What is your favorite Swing movie?

Spitfire

Well-Known Member
#4
Dance With Me

"Dance With Me" is not a "swing" movie, but Rick Valenzuela who dances with Vanessa Williams towards the end taught at one of the studios I took lessons from when I first started out over 20 years ago. When I called to ask about rates he was the one who answered the phone.
 
#5
I never met Rick, but I've heard he was among the best in the World at the height of his career. Some say he was unable to place as high as he should have in Blackpool because of dance politics. I did take lessons from Bob and Julia, who were students of Rick's.

"Dance With Me" was a great movie, probably the best in Modern times. although "Strictly Ballroom" was awefully good, too!. :eek:
 

Spitfire

Well-Known Member
#6
DanceMentor said:
I never met Rick, but I've heard he was among the best in the World at the height of his career. Some say he was unable to place as high as he should have in Blackpool because of dance politics. I did take lessons from Bob and Julia, who were students of Rick's.

"Dance With Me" was a great movie, probably the best in Modern times. although "Strictly Ballroom" was awefully good, too!. :eek:
Do you mean Bob Powers and Julia Gorchekova?

They live in Phoenix and I would see them at a studio here when they were giving coaching. They performed at an event here a couple of years ago and were quite amazing.

Like myself Rick is originally from here in Tucson. He left for California some twenty years ago and became well known. I can tell you that his voice in the movie is not his actual voice as I remember.
 
#8
Yes, Spitfire. My wife and I took 3 hours from Julia and 2 hours from Bob a couple of years ago. That day we had freezing rain and we barely made it to the studio.

Welcome to the forums, Cheryl!
Yea, Swing Kids was very entertaining. I still listen to the soundtrack sometimes--great tunes! I beleive a Lindy Hopper from England by the name of Ryan Francois did the choreography.
 
#10
Excellent stuff, shortyjul!
I downloaded them and then created a VCD that plays in my VCR.
I'll be sure to only watch the clips that I own :lol:
(I have Day at the Races and Buck Privates)
 
#12
:lol:
Yes, I'll have to reinforce the Long Live Swing!! Being a former dancer in ballet, tap, modern, etc....I realized that dancing alone is a little easier!
I thought "Strictly Ballroom" was pretty good. I just did a presentation for school on Flamenco, so I had a renewed appreciation for it.
 
#13
Check these out,
I danced in all three of these films listed below, in 1956-8, so it might appear that I'm being unfairly partial:
1) 'Untamed Youth', staring Mamie Van Doran, Ray Anthony's wife at the time; Mamie's numbers werer staged by the Black Sheep in her sunken living room... after hours. And I do have a couple of behind the scenes stories to tell about Ray, Mamie and the Black Sheep coming up in a future commentary.
2) 'Rock Around the Clock', the best Swing dancing; the film that opened the Swing craze in Europe in 1990. The Black Sheep (Joe Lanza) does a back summersault and the Double Jumping Jack, stunts never duplicated anyplace, in any film, at any time in the 20th CENTURY!
3) 'Cha Cha Cha Boom', both Latin and Swing dancing of the 1950's in Hollywood.
NOTE: 'Hellsapoppin' will always be the Best Lindy film; it was made in the 1930's.
If you have seen these films which were produced by Columbia Pictures in 1956-58, what was your opinion? What disappointed you or impressed you about the dancers?

Black Sheep (d.lanza@netzero.net)
 
#14
To be honest the best dancing in the movies since the fourties is far and away "Malcom X".

Swing Kids is energetic and all but the dancing is really poor. Ryan generally refuses to even talk about it, and makes no mention of it on his general biography when teaching other swing dancers. Get a couple beers in him though and listen to him rant... good stuff.

Personally Joe Don't Knock The Rock never really did anything for me. The dancing is to staid, and the music doesn't swing at all. Flat four-four, no swinging syncopations. I don't doubt the dancers (yourself included) couldn't have tore it up with some music with some life and breath to it... but when you are being paid to dance, you dance to what they give you.

It's good to see Shorty Jul on here.
 
#15
BTW, Ryan Francois choreographed "Malcom X" Frankie Manning was part of the techincalconsultant team, and both of them danced in the movie.
 

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