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Swing Dancing Downstairs at Iguana

by Leon Mitrani
January 29, 2006
Iguana
240 West 54th Street
New York, NY 10019
(212) 265-3629

Swing Dancing Downstairs at Iguana

Leon Mitrani
January 29, 2006

One, two, three o'clock, four o'clock, rock,
Five, six, seven o'clock, eight o'clock, rock,
Nine, ten, eleven o'clock, twelve o'clock, rock,
We're gonna rock around the clock tonight.

Baby boomers will recognize these lyrics as the opening lines of Bill Haley's classic, Rock Around the Clock (For complete lyrics to Rock Around the Clock, go to http://www.billhaley.co.uk/lyrics.htm), which played over the credits for the film, Blackboard Jungle in 1954. That was also one of Sidney Poitier's first starring roles. While the D.J. is spinning this, several dozen couples are rockin', swinging, doing the Lindy, and acting like any teenagers would. However, the year is 2006, and dancers are Baby Boomers in their fifties and sixties joyfully reliving what we consider great music. Where is this magical place? It happens every third Sunday at the Iguana, 240 W. 54th St. in Manhattan, and is hosted by Eric Silvey. He's also a Boomer who promotes these events as much for love as for financial gain, since the cost is a modest $10.

It's almost axiomatic that any generation considers the music it grew up with to be the best, just as the Greatest Generation of WWII regarded the Big Band sound as special. Other legendary artists heard are Chuck Berry, Elvis, Little Richard, Dion, Bobby Darin, and for aficionados, Little Isadore and the Inquisitors. Those of us who attend these dances, or hops as they were called, feel rejuvenated and refreshed after these monthly Sunday evening events. Some of us are retired, others working, some a little of both, but we're mostly good dancers in great shape who attend for vigorous exercise, hanging out with friends, and listening to music considered passé by today's music industry.

We now label this swing dancing, which is thriving throughout New York, but most of the music is the Big Band sound of the 1940s. Rock n' Roll (R&R), as we call the sounds described above, has dance steps similar to Big Band music, and both can be called swing dancing. R&R has a hardcore following that appeals to people of every generation. Word is spreading.

Besides enthusiastic dancers, what makes these events such successes have been the dedication to, and taste and love for this dance music by Co-DJ's Eric Silvey and Carlos Cardona, Baby Boomers themselves. Eric launched these throwback events in the fall of 2004, and their popularity has grown steadily through word of mouth.

If you're a member of Our Generation, please join us. If you're younger and enjoy swing dancing, we'd love to have you, and are sure you'll enjoy expanding your dancing options. More dancers under 45 are discovering and enjoying this music and dancing. Our last event included people from their early twenties to their mid-sixties. Since we change partners after every song, singles as well as couples are welcome.

Oh yes, as an added bonus, there's another type of music played here that you can Lindy/swing to, and that's Motown groups like the Four Tops (Same Old Song) and Martha & the Vandella (Heat Wave). To check for the date of our next dance, please visit www.nyswingdance.com, and look at the third or fourth Sunday of the month, or call Eric on (212) 486-9517. Come on down!

When the clock strikes two, three and four,
If the band slows down we'll yell for more,
We're gonna rock around the clock tonight,
We're gonna rock, rock, rock, 'til broad daylight.
We're gonna rock, gonna rock, around the clock tonight.

January 29, 2006


Swing dancing
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Conchi Alarcon and Carlos Cardona
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Swing dancing
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



A packed dance floor
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Marcy Gross and partner
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Marcy Gross and partner
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Dances with hat
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Eric Silvey in the DJ booth
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Generations together
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Marcy Gross and Carlos Cardona
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Carlos and Marcy
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Marcy and Carlos
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Marcy and Robert Abrams
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams

January 7, 2006


Eric Silvey's Swing Dance Sunday
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Eric Silvey's Swing Dance Sunday
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Eric Silvey's Swing Dance Sunday
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Eric Silvey's Swing Dance Sunday
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Eric Silvey's Swing Dance Sunday
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Eric Silvey's Swing Dance Sunday
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Eric Silvey's Swing Dance Sunday
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams

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