Chazz Young - World Renown Dancer & Choreographer
Chazz Young, recognized tap, jazz and swing dancer/instructor has just returned to his Las Vegas home after whirlwind trip around the globe, at least east of the U.S. Starting in London, to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Prague, Czech Republic, (with fellow dancer/instructor Swede, Catrine Ljunggren, who is also founder of the Rhythm Hotshots), Toronto, Canada, New York, NY, Herräng, Sweden, St. Petersburg, Russia ending back at his birth place of Harlem, New York.
Being a native New Yorker and having been exposed to Broadway and the performing arts in general as a young man, Chazz became a working entertainer early in life. His mother took him to his first live production and it was his own father's act performing that night at the famed Roxy Theatre in midtown Manhattan. After seeing that presentation he was hooked and dance literally became his life. Chazz's own father was none other than the late, great swing dance innovator Frankie Manning, Ambassador of the Lindy Hop . Growing up Chazz spent a good deal of his time with his dad trying to learn everything he could about the art and expression of dance, well at least during the times Frankie wasn't on the road performing around the world himself.
Chazz formal dance training began at age twelve with the famous Mary Bruce Dance School located on the historic 125th Street in Harlem and he started teaching the students there when he turned fifteen years of age. This would make him one of her notable ‘Starbuds’ as they were called at the time. At age seventeen his father took him to meet the incomparable Norma Miller, known as the ‘Queen of Swing’. Auditions were being held and Chazz was accepted. This was the beginning of Chazz’s dance career as he became one of Norma Miller’s The Four Jazzmen. They debuted at The Apollo Theatre in 1949. Soon thereafter he was performing worldwide.
For the last 50 years Chazz has performed live and on film. He has taught tap, jazz and swing dancers around the world. When you watch old footage of Chazz or Frankie dance you know that some of his talent is definitely genetic. When asked what was his most memorable moment in recent history, he tells me that it was 2012 when he celebrated his 80th birthday celebration in three different cities, New York, NY San Francisco, CA and Las Vegas, NV. He was especially blown away by having to dance with 80 women in his hometown of Harlem and in San Francisco during planned events by former student and peers.
So as Chazz continues to dance as if there's no tomorrow, I believe the rest of us should take stock in what we have done in this lifetime and what we still have to do while working like we don't need the money, loving like we've never been hurt like and dancing like no one is watching. ;-)
Margaret Batiuchok and Chazz Young lead the Shim Sham along with Charlie Meade at the end with the Harlem Renaissance Orchestra at Lincoln Center's Midsummer NIght Swing, (MSNS) July 13, 2103 after Margaret taught the dance lesson at the final night of Lincoln Center's Midsummer Night Swing's 25th Anniversary season - tribute to Illinois Jacquet and Franke Manning
Margaret and Frankie Manning did the very first opening dance demonstration at MSNS 25 years ago- also the second one-
and this year to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of MSNS, Frankie's son Chazz Young came in and taught with Margaret and lead the Shim Sham with Margaret, a tradition Margaret thought of doing and Margaret and Frankie began with the members of the New York Swing Dance Society at the NYSDS dances at the Cat CLub in the 1980s. Margaret met Chazz in Norma Millers Jazz Dancers Group of which Chazz was a member and Margaret was an understudy. She then met Frankie when hew came in to watch rehearsal one day and Margaret started dancing and performing with Frankie.
One of my favorite subjects, yay. I may be a little biased as tequila is the only alcoholic beverage I prefer, unless of course there's a chilled tasty bottle of expensive champagne nearby . However, even then, if a great tequila is an option I'm going for the gold, actually I'm going for the extra añejo. 1981 was my first introduction to chain-restaurant Mexican food and this literally intoxicating libation while hanging out with my ex-husband, I fell in love. Since then my taste in men and palate have matured along with my never defining age and I can honestly say that I'm still in love (with my tequila of course).
I consider myself a lay connoisseur of sorts. This being the only alcoholic beverage made from a plant and gluten-free as a pescatarian this really works for me, seems kinda healthy, no? Anywho, the more I've learned about my favorite drink the more I'm excited to try new and upcoming brands and hear the history behind them as well as share what I've learned. And believe me tequila has quite a history... http://www.earthbar.org/magazine/tequilahistory.htm
If you like tequila or even love it, here's a little info that hopefully will give you insight as to how diverse this unique spirit can be. Try one the many different brands and types and you may find one that's just right for you.
TEQUILA TYPE INFO:
Tequila is usually bottled in one of five categories:
Based on your personal preference for the tequila of your choice there are different pairings with complimentary liqueurs fruit, herbs, food, etc. that can make your culinary experience one to remember. Las Vegas boasts many chef inspired restaurants that specialize in regional Mexican and Tex-Mex fare that give you an opportunity to explore the many brands new and vintage along with excellent food. Some of my favorites are; LINDO MICHOACAN http://lindomichoacan.com/laloma.htm (My personal favorite of 16 years and I love the La Loma location nestled in the Black Hills of Henderson overlooking the entire Vegas Valley. Great place to hold an evet, just sayin'.) ; MUNDO http://mundolasvegas.com/ (The owner of this chic Mexican cuisine establishment also has his own brand of ALIEN TEQUILA); NACHO DADDY http://www.nachodaddy.com/ (Tex-Mex with a great tequila bar and awesome mixologists. Try Tequila Tuesdays 2 for 1) ; MESA GRILL http://www.mesagrill.com/las-vegas-restaurant/ (Master chef Bobby Flay's spot does things with chilies that I can't even mention here, friggin' awesome for those that like it hot!)
Do you have a positive tequila experience? We'd love to hear from you.
WARNING: Always respect this spirit as with all spirits and anyone that has ever lived through the dreaded next day tequila-revenge-hangover either never touches it again or has an enormous respect for this world's most unique libation. Also, DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE!