A History of St. Louis Imperial Swing Dancing

There are a total of eight swing dance club located in and around the St. Louis area (including music Collinsville, Illinois), which are members of the Midwest Swing Dance Federation and the all of these clubs descendant of St. Louis Imperial Dance Club, which was founded in 1973. the largest of these sister club West County swing Dance Club, the difference is that one of the biggest swing club's active membership in the United States, totaling more a thousand dancers.

Imperial Swing got its name from the Imperial Club is located Goodfellow Boulevard and West Florissant Avenue. The building was originally called the Imperial Hall, it was built in 1928 as a dance hall, bowling alley and restaurant / bar complex. In the 1930s and 1940s, it was the dance scene Northwest St. Louis, as Arcadia (later known as Tune Town), Admiral Showboat Midtown, and Casa Loma in Southside were the most popular dance halls own areas. In 1952, George Edicom Enterprises purchased Imperial Hall and George Edicom renamed the Imperial Club. The beginning of the decade, he worked with the club as a ballroom with the theme of "a nice place for nice people." He played "big band" music and catered primarily individuals. He was able to book a regular guest appearances in popular performers such as Stan Kenton and Louis Prima, because Robert Hyland, CBS and KMOX radio broadcast weekly "Coast To Coast Bob Hyland" program in the Imperial Ballroom.

in the late 1950s and early 1960s, Edicom realized that the country's musical tastes have shifted, "Rock & # 39; n Roll" and he used advertising-public relations firm to aggressively promote the Club Imperial KWK, KXOK Wil and WGNU. Joe Bozzi Quintet, Jimmie (Night Train) Forrest, Chuck Berry, Dolly Parton, monkeys, Glen Campbell, Ike and Tina Turner and a small vocal ensemble now known as the "fifth dimension" are among the many artists who began his career in club. He promoted the "Jitterbug" contest, in which a married couple in the Club Imperial (Teddy Cole and Kathy Burke) won the National Jitterbug Championships. The "Rock & # 39; n Roll" craze Tuesday, lasted Edicom "Teen Night" dances, and it was these can dance the jitterbug variation that became known as the "Imperial Style" was born in St. Louis swing. Given the progress of the '60s, musical trends is changing again. A & # 39; Roll "started dropping out" Rock & # 39; n Roll ", the" rock "has become tougher and teenagers getting involved loud, psychedelic music concerts. Since the freak-out beats the acid rock music was almost impossible to dance, Edicom gradually eliminated all public dances to the club.

the George in 1970, Edicom wanted to reintroduce more listenable and danceable music Club imperial and found that the host of swing races just the ticket! he got along with Teddy Cole, the Jitterbug champion, who is also a dance promoter in its own right, and I decided to fund a year-old St. Louis Jitterbug Contest "Imperial Style" add "City champion." They are widely known tournaments asks a lot of older, experienced dancers to come around the club again and EDICOM sponsored several "Salute dances" to introduce these old-timers of the newer dancers. As more and more people began to study the empire, he began organizing small dance groups that met with apartment complexes around the St. Louis area, and George Edicom kept in touch with many of the leaders.

1973 Al Morris formulated, which is a club, and it was the group that first met the San Miguel apartments in St. Charles, St. Louis became the Imperial Dance Club. The founders Dave Cheshire, Cheshire Jan, Rick McQueen, Joan Fritz, Debbie Dustman (Wheelis) and Veronica Lynch. The new club alternated dances Lynch gated community in South County and West County Wood Hollow Apartments. Edicom contact the council and told them to be very interested in the club to fulfill their mission to swing dance scene. The big promoter convinced them a compelling new adaptation of the original 1950 theme to their club to keep growing in the future dances at the Club Imperial Ballroom as "a nice place nice people who love to swing dance!"

Good mottos never die, but unfortunately the people, and June 11, 2002 Edice George passed away. The building is quiet, but now it is here, not only as a landmark, which began in Imperial Swing, but a tribute to a man who in his colorful, eighty-six-year life, was able to transform his dreams into reality. . . Not a bad epitaph!

Source by Skip Culver

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *