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Absolut Disco (Hustle and West Coast Swing Party) at Stepping Out Studios

by Wendy Goldberg
March 13, 2009
Stepping Out Studios
37 West 26th Street
New York, NY 10010
646-742-9400
Absolut Disco is presented by Simone Assboeck.

Dancing from 9:30 pm until 2 am.
Next party is on 4/03/2009. Check the Stepping Out Studios website for other dates.
Admission: Current Stepping Out students $10, General public $15.
Special performances
Free buffet
Open bar
DJ Nelson "Paradise" Roman spinning the best Classic Hustle in the Grand Ballroom
Separate Latin Room
This event is not affiliated with Absolut Vodka.
An exciting night of dancing the Hustle and West Coast Swing awaits you at Stepping Out Studios, 37 West 26th St., a tall ship in the river of dance.

Up the silent nine floors, in the concrete cavern shaft to the studio where lights are gleaming, music is pumping, and everyone's getting ready for the party. An eclectic group streams in, for an evening combo of Hustle, in the main ballroom, led by Simone Assboeck, spiked with some sultry West Coast Swing, in a side room, led by Tybaldt Ulrich.

Enter the ballroom, and see billowing white draped columns under a canopy of twinkling lights, shimmer the way white buoys in a moonlit midnight do. There is the feeling of alighting onto a ship's deck, a fusion of safety and adventure, which beckons.

The women, in full spectrum dress, from gauzy chiffon to well worn jeans, quickly slipped into their dancing shoes ready to point their toes. The ladies were lusciously light on their feet, swirling into triple turns, carving the space around them with long, supple arms. The men, running the gamut from jeweled jackets with dapper striped pants and hat, to faded overalls and sneakers were clearly ready to lead their ladies into long spins and twirls on the beautiful boards.

Moving into the darker, hull-like West Coast Swing room, you have to shift gears, as the pace gets slower, and the music funkier, more bluesy. The women shuffle forward, pulled by their partners, their reluctance a mixture of cool and sensuality. The men seem to slide into the rhythm, with a nonchalance edged in gritty steel.

People mingled easily, friends and newcomers, milling about between the hustle ballroom, the west coast swing cavern, and the buffet room where the dancers relaxed together at tables with their tasty food and wine.

At 11:00 pm, the crowd was treated to a showcase performance by Tybaldt Ulrich, a 2008 World Hustle Champion, and his partner, Tamara Van Leeuwen, who wore a stunning cerulean blue costume. The dance was West Coast Swing. Tybaldt provided a steady, graceful anchor to his spinning water nymph. Her blonde hair whipped swiftly around as the ruffled layers of her chiffon dress twirled like miniature parasols. The two dancers, showed laser like precision in their footwork and turns, modulated with lingering moments of stretching and relating, that radiated a glowing energy throughout the ballroom. Enthusiastic applause capped the professional show.

I spoke with Tybaldt earlier in the evening while he wolfed down his lasagna before the party began. He would like to see West Coast Swing and the Hustle at lots of dance parties and clubs, with younger people taking it up.

"There is something similar to what happened in the 30's and 70's and now. Everyone ran to the clubs to dance…"

"To forget…" I mused.

"Mmmm…"

"The dance crazes…the Charleston…Disco…kept people going…gave them hope…"

"Exactly. And now it's Hustle and West Coast Swing." Tybaldt grinned.

I spoke with Simone a little before midnight, as the dancing was winding down. She told me that a lot of dance students in Manhattan like to specialize in one dance; hence Hustle, Argentine Tango, West Coast Swing, Latin Jam and Milonga Parties.

Simone, a North American Showdance Champion among many other accolades, has been with Stepping Out Studios for eight years. She likes to start her classes with ten to fifteen minutes of warm-ups, followed by two or three specific dance steps, first solo, then with a partner.

I asked Simone what her philosophy of teaching dance was.

"I want to get people actually doing the dance, as quickly as possible, so they have something to build on."

That night, one of Simone's student's, whom she hadn't seen for two years, came by to see her, and they danced once more.

"This is what I mean." Simone, after a long evening, was very lively, and gracious, exuding a radiant energy. "He retained not only the love of the dance…but the moves I taught him too. I achieved my goal. See?"

Yes, I did see…and you should too. Come to Stepping Out Studios…check out their website (www.SteppingOutStudios.com). There's definitely something for everyone…whatever it is you want to specialize in, on the ninth floor oasis on 26th street.



For more information about the author -
Dance World Photos: wendykgold@aol.com
Hustle at Stepping Out Studios

Hustle at Stepping Out Studios

Photo © & courtesy of Wendy Goldberg


Hustle at Stepping Out Studios

Hustle at Stepping Out Studios

Photo © & courtesy of Wendy Goldberg


Hustle at Stepping Out Studios

Hustle at Stepping Out Studios

Photo © & courtesy of Wendy Goldberg


Hustle at Stepping Out Studios

Hustle at Stepping Out Studios

Photo © & courtesy of Wendy Goldberg


Hustle at Stepping Out Studios

Hustle at Stepping Out Studios

Photo © & courtesy of Wendy Goldberg


Hustle at Stepping Out Studios

Hustle at Stepping Out Studios

Photo © & courtesy of Wendy Goldberg


Tybaldt Ulrich and Tamara Van Leeuwen perform West Coast Swing

Tybaldt Ulrich and Tamara Van Leeuwen perform West Coast Swing

Photo © & courtesy of Wendy Goldberg


Tybaldt Ulrich and Tamara Van Leeuwen perform West Coast Swing

Tybaldt Ulrich and Tamara Van Leeuwen perform West Coast Swing

Photo © & courtesy of Wendy Goldberg


Tybaldt Ulrich and Tamara Van Leeuwen perform West Coast Swing

Tybaldt Ulrich and Tamara Van Leeuwen perform West Coast Swing

Photo © & courtesy of Wendy Goldberg


Tybaldt Ulrich and Tamara Van Leeuwen perform West Coast Swing

Tybaldt Ulrich and Tamara Van Leeuwen perform West Coast Swing

Photo © & courtesy of Wendy Goldberg

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