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Rob & Dawn Shrewsbury, Orlando swing dance instructors

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Posts Tagged ‘Vintage’

Using “underpinnings” for vintage shape

Posted on November 12th, 2010 by

I just came across this great article that talks about how you can use modern shapeware/foundation garments to achieve a vintage body shape with your clothes. The author interviewed the stylist for the show “Mad Men”, a modern show set in the 1950’s. She talks about how to measure yourself to get accurate measurements and how to achieve the smooth, curvy shape of decades gone by. I personally know there are many many shapeware options available these days that help us achieve what ever body shape we desire.

Balboa + Lindy Hop = Awesome!

Posted on February 19th, 2010 by

A little inspiration from the 1943 short “Maharaja”.

Dancers: Hal & Betty Takier

Categories: Dancing, Videos Tags: , , ,

Eleanor Powell & Fred Astaire

Posted on February 4th, 2010 by

Our friend Shelley sent us a video that has been floating around in email. It’s of Eleanor Powell & Fred Astaire dancing. The email says:

A bit of history:

It seems as if Eleanor Powell was just too good for Fred Astaire, as he never wanted to be paired with her again.

He evidently was played down by her, but they were both great, and the likes of this will never be seen again.

The year: 1940 (69 years ago).   The narrator is Frank Sinatra.

It was filmed in ONE unedited camera shot.  Amazing!

It is considered by many as one of the best dance scenes ever filmed

Personally, I tend to like this clip from the same 1940 film (Broadway Melody):

Categories: Videos Tags: , ,

A roundup of vintage style tips

Posted on May 5th, 2009 by

vintage-coupleWith the annual USO dance coming up in a few weeks, we thought it would be helpful to post a roundup of tips on how to dress vintage. Think of this as a quick links starting point on how to go retro for the USO. Before you get your start, you might want to browse around the web to get an idea of what WWII era fashions were like. You may even want to check out some cool 40’s era recreations (ladies and gentleman’s styles) for inspiration. Likewise, a quick start is to check out the retro clothes on DanceStore.com. However, don’t feel you have to spend an arm and a leg and don’t think you are limited to vintage shops and recreations. With a sharp eye, you can land some cool stuff in ordinary local stores. With this economy, your best bet may be to spend quality some time in thrift stores. You might even land some actual vintage threads. However, be careful wearing real vintage to dance in, they might just end up being actual threads by the end of the night.

The biggest question we get from the ladies is how to do their hair. Dawn has recently written a review of a new vintage hairstyle book. But you’re thinking “doesn’t vintage hair styles take forever to do?” Well, not necessarily. She’s also posted a video sent to us on how to do victory rolls in 5 minutes… and with the number of hits that page gets, it must be good advice. Speaking of videos, the wonders of YouTube can be a huge help with finding vintage hairstyle tutorials.

For the guys, you have it easy since men’s fashions don’t change much through the years. However, it can be tricky if you are going for the subtle differences that will set you apart as retro. Be sure to check local menswear shops for some cool wide leg pants. You can usually find these at urban menswear stores (think dressy hip-hop stores often found in malls). If you are going for casual, you can sometimes find stripey shirts and socks in stores like Target and Old Navy. If you are looking to dress vintage WWII military, well… that can be a hobby in and of itself. Uniforms can be rented, however, you may want to check eBay or your local Army/Navy surplus store.

Have a tip on dressing vintage? Post a comment and share!

In memory of Frankie Manning

Posted on April 27th, 2009 by

Lindy Hop legend Frankie Manning passed away today. He was an inspiration to many and memorials are in the planning.

As a tribute, here is Frankie (in overalls) dancing in 1941’s Hellzapoppin’.

In memory of Frankie Manning: May 26, 1914 – April 27, 2009

Categories: Dancing, Videos Tags: ,

New vintage hairstyling book

Posted on January 9th, 2009 by

Vintage Hairstyling: Retro Styles with Modern Techniques
by Lauren Rennells

I got this book about 3-4 months ago and haven’t really had the time to do much with it other than look it over briefly. I finally sat down and started reading the instructions on how to do some of these great looking vintage do’s using modern tools and I must say, I’m eager to try some of these styles out! What I like about this book is that the author does a great job laying out everything you will need for the hairstyle. As with anything, practice makes perfect. But any help making techniques like pin curls more understandable and possible is a hit in my book. A description of the information in the book:

The book begins with the basic elements and works its way back to advanced techniques. Chapter one describes the tools and products used throughout. Chapter two offers detailed instructions on creating different curls, including the pin curl, the basis for many vintage hairstyles. Chapter three breaks down the proper way to comb the curls for the effect including creating fingerwaves, victory rolls, pompadours, and waves from pin curls. The fourth chapter of the book provides step-by-step start-to-finish detailed instructions for 25 different hairstyles created with different hair lengths and textures. The final 2 chapters provide ideas for hair accessories, makeup and nails to finish the look.

Read more…

I hope this gives you the skills you need to recreate the great vintage hairstyles that you have probably seen and wished you could do on yourself. All it takes is the willingness, determination, and patience to keep working at it. Before you know it, you’ll be able to whip your hair into a beautiful retro do (in 15 min. once you really get it down pat) that will have people oohhing and aahhhing :->


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“Rob and Dawn are great instructors. I had never danced before I met them. They transformed me from someone who was afraid to dance into someone who now dances comfortably. They have great personalities, classes are always fun, and the lessons are structured in a way to make learning easy.”

- Jason Posted to The A-List


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