Swing Discussion Boards > Remembering Joe Lanza

Discussion in 'Swing Discussion Boards' started by Steve Pastor, Mar 9, 2011.

  1. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    I very recently learned through my Facebook friendship with Joe that he has passed away.

    Joe contributed to Dance Forum for some time, and I can say (with a smile on my face) that some of his exchanges with other members were "lively".
    He shared many of his experiences in the LA dance scene in the 50s.
    Look for posts by Black Sheep and Uncle Joe.

    I'm not really prepared to write a fitting memorial, but may do a page on him in wikipedia.

    Joe's web site is still up and running at

    I'm not exactly sure why (Joe was kind enough to share part of himself with me), but I am greatly saddened by his passing.

    While ministers of one church consistently opposed dancing, the priests of the Catholic Church were not so severe, and in some instances even favored dancing. "Do the saints dance in heaven?", wrote a nun in the first part of the 16th century, "dancing will be essential there for the strong, well-built bodies of the saints". "There would have to be dancing (in heaven) for the itching soles of" those "whose whole life on earth is a dancing school", wrote well known Catholic priest Zsigmond Csuzy in the first part of the 18th century."[15]
  2. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Oh! I am deeply saddened. :-( May he rest in peace.
  3. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    thank you for sharing Steve
  4. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Some of the things I admired about Joe were his reliability, tenacity and pure love of dance. I met Joe here seven-plus years ago and we exchanged email addresses after one of his "lively" exchanges caused his first DF persona to take a DF hiatus. From then until fairly recently, I would receive pretty frequent emails about dance, but also life, love, philosophy, dogs, you name it. Anything that piqued Joe's curiosity. Always entertaining. Joe was unique and he was always genuinely himself.

    He was certainly a controversial figure around here. Eh. *shrug* What I know is that he loved life, dance and other people. Wherever he is, I bet he's found some swing dancer to debate 6 versus 8 count with. :lol:
  5. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    Ironically he has the same name as another well known individual ,who both were around at the same time in LA. I worked for that one .
  6. kayak

    kayak Active Member

    Bummer, he was an interesting guy. I am not sure I understood or agreed with some of his idea, but his ideas were fun to try and figure out.
  7. Spitfire

    Spitfire Well-Known Member

    Sorry to learn of this; yes, for awhile he was a pretty active member of this forum.

    Hasn't he been credited with "inventing" the Bossa Nova dance?
  8. Lioness

    Lioness Well-Known Member

    Oh no :(
  9. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Joe sent me his version of the dance, and a newspaper article about he and his partner performing at a local university. I think he has written that people were doing all sorts of things to the then newly popular music. I haven't made time, though, to verify that his version "caught on" and became the standard.
  10. chachachacat

    chachachacat Well-Known Member

    Joe Lanza, may he rest in peace. Or dance in peace.
  11. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Knowing Uncle Joe, I suspect the latter. :)
  12. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    that's too bad...
  13. tsb

    tsb Well-Known Member

    i last saw joe about 5-6 years ago after a swing dance at the castle green here in pasadena. he gave me a homemade CD of some of his favorite music after i helped him down the stairs (he's been on crutches for a while).
  14. Keith & Rita

    Keith & Rita Member

    May he rest in peace.
  15. Ray Sison

    Ray Sison New Member

    If so, this is particularly sad for me, because I was taught the Bossa Nova (being a fan of the lovely music), and even competed in some heats of this dance (that never quite caught on) at some comps in the mid-2000's that happened to include it...
  16. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Facebook tells me that Joe's birthday is this week. This photo is from Haile's "I Love to Dance," written sometime after 1982.

    20101126170425077 3 2 r.jpg
    j_alexandra likes this.
  17. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    I wish we had the pleasure of knowing him under better conditions.
    j_alexandra likes this.

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