March 28, 2008 billy

Earlier this week I took a short trip to Chicago to visit an art exhibition. I hadn’t been out of the state for about a year. I was quickly reminded of just how easygoing a place Omaha really is. There is nothing wrong with this of course, but it can breed a certain…complacency. From a dancing standpoint, there’s nothing like a trip to a big city for a workshop or competition weekend to get your motivation up and push the boundries of your dancing. The bar is set pretty high these days, and it’s inspiring to dance with and learn from some of the great dancers out there.

But sometimes, it’s possible to look at the action happening on the dance floor full of experienced, excellent dancers and be intimidated. The best antidote for dealing with these feelings is to remind oneself that dancing is for fun, first and foremost. A high-level dancer I admire and respect tremendously has said that almost everyone on the floor is thinking about their own dancing, the music, and having working well with their partner. Judging them just isn’t on the radar most of the time. This is true even as you are dancing with a lead or follower who is more advanced than you might be. They want a fun dance with a happy partner and aren’t so worried about the mistakes as long as no trauma results. That’s really where it’s at. So fear not and jump on in – the water’s fine!


Greetings Jitterbugs,

We will open with a special announcement from Mr. Jeff Koterba of the Prairie Cats. Take it away, Daddy K:

Jeff Koterba from Prairie Cats here…I’m asking for your help for two wonderful women with whom I work at the World-Herald. You may not personally know Jolene McHugh or Susan White, but when I tell you that both women are undergoing extensive treatment for Cancer, I know you’ll understand how costly such treatment is. That’s why the Prairie Cats are playing a benefit for these women, Sunday, Arpil 20th at the Nomad Lounge, 1013 Jones St. in the Old Market.

I’m giving you a heads up on this event now, because we really need to pack the place. Plus, it’s important that we sell advance tickets to better guage how to plan for the evening. First off, the Nomad has been generous to open on a night they’re usually closed. Additionally, we’ll have plenty of raffle prizes and some very impressive silent auction items. The bar will be open and appetizers will be available, too. Plus, my kid, Josh, is opening for the Cats. All this for a suggested donation of $10, $15 at the door. Everything kicks off at 6:30 pm.
Tickets will be available starting this Friday, March 28th at the Omaha Jitterbugs Night Out, Eagles, 24th and Douglas.
Tickets may also be purchased by calling me, Jeff Koterba, 556-2027.

The proceeds will go to both Jolene and Susan. So not only is this for a great cause, well, it’s a great chance to catch the Prairie Cats in a really swanky venue. If you haven’t been to the Nomad, there are those who say it’s the closest thing to a New York club we have in these parts.
We’d really love to see you on the 20th of April, and please, if you can, get your tickets early!

Thank you so much in advance for your generosity!

Daddy K.

Thanks Jeff! That’s Sunday, April 20th, at the Nomad. A cool club, cool band, and a great cause. What more could you ask for?

Next, I’d like to invite everyone to check out the new Omaha Jitterbugs website, recently re-engineered and re-launched by our web-meister Troy Nothnagel and our promotions manager Merinda Nothnagel. It represents a big leap forward in functionality over the old site, making it easier to navigate and maintain. A big thank-you is due Troy for his diligence and perseverance in this project. Well done, amigo!

The weekend after next, Peter and Mia are teaching at the Rhythm and Jazz Revival festival in Minneapolis. This event replaces the Midwest Lindy Fest usually held about this time. View the event MySpace for more details:

We would like to see as much support as possible from the Omaha scene for two cool regional dance events – the Hawkeye Swing Festival in Iowa City (April 11th-13th; and the MoKan Swing in Kansas City (April 18th – 20th; These are both great events and will be even more fun if Omaha represents in force! I’d love to see thirty Omaha dancers at each, especially the very close-by MoKan Swing. Plan on it, you won’t regret it.

Cowtown Jamborama favorites Peter Loggins and Mia Goldsmith will be coming to Omaha for a workshop weekend May 10th and 11th. They’ll be teaching a full range of material from Pure Balboa through Charleston and Lindy Hop. More details soon to come!

Speaking of the Jamborama, it has been brought to my attention that the current scheduling of this year’s event places it in direct competition with the newly announced International Lindy Hop Championships in Washington, D.C. As a result, our event may be moved to the second or third weekend in September. Rest assured that the event will take place, and will be the best one yet.

If you aren’t a friend of Omaha Jitterbugs on MySpace and Facebook, do log on and join us. There are some fun photos on both sites. Also, for more OJ photo action, check out Cliff Crowell’s pics at

Please pre-register for classes by emailing with “Class Registration” in the subject line. Specify what classes you are interested in, and be sure to include your phone number so we can contact you in the event that the class has to be cancelled. Thanks!

This week’s swing birthdays include Thad Jones (3.28.23), Paul Whiteman (3.28.1890), Astrud Gilberto (3.30.40), Freddie Green (3.31.11), Red Norvo (3.31.1908), Harry Carney (4.1.10), Duke Jordan (4.1.22), John Laporta (4.1.20), Booker Little (4.2.38), and Bubber Miley (4.3.1903).

Last week’s trivia question was: This amazing singer, possessor of a voice Mel Torme called “the single best vocal instrument of any singer working in the popular field,” was “discovered” by Billy Eckstein after she won the famous Apollo theater amateur night. What was her name, and what was her nickname? We’re speaking of the “Devine One”- Sarah “Sassy” Vaughn. Noted for her seemingly limitless range both for pitch and inflection, Sarah ranks with Ella Fitzgerald and Billy Holliday as one of the most brilliant jazz vocalists of all time.

Now on to This Week in Swing.


Friday 3/28 Jitterbugs Night Out – Eagle’s, 24th and Douglas Streets – Beginning lesson at 8pm; open dancing from 8:30 to midnight. $5.


Starting this Week:

Ongoing this Week:

Wednesday, April 2nd 7pm–Intro to Lindy Hop with Brian and Josie- LaVista Community Center – (week 3of 4)


Saturday, April 5 – 12 noon Lindy IIa with Nate and Christy – Just Dance (4 weeks, $40)
Saturday, April 5 – 1pm Jitterbug (single time swing) with Nate and Christy – Just Dance (4 weeks, $40)
Monday, April 7 – 7pm Lindy I with Nate and Christy – Location TBA (4 weeks, $40)
Monday April 7 – 8pm Advanced Concepts in Swing with Nate and Christy – Location TBA (4 weeks, $40)
Saturday May 3 – 12 noon Lindy IIb with Nate and Christy – Just Dance (5 weeks, $50)
Saturday May 3 – 1pm Intro to Swing with Nate and Christy – Just Dance (5 weeks, $50)
Monday May 5 – 7pm Lindy I with Nate and Christy – Location TBA (4 weeks, $40)
Monday May 5 – 8pm Continued Advanced Concepts in Swing – Location TBA (4 weeks, $40)


4/11 to 4/13 – Hawkeye Swing Festival
4/18 to 4/20 – MoKan Swing
4/25 – Green Party at JNO for Arbor Day
5/10 and /11 – Workshop Weekend with Peter and Mia
7/04 – Ralston Parade
8/21 to 8/24/08 The Cowtown Jamborama VI

TRIVIA – The person sending the best response to will receive $5 in Jitterbucks at the next Jitterbugs’ Night Out. Put “trivia” in the subject line. Ties will be broken by time of receipt.

For five Jitterbucks: On January 16, 1938, Count Basie’s guitarist Freddie Green did something that he almost never did in his entire career. What was it, and under what circumstances?
See you on the dance floor!


Nate Woodhams

executive director
Omaha Jitterbugs

This message was sent by: Omaha Jitterbugs, PO Box 27618, Omaha, NE 68127-0618

Omaha Jitterbugs