day Lorelei was always jumping when I passed it. Great place to pick up Irish Bridie's!

Last edited by Sal (2013-11-21 17:19:56)

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#13 2013-11-22 07:54:01

jimbo
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Registered: 2009-07-28
Posts: 3326
Website

Re: Learning how to dance to Rock & Roll music

Gildea's was another place that was a hopping joint. Band on weekends with plenty of girls & guys. I'd stay just long enough to avoid the brawls that took place later on. Old man Gildea was a mountain of a man and his bouncer sons were bigger than he was.
I always tried to avoid trouble if I can. I had a friend of mine lose an eye in a brawl because he danced with a girl who was with someone else. He was hit in the head with a beer bottle and I had to take him to the hospital. Bad memory on that one.

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#14 2013-11-22 08:26:29

Pomonoker
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Registered: 2008-05-12
Posts: 436

Re: Learning how to dance to Rock & Roll music

Gildea's, sounds familiar. Where was it?

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#15 2013-11-22 08:57:50

jimbo
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Registered: 2009-07-28
Posts: 3326
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Re: Learning how to dance to Rock & Roll music

Pomonoker, Gildea's was in Sunnyside not to far from Queens Blvd. It was where Woodside and Sunnyside meet. There was also a Gildea's in  Irishtown section of the Rockaway's, same owner.

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#16 2013-11-22 13:40:52

Pomonoker
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Registered: 2008-05-12
Posts: 436

Re: Learning how to dance to Rock & Roll music

Don't think I ever went there, but must have heard of it. Did go to a club (Disco?), that was called the Honka Monka, that was in that area, on Queens Blvd. Not sure if it was in Sunnyside or Jackson Heights. Great place to dance and listen to some good Rock music, and, of course, meet some ladies!

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#17 2013-11-22 16:48:00

jimbo
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Registered: 2009-07-28
Posts: 3326
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Re: Learning how to dance to Rock & Roll music

Pomonoker, If you were ever to Gildea's you would never forget as it was a pretty wild place.

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#18 2013-11-22 17:19:06

Sal
Member
Registered: 2009-08-03
Posts: 2980

Re: Learning how to dance to Rock & Roll music

'65-'66 Remember frequenting Gildea's on the weekend with one of my Manhattan buddies.
I just found out recently he was killed in Nam a few years later.

We use to arrive early and leave before it got crazy. Can still remember their wine spitzers served in small glasses.

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#19 2013-11-22 17:48:56

reege
Member
Registered: 2010-02-27
Posts: 160

Re: Learning how to dance to Rock & Roll music

I was taught by my "big" sister how to Lindy (or was it the Savoy - to this day I don't know the difference). The slow dances required no instruction. You just held her and moved slowly with the music - it was more or less instinctive. "The Fish" was a grind sort of dance that was big then. About 1955.

50 years later, at my niece's wedding, she said, "Unc, you're the best dancer here. We don't have these kinds of dances anymore". We were doing a Lindy. Amazing how the girls always knew exactly what to do responding to the boy's lead doing the Lindy.

Last edited by reege (2013-11-22 17:51:07)

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#20 2013-11-29 14:54:45

jimbo
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Registered: 2009-07-28
Posts: 3326
Website

Re: Learning how to dance to Rock & Roll music

Regge your right, the girls always seemed to pick up the steps of the latest dance craze and then try to teach it to the boys. Girls have a natural rhythm when it comes to dancing. I did my best  to learn the new dance steps and not step on some poor girls feet with my size 12's.

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