Atomic Ballroom to Host Armed Forces Day Swing Dance


IRVINE, CA -- The Atomic Ballroom announced today that it will be hosting its first annual Armed Forces Day swing dance on Saturday, May 8, 2004, at the Atomic Ballroom dance center in Irvine, next to the John Wayne airport.

"Our goal is to recreate the music and atmosphere of the USO dances held to entertain our servicemen and -women overseas during World War II," says Atomic Ballroom co-owner and dance instructor Jerry Jordan. "It's the same music and dancing that came to be identified world wide as uniquely American and so much a part our culture during the 1930's and 40's."

Jordan also notes that swing music and dancing are still enormously popular even without the media attention they received in the 1990's.

The 17-piece Esquires Big Band will recreate the driving rhythms that were the signature sounds of the World War II era.

"The continuing appeal of the big band jazz music of the swing era is its energy, warmth, accessibility, underlying optimism and ability to capture emotion," says Esquires Big Band alto saxophonist Wolf Fengler. "It makes you want to dance and lifts your spirits."

Armed Forces Day was set for the third Saturday in May by the Truman Administration in 1950 to give Americans an opportunity to show their gratitude to the members of our armed forces for their service to our nation. Active, reserve and retired members of the armed forces attend the dance for free -- please do wear your dress uniform if possible.

The dance is open to all ages and there will be a free dance lesson at 7:30 pm. The band will play from 9-12 pm. Beginners are very welcome and you don't need a partner. The Atomic requests that you dress in vintage or evening wear.

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