HUNTINGTON, New York, Mar. 5
BY: Andrew Wroblewski
For the third-straight year, Swing Dance of Long Island is set to take over The Paramount. On March 14, a night of swing dancing will be headlined with a show by contemporary swing revival band, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.
“My interest in Big Bad Voodoo Daddy goes back to the late ’90s and early 2000s when the swing-dance movement was huge,” Frank Calderon, a member of Swing Dance Long Island and organizer of The Paramount event, said. “They inspired [my wife and me] to learn more dance moves… We were pretty much out dancing from 6 p.m.-2 a.m. every night.”
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, founded in Ventura, Calif. in 1993, was created by members Scotty Morris (lead vocals, guitar) and Kurt Sodergren (drums, percussion). The band has since released nine studio albums and has seen success in hit singles like “Go Daddy-O,” “You & Me & the Bottle Makes 3 Tonight (Baby)” and “Mr. Pinstripe Suit.” In 1999, the band performed during halftime of Super Bowl XXXIII.
“These events have been very successful, and we’re very happy with the turnout,” Calderon, of Greenlawn, said. “This year we’re offering a dance lesson prior to the contest so that people can get a taste of what East Coast Swing is.”
For concert-goers, the show starts at 8 p.m.
Prior to that, however, Swing Dance of Long Island takes over at 6 p.m. for the dance lesson before the contest begins at 6:30 p.m. From 7 p.m. until the show begins at 8 p.m., the floor will be wide-open for any and all dancers to step into the spotlight. Once Big Bad Voodoo Daddy takes the stage, the dancing will continue throughout the night.
The notion of welcoming any and all regardless of their skill level is one that Calderon said is important.
“We’ll show you the moves, you can practice and then we’ll have the show,” he said. “Even if you don’t want to dance, you can always come and watch… It’s a great way to meet people. There’s a big-range of participants throughout all levels of skill – beginner, intermediate and advanced – and it’s a lot of fun.”
This year, a “Jack and Jill” will make an appearance – not the fairy tale characters, but in the form of a dance-with-a-stranger contest that welcomes dancers to “mix it up” and dance with a different partner for every song.
“Now you don’t need a partner [beforehand],” said Calderon, also a member of the Huntington Lindy Hoppers, a dance group on http://www.meetup.com. “It’s about working your skill and being in the moment… as the endorphins get going. It’s a great time.”
Tickets for Big Bad Voodoo Daddy are available from the box office or at http://www.paramountny.com and range from $25-$60. Those who wish to participate in the dance contest before the show must have a ticket and join up with Swing Dance of Long Island at http://www.sdli.org.
Originally published: Long Islander News: Half Hollow Hills
(Thursday, Mar. 5, 2015; Front page)