Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Lanterman Ragtime Tea Dance

Last weekend we attended the Lanterman Ragtime Tea Dance - this event is held annually at the Lanterman House, a 19-Teens home in north Los Angeles. The event consists of a dance lesson, live music provided by Ian Whitcomb, and afternoon tea. (I've said it before and I'll say it again - I can get Chris to go just about anywhere if there are good cookies!)

I made my first attempt at a Teens outfit - like everyone else, I've been drooling over the Downton Abbey costumes, and this event gave me an excuse to make one. I didn't have nearly as much time to work on this outfit as I normally like, so there are some fit issues that I'd like to correct. But considering this is basically my mockup, it turned out pretty good!

I bobbed my hair a couple weeks ago, so I gave a go at a curled Irene Castle bob. Not bad for a new era! Chris's outfit blew mine out of the water, though - I've wanted him to wear a boater for years. Good look for him, yes?

Lanterman House - the tea was held in the center courtyard, and the ballroom is upstairs (where the tallest roof peak is) and runs the length of the house.

Downton Abbey Publicity Still? 
No, silly! It's Cait from Curse Words and Crinolines and Lauren from Wearing History.
Cait is wearing an original Edwardian Suit, and if you ask her real nice I bet she'll post some photos of the amazing details and beautiful lining. Lauren is wearing a late teens outfit she made herself.

Yes, right after I took this photo Chris *did* bust out some tap steps.

A wrinkled mess! Just look at the cute sailor collar instead. :)

An original WWI Liberty Loan pin, found at a local flea market. I added the ribbons.

Buttons! My favorite trim of the era. 
But really I just wanted to show you my white lacy shoes - my favorite part of my whole outfit!

Trying out some Vernon and Irene Castle dance steps...

...which quickly dissolved into the popular animal dances. 
Who can resist the "Grizzly"?

Ian Whitcomb and his Bungalow Boys provided the music.

Sheila Murphy-Nelson sang several songs with the band.

Walter Nelson gave the dance lesson and was on the floor the whole event, asking all the lovely ladies to dance (don't worry, this photo proves he didn't neglect his wife!)

More dancing...

Diane and Sheila


Relaxing on the balcony after we got tired of dancing.

Cait and Michael on the balcony. 
I love how you can see her tattoos through her original Edwardian blouse.
Time to go home? Oh no!

Trying to get a photo of the boys...easier said than done.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Linky Links

Here are a few cool links that have come my way this week, thought you'd enjoy. :) Back to some actual content soon, I promise!

~ Hilary Alexander, the proprietress of Camp Hollywood, is Expecting and recently had a maternity photo shoot at Union Station in downtown LA. Isn't she beautiful?

I'm loving the photographer's use of the vintage buildings in downtown LA - maybe I should start saving for an anniversary photo shoot with Chris. :)

Photography by CallawayGable

~ Lauren at Wearing History is getting ready to release a pattern for a 1910's blouse, just in time for the Titanic anniversary or for your Downton Abbey costume! She's hosting a giveaway for a free pattern - read more on her blog

~ Morgan Day, a long-time swing dance friend, just started a new blog: Ickeroo  He's a swing instructor and DJ, and he's got a real passion for the history of the dance. For this first post he put together "Top Ten Swing Songs Every Beginner Should Learn to Dance To", complete with a playlist to listen/practice to.

~ I just discovered another awesome blog - The Passion of Former Days. Anna picks a topic (like Scotland Yard or Parachute Training) and posts photos relating to it, mining resources like the LIFE magazine archives, Imperial War Museum, and Library of Congress. My favorite post? Pets in an Air Raid.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

SoCal Balboa Workshops

I'm supposed to be madly working on a Teen's dress for this Sunday's Lanterman Ragtime Tea Dance, but I wanted take a minute to highlight a couple Balboa events I'm involved with this month.

March 17th: Atomic Ballroom in Placentia, CA is hosting an Intermediate/Advanced Balboa Workshop. Augie Freeman is the instructor, and he's asked me to partner with him (cause I look better in heels than he does.) Augie is a classic SoCal Balboa dancer, and a fantastic teacher. Follow the link to get more info.

March 29th-April 1st: Balboa Rendezvous in San Diego and Balboa Peninsula - I believe this is the longest running Balboa event in Southern California (probably on the West Coast?). The weekend full of workshops, live music and contests features some of the great international instructors who call California home. Chris and I are part of this year's in-class teaching staff, so we'll be attending the classes, dancing with and giving feedback to the students (we'll be really nice, I promise!). In addition, this event brings together many of the great old-timers who danced in the SoCal ballrooms in the 30's and 40's - it's a real treat to listen to them reminisce about the dance. Registration is still open for a few more days, so head over to the website to check it out - if you have trouble with the website, post a message on the FB page and I'm sure someone will help you out.
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