How To Jitterbug
Look Sharp! Be Cool!

John Javna with Crispin Pierce / 1984

St. Martin's Press / ISBN 0312395744

Now this is a book with a backstory!

I used to take classes from Crispin Pierce in the Bay Area during the 1980s,
when he was one of the most popular teachers around. Not just because he
was a good dancer (he dang well was) or a good teacher (also true - his
mom had been a dance instructor and I'd taken classes from her)
but mainly because poor Crispin couldn't seem to get past the fact he
looked like an absolute Greek god. I've seldom seen a guy - up close
and in the flesh - who was as drop-dead handsome, and I always felt
(although he was the nicest of guys) he thought it was a burden.
Actually, he taught dance to put himself through school... to be a biologist.

No matter, he was a terrific teacher, and I'd bring my students from Shasta College
to take Master classes with him in Berkeley. As you can see in this book, he was fun
and easy-to-follow. Here with his partner Kelly Buckwalter you can see positions and
steps with more clarity than a follow-the-footsteps book. It also includes a free
record (33 1/3 rpm) featuring "Dr. Jitterbug", so I hope you kept your stereo!
Look closely into the "Prescriptions" sections for hints on doing lifts safely.
Fantastic teacher that he was, he even made them easy for a chicken like me.

As a footnote, Crispin did go on to follow his dream and became a professor of Public
Health, a remarkable coincidence since one of those Shasta students (then a part-time
truck-driver) at the Master class had similar dreams, and that student now has
his doctorate from the UCLA School of Public Health in Environmental Science.

And I know this because... that guy is my husband.

dimensions: 7.8 x 7.8 x 0.4 inches / weight: 7.2 ounces / volume: 96 pages

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