San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
WEEKEND TRIBUTE TO RAY HIRSCH w/Ray's favorite dances Bal, Shag & Lindy! We were planning Ray Hirsch 95th Bday. But, he passed. Bands & hall is booked so join us in celebrating his life! Plus, his dance partner from the movies will be there to share her stories; Come meet Pati Lacey in person 1938 National Jitterbug Champ (depending on her health).
-FRIDAY NIGHT preparty @ TERRACE ROOM w/Shag JnJ
-SATURDAY 11am Dance on Beach & Brunch @ Balboa Ave.
-SATURDAY workshops & TRIBUTE Dance @ ASHKENAZ
-SUNDAY workshops & DANCE @ SYMBOLIC
Shuffle Step Benefit for Homeless
UPDATED AT website:
$60 all workshops and dances
$40 Sun Day & Night Pass
$20 Sat Day & Night Pass
Workshops drop-in $15 each at door
Sat. dance only $14-$17 at door (cheaper if buying a pass)
Sun. dance only $5-$15 depending on donation, advance ticket or door price.
All $4 off if Student at door
All $5 off (except Sat. Dance) if bringing clean socks and/or tampons in zip lock bag donation for homeless.
see discounts itemized on Ray95.EventBrite.com
All classes portion of proceeds to Homeless Care Kit Project by Dancers Socks; Bring a donation of socks and/or tampons in ziplock bag for discounts at door.
Ray Hirsch, 1930's Champ, is dancing with his wife Betty & Judy Garland. We were planning his 95th birthday but he passed. Why not join us for a Tribute Jam on his birthday... Bands & hall is booked so join us in celebrating him with his favorite dances Bal, Shag & Lindy!
Spunky barely describes this youth from the hey-dey of swing!! This Legendary Lindy Hopper and 1930's-40's silver screen featured dancer will dance, tap and talk his way into your heart! Ray could tell stories about his good times both on and off screen with Mickey Rooney, Lana Turner, Judy Garland, Busby Berkeley, Alan Ladd, Fred Astaire and the Marx Brothers.
Although Ray considered himself more of a Lindy dancer than a Shag or Balboa Swing Dancer, he and his partner Patti Lacey, were featured doing shag steps in more Hollywood films than any other dancer. Ray broke into the film business, when he was a student at Hollywood High, after winning first place in a local 'Jitterbug' contest. He won a national jitterbug championship on Sept. 11, 1938; He says about the contest with Patty Lacey "[we] weren't the best Balboa or Lindy or Charleston dancers, but we were crowd pleasers.."
After that, he found himself appearing in several films doing Lindy and Shag. Marin resident Ray Hirsch veteran of stage and screen has been married for over 70 years to Betty (pictured below).
As an original Lindy Hopper he appeared with his dance partner, Patti, as a featured dancer. The dynamic duo were featured in a number of shorts and films with specialty swing dance segments in them, including "Blondie Meets the Boss," "Mad Youth," "Buck Privates," "Among The Living," "Her First Romance," "Artie Shaw's, Traffic Jam Shorty" and the short "Georgie Porgie." One of the couple's spectacular dance moves in "Mad Youth" made the cover of Life magazine (see detailed film credits and video clips below to right).
His movie-making career was interrupted by World War II when he served with the Marines as a master tech sergeant in support of torpedo bomber squadrons. After four years in the Pacific, he returned to the movie factories.
Although Hirsch could dance up a storm and sing and act as well, he knew he wasn't destined to be a leading man. "I'm not tall and handsome," he said. But he had a good time, and met his, Betty, when both of them were extras on "The Razor's Edge" in 1946.
In the early '50s, when his movie work became a drag because of some of the choreographers he reported to, he moved on to other pursuits.
For a while, he owned a barbecue in Las Vegas, then launched a 38-year career selling lingerie. He also raised Saint Bernards, and, with Betty, three children.
Hirsch has been slowed by congestive heart disease, but he still danced till 94 years old, just more slowly. He attended a cardiac rehab program three days a week at the YMCA, greeting friends with a smile, song and dance.
Fav quotes from Ray: "A couple of years ago, I got a call from New York asking, 'Are you Georgie Porgie?'" The result was a check for use of old movie footage in a Ford Escort commercial. Other clips of his fancy footwork have ended up in Virgin Airlines and Texas lottery commercials, and in the film "Kinsey."
He's also been asked to put his encyclopedic knowledge of dance to work as a judge at dance competitions and workshops. "It's opened up a whole new life," he said.
Youtube his movies from links here...
Ray Hirsch FILM CREDITS:
An interview with Ray Hirsch on his 91st Birthday the year we surprised him in SF:
Blondie Meets The Boss (1939)
Part of the Blondie and Dagwood serial films, this film contains a dance contest scene which features some shag steps invented by Ray Hirsch and Patti Lacey. Dancers are Ray Hirsch (striped socks) with Patti Lacey (Her name is also written as "Patty" in credits of Georgie Porgie.) A guy reportedly named Max (striped blazer) does some Shag, but mostly LA Swing, with Barbara Kent. [UPDATE: Not Roy Damron, as IMDB suggest. The story goes Ray was supposed to be a body double for an actor in the film. Ray Hirsch has a photograph of the dancers from the film, and name "max (something)" is reportedly on the the guy in th striped blazer.]
Mad Youth (1940)
Originally titled "Marajuana Madness" this mental hygene film was intended to scare teens and parents away from the wild lifestyle that comes with drug use; however, what we are left with is some great jitterbug dancing from three couples.
The movie poster for this film describes "senses drowned in forbidden pleasures."So, just think about that the next time you let someone Collegiate Shag. Ray Hirsch, once again striped, with Patti Lacey. Other dancers are Eugene Taylor, Aileen Morris, Maxine Taylor and Pearl Tolson.
Among the Living (1941)
Sure enough, these legs obviously belong to the dancers in that movie: Ray Hirsch and Patti Lacey are the couple on the left, and, based on IMDB information, Roy Lester and Jane Allen are probably the couple on the right. What’s neat about this clip? Ray Hirsch shows some Bal-Swing steps we haven’t seen him do before, most notably a twisty-footed V-slide with a strange inward turn to his feet. The other couple shows some Bal-Swing basic movement as well as Lindy Hop.
Then 2 other fun clips.
Buck Privates (1941)
The Andrews Sisters perform four songs in this film: You’re a Lucky Fellow, Mr. Smith, Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, [I'll Be With You When It's] Apple Blossom Time and this one – Bounce Me Brother with a Solid Four. The Lindy hop sequence features Dean Collins, Jewel McGowan, Ray Hirsch and Patty Lacey. Plus Shim Sham by the Andrew Sisters in the middle.
Ride Em Cowboy (1942)
Great clip removed from youtube for copywright infringement
This clip featuring the Merry Macs and Ella Fitzgerald. Also features many types of swing dancing, but if you look closely, you'll catch Ray Hirsch and Patti Lacey doing a jam of some of his unique Collegiate Shag flash and crash moves. Dean and Jewel dance as well as some Harlem-style dancers.
Rings On Her Fingers (1942)
Dancers Ray Hirsch with Patti Lacey and Dean Collins & Jewel McGowan
Georgie Porgie (1946??)
Ray Hirsch and Patti Lacey are featured in this short. It’s interesting to mention Ray and Patti considered themselves good performers of flashy choreography, but did not think of themselves as incredible dancers.
cute clip often wrongly associated with Ray:
OTHER QUOTES from Ray Hirsch about movies and such...
(here's Ray Hirsch behind Mickey Rooney on set & Patty and he jumping)
Hirsch signed with MGM and performed in dozens of movies and short films, flipped through his scrapbook collection the other day as he recalled his pals from the past.
- Astaire wore wooden soles on his shoes "because wood against wood makes a terrific sound," Hirsch said.
- Garland tickled him pink. "I asked would she like to go on a picnic and she said, 'What's a picnic?'"
- Berkeley liked the action at ringside. "I worked in six Busby Berkeley movies. On Wednesday nights we'd listen to the Gillette Fights together."
- The Marx Brothers were a hoot, but he still has a score to settle. "Groucho and Harpo screwed me out of dancing in 'The Big Store,'" Hirsch said.
- Lana Turner was a sweetheart. "Lana Turner was the only actor who ever went to bat for me," making sure he got extra work in one of her films.
- Rooney was a prodigious talent but was also "a gambler who was always broke" and needed to be reined in so as not to embarrass himself - or MGM.
- Alan Ladd wanted to be tall in the saddle. "I worked on a lot of his movies (because) he didn't like acting with anyone who was taller than he was," said Hirsch, who stood 5 foot 8.
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Meetup Group: http://www.meetup.com/bayareaswingdancers/
When & Where
2 Locations: Sat-Ashkenaz & Sun-Symbolic.
Sat: Ashkenaz, 1317 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA 94702
Sun: Symbolic, 672 S Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA 94110
Friday, January 29, 2016 at 7:00 PM (PST)
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SF Bay Area Lindy Open Organzing Committee
You've been invited to SF Swing Community's ONLY Open Organzing Committee. Let's Foster better communication between organizers. If you'd like to help w/Norma 95 Women of Swing Fest... Invite others & request to join here to give your input and/or by helping out... Help w/weekend to celebrate women in swing and of course Norma Miller's 95th birthday. Focus of workshops is on follows and with leads learning more on what follows need/want. Weekend contests are in lindy, solo jazz, jnj and showcase. But main event is show for norma on sat nov 29. & youth under 15 are free... Questions: NorCalSwingChamps@gmail.com