Big Band Magic!
About the Program
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Rose Bowl, Larkspur, CA
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Do you recognize any of these dance floor personalities?

The Show-Off: This exuberant dancer wants everyone to notice and admire his or her great skills. But skill is rarely what's demonstrated. Instead, the Show-Off usually bumps into others and hogs the floor -- to everyone's great annoyance.

Wrong-Way Charlie: In proper dance etiquette, all dancing is supposed to flow in a counterclockwise direction. But no matter which way traffic is moving, Wrong-Way Charlie obliviously plows across the floor in the opposite direction.

The Chatterbox: These garrulous folks love to talk, jabbering incessantly into their partners' ears, often making it difficult to hear the music of the band.

The Tutor: First cousin to the Show-Off, the Tutor constantly stops mid-dance to show you what you are doing wrong.

The Crooner: A variation on the Chatterbox, this would-be Sinatra feels compelled to serenade you as you dance.

The Quitter: No fun at all, this irksome partner is always eager to start a dance, but never lasts until the end.

The Jolly Extrovert: While dancing, this easily distracted individual ignores his partner in order to chat with passersby on the dance floor.

(Source: Engel, Lyle, ed. "Remember Your Manners." Chap. 9 in The Fred Astaire Dance Book. New York: Cornerstone Library, 1962.)

Next: Ali Baba
For a magical al fresco evening, dancers could board a ferry, cross San Francisco Bay and make their way to the Rose Bowl, a weekly Saturday night dance held during the summer months of the year. After stepping ashore in Sausalito, adventurers would catch an electrical train heading northward to the cozy town of Larkspur. The Rose Bowl Dance, a unique fund-raising event organized by the Larkspur volunteer fire department, had been a popular destination since its beginnings in 1913. It was a rare opportunity for couples to "Sway Under the Stars" at an outdoor dance palace. Nestled in a wooded grove, the Rose Bowl was lavishly decorated with twinkling lights, old fire hoses, pails and spare helmets. And suspended overhead was the much-loved Rose Bowl Moon, who winked and smiled down at couples as they twirled through the trees on the open-air dance floor.

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