Jefferson County Swing Dance Club
To become a member of J.C.S.D.C., membership dues are $20 per person and are due in January of each year.
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We are a non-profit organization located in Arnold, Mo. Our club is devoted to the promoting of Imperial Swing dancing.
The JCSDC was established on 9/7/83 by Ray Rodgers & Randy Kotoueck. Ray was involved in teaching lessons at the Magic Carpet Lounge in Festus.
Ray along with several of his students (Ray Kotucek, Shirley Carpenter, Judy Hiller, Debbie Hodge, Larry Anderson and others got together and started the club. They soon outgrew the Magic Carpet Lounge and started to meet at Club Soda in Crystal City.
As the club grew it moved to the far north end of Jefferson County in Arnold where it now meets at the Arnold VFW Post at 2301 Church Rd. on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month.
|The oldest participating members in our club are Don & Sharon Roberts and Gary & Charlotte Chaney. They both joined the club within a year of it’s creation. Both couple are still members of the club and are still active in the dance community.We currently have members of the club who have been inducted into the ABA Hall of Fame and or the Midwest Swing Dance Federation Hall of Fame.
Gary & Charlotte Chaney were inducted into the ABA Hall of Fame and the MWSDF Hall of Fame in 1997.
Tony & Myra Griemel were inducted into the ABA Hall of Fame in 2003 and Myra into the MWSDF Hall of Fame in 2005 and then Tony in 2009.
John Roedder was inducted into the MWSDF Hall of Fame in 2011.
Variations of swing dance
- East Coast Swing is a simpler 6-count variation that spawned from the six-count variations of the Lindy Hop. It evolved with swing-band music of the 1940s and the work of the Arthur Murray dance studios in the 1940s. It is also known as Six-count Swing, Triple-Step Swing, or Single-Time Swing. East Coast Swing has very simple structure and footwork along with basic moves and styling. It is popular for its simple nature and is often danced to slow, medium, or fast tempo jazz, blues, or rock and roll. Occasionally, Rockabilly, aka Rock-a-billy, is mistaken for East Coast Swing, but Rockabilly is more closely related to Western Swing.
- West Coast Swing was developed in the 1940s, as a stylistic variation on the Los Angeles style of the Lindy Hop. It is a slotted dance and is done to a wide variety of music including: blues, rock and roll, country western, pop, hip hop, smooth, cool jazz, R& B, and funk music. It is popular throughout the United States and Canada but was uncommon in Europe and much of Asia until the 21st Century. West-coast-swing communities are growing in Australia, Brazil, France, India, New Zealand, Ukraine, Romania, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere.
- Western Swing has long been the name for jazz-influenced western music of the 1940s and, by extension, two-step, line dancing or swing dance done to such music. Contemporary 21st century Country Swing or dancing or “Country Western Swing Dancing” (C/W Swing) has a distinct culture, with classes and instructional videos on YouTube and DVD teaching dips, lifts, aerials and flips. It adds variations from other country dances, swing styles, salsa and more. As the name suggests, it is most often danced to country and western music.
- Carolina Shag was danced along the strands between Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and Wilmington, North Carolina, during the 1940s but, during the 1990s and later, has expanded to many other places. It is most often associated with beach music, which refers to songs that are rhythm-and-blues-based and, according to Bo Bryan, a noted shag historian and resident of Beaufort County, is a term that was coined at Carolina Beach, North Carolina.
- Imperial Swing is a cross between East Coast and West Coast Swing as it is done in slot and in the round. It started at the Club Imperial in St Louis. George Edick, who owned the club, let teenagers dance on the lower level and the swing dancers of the time taught them what was learned from their trips to the east coast. As people traveled around, they added parts of west coast, bop and Carolina shag to complement the dance and make it distinctive. “The Imperial” has elements of “East Coast”, “West Coast”, “Carolina Shag” and “Bop”.
WHAT IS IMPERIAL SWING?
There are a total of 12 swing dance clubs located in and around the St. Louis area, including M.U.S.I.C. in Collinsville, IL and Lake Ozark Swing Dance Club in Lake Ozark, MO, 10 of which are members of the Midwest Swing Dance Federation. There are thousands of dancers within these clubs, encompassing several generations of dancers in and around St. Louis. All of these clubs are descended from the St. Louis Imperial Dance Club that was founded in 1973.
Imperial Swing got its name from the Club Imperial which was located at Goodfellow and West Florissant in North St. Louis, MO. During the late 1950s and early 1960s, the owner of Club Imperial, George Edick, began booking little known bands such as Chuck Berry, Dolly Parton, The Monkeys, Glen Campbell, Ike and Tina Turner and The Fifth Dimension, to play at his club. He also promoted a “Jitterbug” contest and held Tuesday “Teen Night” dances, and it was during these weekly dances that a jitterbug variation that became known as the “Imperial Style” of St. Louis swing was born. (see the video at the bottom of this page from a live TV Broadcast in 1959!)
In the 1970s, George Edick and Teddy Cole decided to hold an annual St. Louis Jitterbug Contest “Imperial Style” to pick a “City Champion.” These widely publicized contests prompted many of the older, experienced dancers to come around the club again, and Edick sponsored a number of “Salute Dances” to introduce these old timers to the newer dancers. As more and more people began learning the Imperial, they began organizing into small dance groups that met in apartment complexes around the St. Louis area.
In 1973 Al Morris conceived the idea of forming a club, and it was his group that first met at the San Miguel apartments in St. Charles which became the St. Louis Imperial Dance Club. The original founders were Dave Cheshire, Jan Cheshire, Rick McQueen, Joan Fritz, Debbie Dustman (Wheelis) and Veronica Lynch. The new club alternated their dances between Lynch’s apartment complex in South County and the Wood Hollow apartments in West County.
The St. Louis Imperial Dance Club is now rounding up to its 5th decade of existence and can proudly say that they’ve supported and contributed to the founding and creation of all 12 clubs in and around the St. Louis area that are in existence today, including the 2 West Coast Swing Clubs. We appreciate and enjoy all styles of swing all over the country, and our members travel, teach, promote and support our local and national clubs year round. We are proud members of the Midwest Swing Dance Federation, The American Bop Association, and the National FastDance Association. If you love to dance, then you’re in the right place!
So, what is Imperial Swing? Imperial Swing is a version of swing originating at Club Imperial in St. Louis, and has evolved over the years. It’s a 6-8 count version of swing that can be danced in the round, in the slot, and with or without a coaster step. What is Imperial? It’s St. Louis’ version of swing dancing,