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American Bop Association Dedicated to the preservation of... Bop, Swing, Shag, and Jitterbug President’s Message

March 2008

On a Personal Note: As many of you know, I lost my mom after a long illness, and that set me back a while. A huge Thank You to all the people and clubs who sent expressions of sympathy: fruit baskets, flowers, donations to charity, and sympathy cards. They were greatly appreciated. The dance community is a big family, and I have hundreds of cards to prove just how big our family is. Annual Business Meeting: This year’s ABA meeting was very smooth, short and very productive. It started out on a high note with the introduction of two new clubs, the Lake of the Ozarks Swing Dance Club and the Seattle Swing Dance Club. We now have 30 clubs! To help us grow more, Paul Hennessey has put together a packet explaining how to form a dance club. This will be added to the web site to be available free of charge to anyone interested in starting a dance club. If contacted, we will even help.

President’s Message From the Editor’s Desk Financial & Committee Rpt ABA Cruise ABA Cruise Report Go Sailing with the ABA 10 Years for ONCJC Casino Royale 2008 Spa City TV Spot St. Patrick’s Day Parade Valentine’s Dance ABA Cruise Coast to Coast Centering ABA Club Banners ABA Contacts Upcoming ABA Events

Speaking of our web site, we have a new Web Goddess, Sue Hurst of the South Side Imperial Dance Club. The transition took a little longer then we planned, but thanks to Rich Kopels stepping up we didn’t get behind. Rich is a true Hall of Famer. People like him made the ABA what it is today. And we’ve already heard from Sue asking for input, contributions, pictures, etc. Among other business at the Business Meeting was the nomination of officers. Paul Hennessey was nominated for Vice-President, and Kap Chermak was nominated for Secretary. With no other nominations, the two were elected by acclamation. Hall of Fame Chairperson Myra Griemel distributed Nomination Packets to each club. The packets provide information on how to nominate candidates for consideration as inductees to the ABA Hall of Fame. Husbands and wives count as one. Myra stated that a write-up of two or three pages is sufficient. A picture of the nominee should be included also, as so many of us recognize a face before a name. The candidate must be nominated by their home club. Now about our newsletter, Editor Jim Watson depends on articles from member clubs to enhance the newsletter. I’m asking all of you directors to write an article on your club activities or send in some pictures (don’t forget the captions!). Let all the ABA clubs in on your fun. Lastly, send the name and address of your club Newsletter Editor to, Jim Watson, either by e-mail or snail mail. copyright 2008 | American Bop Association

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March 2008 American Bop Association

Directors attending the Annual ABA Business Meeting The ABA will be buying banners for each club that wants one. There are several size options and color choices and will feature the your club and the ABA logos on each. So here is an opportunity to to get a club banner that show you are a proud member of the American Bop Association. Jim has prepared an article stating the details for this newsletter. Cruise Report: The 2008 cruise got off to an early start with a dance party on Friday night. With 240 dancers arriving early, it was a good sized mixer. The hotel provided the ballroom and dancefloor, and the ABA supplied the sound system and DJ. Add hors d’ oeuvres, 2008 ABA Cruise shirts, and it was “Let the party begin!” Saturday was ship embarkation with dancers arriving from all over. Altogether, we had 366 dancers on board. Each club should promote the cruise to their members as a way to make money for the club as well as the ABA. Each club that participates receives a share of cash rebate that is given to the ABA by the Princess Cruise Line. The amount of rebate from the ABA is based the number of cruisers from each different club. This year, we started a raffle as an incentive plan for the dancers on the cruise. First-year cruisers were eligible to win a $100.00 voucher good for shipboard charges. Second-year cruisers qualified for a $200.00 voucher, and third-year cruisers could win a cruise voucher (the price of an inside cabin). Prize vouchers must be used on an ABA cruise within the next two years. ABA Conventions: The ABA has been blessed with two clubs holding conventions every year, giving rebates to the ABA, and keeping it going financially. This year is no different. The West County Swing Dance Club holds theirs over the Labor Day weekend, and the Cincinnati Bop Club hosts its ABA Convention this November 12 - 16. Please support these conventions by promoting them in your club newsletters and by encouraging your members to participate. They are great parties. So bring your Party Attitudes, A Big Smile, your Dancing Shoes and Join in on the FUN. Gary Chaney American Bop Association President copyright 2008 | American Bop Association

From the Editor’s Desk

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March 2008 American Bop Association

From the Editor’s Desk Welcome to the ABA news, communicating with and supporting the member clubs of the American Bop Association. This newsletter is your forum for discussing ABA events, activities, policies, business, the how and why we did that, and just plain old fashioned “pass the word” concerning the ABA and your club. This quarter’s newsletter, although slow in coming, shows ABA clubs are very active. There are articles describing experiences on the ABA Cruise, large event parties, special dances, participation in parades, and promoting dance on TV. Seattle came through again with a great article on improving your level of dance and the N.A.R.B. Dee Jays Association provide two article on music. Remember to thank your club officers, volunteers, and the people in your organization that make it work. Without them, there would not be the great music and a places to dance, which we have all come to enjoy. Support your club and its events so others might experience the pure joy of dancing and the fellowship that comes with it.

As Butch Berry from the JBBA would say, our dance community is one big family. Each of you contributes to that warm, wonderful feeling. Thank-you.

Jim ABA news editor

President’s Message | Financial & Committee Reports copyright 2008 | American Bop Association

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March 2008 American Bop Association

ABA Committee Reports Reports adapted from: The ABA January 2008 Annual Business Meeting Minutes By-Laws Doug Brown, Chair There were no no issues presented for consideration. Anyone with ideas or concerns should contact Doug so they can be addressed and considered for presentation.

Hall of Fame Myra Griemel, Chair Packets were distributed during the Business Meeting with the criteria and information on how to nominate one of your club members for consideration as an inductee to ABA Hall of Fame. The committee has received nominations in the past that contained 12 pages and even though it was impressive, this does not add to the likeihood of winning the nomination. Two or three pages should be sufficient. A picture is required to help the committee know the persons they will be considering, as so many of us recognize a face before a name. The candidate must be nominated by their home club and the candidate should also be contributing to the well being of the ABA. Only 4 clubs presented candidates for consideration in 2007. Myra’s hope is that every club presents candidates for consideration. Gary announced at the Annual ABA Business Meeting that the ABA Hall of Fame banner disappeared. He asked that if anyone was aware of its location to let him know. In the meantime he asked the board to approve the expense to make another. Jim Watson volunteered to recreate it. A small discussion took place and a motion was made by Doug Brown and 2nd by George Martial to spend up to $75.00 for this project and to have Jim Watson perform the work. Everyone was in favor and the motion passed.

Membership Paul Hennessey, Chair The ABA had successfully met the goals of last years meeting to eliminate “associate member club” status and to have only “regular membership” status – Seattle Swing Dance Club converted to regular membership. Magic City Bop Club St. Charles Imperial Dance Club Lake of the Ozarks, new to the ABA The ABA now has 30 Regular Member Clubs and 2 Associate Members: National Association of Rhythm & Blues Dee Jay’s Toe to Toe Dance Shoes A Colorado Club showed interest and was sent a membership packet. copyright 2008 | American Bop Association

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March 2008 American Bop Association Membership, continued During the ABA meeting, it was also reported that Memphis Boogie Bunch had disbanded and did not renewed; the Nashville BeBop Association chose not to convert to Regular Member status and also did not renew. At the request of the directors at the meeting, Paul stated the criteria used to determine a club worthiness for membership and explained the need for by-laws, “non (or not for) profit” status, officers, and to show the club holds regularly scheduled dances. Gary requested a web based membership packet explaining how to form a dance club. This packet would be added to the ABA Web Site and should available soon.

ABA Website Sue Hurst, Webmaster Gary introduced the ABA’ new Webmaster, Sue Hurst, a member of South Side Imperial Dance Club. Before turning the floor over to Sue, Gary acknowledged Rich Kopels for his hard work and excellent job on the development and maintenance of our website. Sue urged the members of the board to keep their information current. She stated that she will do her best to continue to produce a quality web site of which the ABA will be proud.

ABA Newsletter Jim Watson, Editor The next newsletter is June 1st. Please have your articles and pictures, with captions, by the weekend before. ABA continues to send about 36 printed copies of the newsletter to individual clubs, directors, and Hall of Fame members at a cost of about $3.50 each. The newsletter depends upon articles from member clubs. Some months there are several articles submitted while other months there is nary a one. To help with the “lean” quarters, clubs are requested to provide the names and emails of their clubs’ newsletter editors.

Music Licensing Jo Reynolds No report

copyright 2008 | American Bop Association

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March 2008 American Bop Association ABA Financial Report for April thru October 2007 Jo Reynolds, ABA Treasurer

Beginning Balance 1/1/2007


Income ABA Convention Rebate “MATR”(741.00) –

Expense 1,741.00

ABA Convention Hospitality


Music Licensing ASCAP(593.70) – BMI(130.00) – SESAC(350.00)


“ROTR”(1,000.00) Music Licensing


ABA Cruise Rebate


Hall of Fame


Membership Dues


Hall of Fame Chairman Expense


President's Travel Expense


Postage, copies, & supplies


ABA Business Meeting


ABA Newsletter


Miscellaneous: Convention Rebate Donated to ABA Derby City(174.00) –


JBBA(33.00) – MBC(9.00)

Miscellaneous: Corporation Annaul Report(20.00) – George Baer Award(65.51)

Total Income



Total Expenses


Ending Balance


Income Vs. Expenses


From the Editor’s Desk | ABA Cruise copyright 2008 | American Bop Association

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March 2008 American Bop Association

2008 ABA Cruise Bill and Rosina, Lake of the Ozarks Swing Dance Club If you missed this year’s cruise, you missed a great time. We cruised the Mexican Riviera to Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, and Cabo San Lucas with 366 fellow dancers from all over the U.S.A. Cruising out of Los Angeles into the Pacific was a little cooler than cruising the Caribbean and the weather this year very different from last year’s cruise. We just happened to be on board when California was getting more rain than they had in the last two years. However, the weather was near perfect when we were in the various ports of call. On board the ship, nightlife was great. You could dance in several places every evening with ABA DJs from all over the U.S.A. and to the ship’s live music as well. The workshops during the days at sea were excellent with each instructor offering their own style and technique to the dancers. Gary always had a great variety of music and lessons planned for your enjoyment. Dancers had a choice of new moves to learn, places to dance, and live entertainment to keep them busy. Not to mention the food! If you couldn’t find something to enjoy at the buffet or any of the dining rooms, it probably wasn’t the food’s fault. We’ve had a chance to look at some of the pictures others took of the ship’s entertainment and their various shore tours. They are picture postcard beautiful with sights of waterfalls, colorful local customs and people, snorkeling, whale watching, and seal colonies, just to mention a few. Our ABA shore tour in Puerto Vallarta was so enjoyable we hated to get off the catamaran. The crew was very entertaining with their humor, their knowledge of their area and the way they catered to each of us. It was one of the best tours we’d ever taken. Another pleasurable tour was Salsa and Salsa. We went to a local resort where we were greeted with Margaritas and outfitted with chef’s hats and aprons. We learned to make Margaritas from scratch, five different salsas and a guacamole dip. When we finished our “kitchen” session, we learned how to Salsa dance. It was a great day. When all was said and done we didn’t hear one person say they were glad the trip was over. The way this cruise was organized through Just Cruisin’, getting on and off the ship was a snap. It was amazing how 2600, people. food, luggage, and crew could board in just a few hours. We’re looking forward to next year’s cruise and a chance to teach another swing move to our dance friends. See you on the dance floor, Bill and Rosina Lake of the Ozarks Swing Dance Club

Committee & Financial Rpt | ABA Cruise Report

copyright 2008 | American Bop Association

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March 2008 American Bop Association

2008 ABA Cruise Report Mary Lou Poremba, Chicago Jitterbug Club – 2006 Cruise Club of the Year The Golden Princess left dock in Los Angeles/San Pedro on Saturday, January 26th, for the Third Annual American Bop Association Cruise. This year’s ports included Puerta Vallarta, Mazatlan, and Cabo San Lucas, along the coastline of the “Mexican Riviera.” Cruise week started off early with a big Friday night dance party at the Crown Plaza in San Pedro for over 200 dancers. There, the cruisers enjoyed mixing with old friends, making new ones, dancing, and grazing on the complimentary hors d’oeuvres. The fantastic duo of Maureen Bradley and Bob Ratke also handed out specially designed cruise shirts, ABA pins, and lanyards to be used for identification and entrance into the ABA’s daily onboard events. The ABA was represented by nearly 400 cruisers, or the equivalent of lots of folks who swing dance (think about 1/5 of the cruise population!) and with the ability to set the tone for the cruise. Wherever you went, you ran into ABA cruisers – pool, sundeck, spa, sea, or shore – proudly wearing their 2008 lanyard and carrying dance shoes. Altogether, there were boppers from 29 organizations, some not even in the Bop Association, and the cruise was a hit with every one of them. Gary Chaney and Maureen Bradley taking a break

ABA President, Gary Chaney,

Maureen, and Bob supervised cocktail parties, dance lessons, and open dancing both day and evening either on-deck or in our own shipboard hangout (the beautiful Vista Lounge). Handling the duties as DJs were some of the best in our dance world: Linda Huebner (St. Louis), Larry Huff (Birmingham, AL), Joanne Johnson (Charlotte, NC), Harold Martin (Nashville), Bud Waters (St. Louis), and Larry Wheelis (St. Louis). And if you think these are great names, check out this list of instructors and ABA Hall of Famers: Bill Breithaupt & Gail Planer (St. Louis), Gary & Charlotte Chaney St. Louis), Tony & Myra Griemel (St. Louis), John & Shirley Krauss (Nashville), Bill Smith & Ro Moehlenkamp (Lake of the Ozarks, MO), and Jim & Virginia Stanton (Hot Springs, AR). All offered first-rate lessons in everything from East to West Coast Swing, Imperial Swing, Swag, River Waltz, and fun line dances! If you don’t know about the Funky Chicken (Canadian style), you haven’t a clue about what you missed!

copyright 2008 | American Bop Association

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March 2008 American Bop Association When one considers the occasions and locations that provide these teachers and musical artists a venue for their talent, having a group of them on a cruise, at the same time, one must acknowledge the leadership of Gary Chaney and Linda Huebner for their organizational abilities. Just Cruisin’ deserves an

Students enjoying Jim & Virginia Stanton’s lesson

honorable mention, too. Maureen and Bob planned some sensational private beachside events, shepherded us about, kept tabs, and were available at all functions for questions and answers, assistance, and even served as bouncers! Their contribution was immeasurable, and I can’t wait to see what they plan for 2009. Next year, the ABA returns to the Caribbean. This time the Princess will head further east than previous trips. We’ll be leaving from Ft. Lauderdale and cruising to Princess Cay, St. Thomas, St. Maarten, and Turks & Caicos. Maybe we’ll run into a movie star or two! With such a great itinerary, dancing, workshops, etc., another large contingent of ABA people, the trip should be a hot item and something to look forward to so as to get us through another cold winter. Even if you’ve visited some of the islands, you still can’t beat the annual ABA Cruise. It’s a great winter vacation at a reasonable price that also helps your home club raise money. Start getting your group together now – I have it on good authority that cruise sign-up week (with $100 deposits) will be here shortly.

ABA Cruise | Go Sailing with the ABA copyright 2008 | American Bop Association

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March 2008 American Bop Association

Go Sailing with the ABA Jan Martin & Hal Ashcom, Ohio’s North Coast Jitterbug Connection A little apprehensive to set sail with 350 some folks they never met before Jan and Hal, the only members to represent ONCJC packed their bags, boarded a jet headed to California and got ready for the adventure of a lifetime! Enjoy as you read about their experience! We boarded the Golden Princess in Los Angeles for our first American Bop Association (ABA) cruise to the Mexican Rivera with three ports of call, Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas. Let’s just say, Dance! Dance! Dance! Fun! Fun! Fun! Food! Food! Food! Dance! Dance! Dance! The ABA had scheduled two one-hour dance lessons a day (9:00 am and 12:00 pm) followed by an hour of practice or social dancing. Every night (7) they sponsored open dancing around the pool from 9:00 to midnight. All of the instructors were great, giving personal help whenever necessary. We learned one waltz line dance and three excellent, fun swing dance moves, which could be incorporated into East or West Coast dances. Our fellow ABA members were all extremely friendly and helpful and we made new friends every day. But, that’s not all. There were five separate lounges on board that had live groups playing great music from 5:00 pm until 2 am every night. The variety of music was outstanding; everything from waltz, night club 2, salsa, rumba, east coast, west coast swing and everything in between. We were amazed at the number of excellent dancers not attached to the ABA. It seems ballroom dancing has become a national past time! We also experienced shore excursions on each port of call which were very enjoyable and it was enlightening to learn about the local culture. Needless to say, food on board was continuous and exceptional. You needed to dance constantly in order to maintain any possible weight control. The ship’s staff was unbelievable. You wanted for nothing. They couldn’t do enough for you. All in all, it was one of the most enjoyable vacation cruises we have ever experienced. We are certainly looking forward to sailing with the ABA group again in February 2009 to the Caribbean with St. Thomas, St. Maarten, and St. Kitt as our three ports of call.

copyright 2008 | American Bop Association

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March 2008 American Bop Association If you would like to hear more specific details of our cruise, feel free to ask either one of us.

We definitely encourage all of you to start saving your pennies for next year’s festivities on the high seas!! It would be great to have a significant contingent from the ONCJC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Your friends, Hal Ashcom Jan Martin

ABA Cruise Report | 10 Years for ONCJC copyright 2008 | American Bop Association

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March 2008 American Bop Association

ONCJC Celebrates Ten Years 1997 — 2007 Kap and Lou Chermak, Ohio’s North Coast Jitterbug Connection Ten years ago 18 individuals with the same love for our style of dance came together in December at the Winking Lizard in Peninsula, paid our dues of $36 (so we’d have money to work with) and began to carve out a club. Each of us shared our dreams and ideas of what ONCJC should be. The Cincinnati Bop Club contributed their by-laws from which we modeled ours. Paul Hennessey (President of the Cincinnati Club & VP of the ABA) also guided us along the road to becoming a non-profit organization. There were no guarantees that the dreams would materialize, but we surged forward with a lot of hope.

First Meeting – 1997

Building our membership became an ongoing topic of conversation and debate. After a great start at the Hudson Inn in 1998 with 120 some members, we had several years of fluctuating membership, sometimes not exceeding much over 60. It wasn’t until late 2003 that we broke 200 for the first time! We have enjoyed high numbers ever since. This year we have topped that 200 number mark once again! And at the end of 2007 our membership reached an all time high of 214! I attribute our growing membership to the GREAT members we have in ONCJC Board 2008 this “family” and the wonderful leadership of the members who have stepped up to the plate to serve and help move this organization forward. The club is GREAT fun! Because of all this history, Ohio’s North Coast Jitterbug Connection celebrated their 10th Anniversary the only way they know… IN STYLE! The celebration was held at the beautiful St. George Fellowship Hall in Copley-Fairlawn, Ohio on Saturday, December 15th. Everyone weathered the first storm of the winter remarkably well, and almost all made it. Guests traveling from the Michigan, Pittsburgh and Youngstown areas forged through the rain, sleet, wind and snow to join in on the fun! Only about ten folks who had bought tickets were unable to make it. Invitations were copyright 2008 | American Bop Association

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March 2008 American Bop Association join in on the fun! Only about ten folks who had bought tickets were unable to make it. Invitations were sent to all our Charter Members, and ten of the original 18 planned to attend. Their presence added a lot to this event and brought back many memorable moments. They were pleased to see how we’ve grown and impressed by how welcomed that they felt. Several plan to attend whenever possible.

The evening was magic! With the combination of the Holiday season and the Anniversary celebration in everyone’s hearts brought a definite glow to the evening festivities. The atmosphere of St. George’s facility and the excellent service and food they provided topped off the evening’s experience. Everybody wore their very best! Rookie Rick Kohler, a “staple” of Steele City Boogie Club and the Pittsburgh area for over 40 years, graciously DJ’d for our enjoyment. His ears should still echoes with the praise for his music from those who attended. The large wooden dance floor was full the entire evening! Rookie Rick Koehler of Pittsburgh got the toes tapping for dance … dance … dance … and more dancing! Thanks to everyone whose efforts and presence made this a night to remember! Along our journey we’ve learned many things. Two of the most important are: Life is too short to dwell on the past and harbor ill feelings, and … Planning Committee

Once you realize that there will always be bumps in the road, recognizing them ahead of time will

help you avoid most of those “chuck holes” in the future and enjoy a great ride! We are proudly moving ahead and excitedly looking forward to the next 10, 20, 30 years and beyond! Love, Kap and Lou!

Go Sailing with the ABA | Casino Royale 2008 copyright 2008 | American Bop Association

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March 2008 American Bop Association

Casino Royale 2008 Millie Wood – President, Memphis Bop Club The Memphis Bop Club held their 10th Annual Casino Royale Dance on March 7 & 8, 2008, at the Grand Casino in Tunica, Mississippi. It was an experience! We had 3 to 4 inches of snow on Friday and were not expecting many people to show up. But to my surprise, we had around 270 dancers there Friday night. It took some of the dancers 6 or more hours to get here, which normally would have taken them 3 hours. Some dancers came in Thursday because of the prediction of snow, and by Saturday the snow was all melted for an easy trip home Sunday. The music was great! We had six DJ’s; providing our music: Tootie Brown from Carolina, Sue Kestner from Nashville, Scotty Mack from Arkansas and Tom Claypool (Dr. T), Tom & Edie Polzin, and Eddie Richardson from the Memphis Bop Club. We also had six great dance instructor: Gary & Charlotte Chaney from St. Louis, Jim and Virginia Stanton from Arkansas, and Jeannette Jeffries and Richard Britt from Memphis. Even with the snow, we still had a decent crowd and everyone had a great time. Hope to see you all next year.

Memphis Bop Club Casino Royale 2008 Jack-N-Jill Winners from right to left.

Pictured above 3 rd Place Winners – Bing Wines from Oklahoma City, OK and Crisandra Underwood from Fairview Heights, IL; 2 nd Place Winners – Karen Matthews from Bossier City, LA and Pete Nolen from Memphis, TN; 1 st Place Winners – Steve Day from Boiling Springs S. Carolina and Lynn Wilson from Birmingham, AL 10 Years for ONCJC | Spa City TV Spot copyright 2008 | American Bop Association

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March 2008 American Bop Association

Spa City TV Spot Boppin’ Brenda Ferguson, President, Spa City Bop & Swing Dance Club Adapted from: THE SPA CONNECTION March / April 2008 – VOLUME 7, NUMBER 2 We have realized that so many people in our area do not even know that “With membership, in the Chamber, we will have info and link on its web site about our a Bop & Swing Club”

our club exists, so we have put forth extra efforts to make our town and surrounding area know about our club and the upcoming events we have planned. A newly appointed member to our Board is the Director of Public Relations, Sandi Harmening, and she has enthusiastically filled this position. Sandi scheduled a radio interview and coordinated our television taping recently, thus proving that we aim to get the word out

about our club. Several members attended the new member orientation luncheon at the Chamber of Commerce. With membership, in the Chamber, we will have info and a link on its web site about our Bop & Swing Club. From there, our site will be available to all who may visit Hot Springs or become residents in our town.

This “good lookin“ group of our Spa City Club Members participated in recording a TV spot on the Hot Springs Channel 5 information channel providing information to the public about our dance Club. Thanks, Members for representing our Club! Job well done!

Casino Royale 2008 | St. Patrick’s Day Parade copyright 2008 | American Bop Association

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March 2008 American Bop Association

St. Patrick’s Day Parade Rosina Moehlenkamp, Lake of the Ozarks Swing Dance Club The St. Patrick’s Day Parade at Bagnell Dam on March 15, 2008 started out cold and rainy. Chester Vance borrowed his son’s twenty foot construction trailer and ten of us met at 11:00 am on business 54 to decorate the trailer. It was no easy trick to get everything attached with the wind and rain blowing and our fingers freezing. The brave souls who weathered the biting sting of wind and rain were, Jeanne and Larry Laminger, Don Plewa, Marty Aerne, Sandy Ferguson, Chester Vance, Bill Smith, and Rosina Moehlenkamp. Fortunately, when the parade started at 1:00 pm the rain stopped, but then the wind picked up. BRRRR. We played music and danced our way down the strip throwing beads and candy to the spectators. We tossed over 600 beads and 10 pounds of candy. When the parade ended we had to disassemble the decorations and as soon as that was done, we went to the museum to decorate for the dance that night. Charles Stone and Vicki DeEagle joined us to help decorate the hall. Seven of us went to Dempsey’s for corned beef and cabbage and then it was time to get warm and change for the dance. Our St. Patrick’s Day dance was the largest attended so far this year. We had a great group of people and several members brought goodies for us to snack on. I think everyone had a great day even though it was a long day, and at times bitterly cold. Our thanks go out to everyone who helped make this a fun day, and a successful dance. 1st Place Plaque Presentation

All our hard work and efforts paid off with the presentation of the 1st Place Plaque (out of 97 entries), for best in the Civic Division. Winning first place in the Civic Division of the Parade was pay off for all the hard work everyone did to make the float stand out. We painted rainbows and placed pots of gold at the end of each rainbow. Skirted the float with a “Happy St. Patrick’s Day” border, and put green fringe around our railing. We all wore green derbies and green sashes with “Swing Dance” in white letters across the front that Sandy Ferguson made. We put leprechaun decals on the sides of Chester’s van, and away we went.

copyright 2008 | American Bop Association

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March 2008 American Bop Association

Pictured above are: Rosina Moehlenkamp, Michael and Michell Lasson, two of the Official Judges for the Parade, Bill Smith, Gina Deandrea, Cindy Vaught, presenting plaque from Bagnell Dam Association of Realtors, Jeanne Laminger, Joe Deandrea, and Larry Laminger.

Spa City TV Spot | Valentine’s Dance copyright 2008 | American Bop Association

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March 2008 American Bop Association

Chicago’s Windy City Jitterbug Club Valentine’s Dance Ralph Dahma, Secretary Pro Tem, Windy City Jitterbug Club Amidst a sea of red, white and black, Chicago’s Windy City Jitterbug Club held its annual Valentine’s Dance on February 16th at Chevy Chase Country Club in Wheeling, IL. DJ Bill Matthews kept the 273 members and guests jumpin’ on the floor, while Social Director Linda Nelligan supervised the festivities, assisted by newly elected club President Joanne Kokalj, as well as other board members and volunteers. After a sumptuous buffet dinner, a 50-50 jackpot of $540 was won by member Sandy Glunz. Other prizes, including a ticket to Sweet Home Chicago, were given away, 2 of them won by visitor Peggy Jecklin from St. Louis, who had also won the 50-50 jackpot of over $400 at the November Birthday Dance! Attendees then danced the night away, closing the dance out with the a circle dance to Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA”, a Chicago tradition.

President Joanne & Paul Kokalj

Gabrielle Gang & Linda Nelligan

– – Gail Schwartz, Ardean Calloway, Terry McDonagh, & Gloria Medel

Upcoming Windy City events include the always popular Sweet Home Chicago, happening July 3rd to 5th, the club picnic on July 13th, and the 19th annual club Birthday Dance on November 15th, back at Chevy Chase Country Club. For more information, check out the club's web site at copyright 2008 | American Bop Association

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March 2008 American Bop Association

Norm Oden & Peggy Jecklin

Janet Campeotto & Jim Mauer

Ralph Dahma & Elaine Morrison

St. Patrick’s Day Parade | Blue Note Award copyright 2008 | American Bop Association

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March 2008 American Bop Association

“Coast To Coast…Let’s Dance” Tom Polzin, President NARBDeeJays The National Association of Rhythm & Blues Dee Jays, which are mostly your dee jays, is announcing the release of their 4th CD project, in cooperation with KHP Records of Dunn, North Carolina. The official release of the “Coast To Coast...Let’s Dance” is scheduled to occur at the S.O.S. Spring Safari in N. Myrtle Beach April 18th through the 27th. The NARB Dee Jays expect this CD to be available for advanced shipping to all dance clubs around April 1st. As dee jays we know that many times we hear, “ Where can I get that song?” Well, now your club can make it available to your dancers through this special offer from the NARB Dee Jays Association. All A.B.A. Clubs can purchase this new release at $10.00 each and resell them at a reasonable mark up, usually $15.00, to their dance club membership. These discounted CD's could also be used as prizes for contests or giveaways. Please note that the $10.00 offer is for a minimum purchase of 5 CDs or more. This offer is being extended only to A.B.A Dance clubs and not to any individual members. The retail price is $15.00 through our web site

Please contact for questions or to respond: Tom Polzin, President NARBDeeJaysDave Roby, Treasurer NARBDeeJays 6325 Cornwall

282 Hawks Nest Dr.

Horn Lake, Ms 38637

Kissimmee,Fl 34741

e-mail: (407) 932-1733

Blue Note Award | Centering copyright 2008 | American Bop Association

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March 2008 American Bop Association

Centering: Individual and Partner Skippy Blair © Rev. 3-02, 8-03, 8-04, 7-07

published with the permission of Skippy Blair From the Seattle Swing Dance Newsletter Submitted by Abel Hewitt The Number of Centers in an individual dancer seems to still be a BIG question. Logic tells us that any object has only one Center – and in my study of the “Psychology of Learning”, I was fascinated with how such Rules carried over into dance. The idea that we learn MUCH faster if we have only “one definition for one word” is a thought I had always subscribed to – even before my detailed study. This same study confirmed my belief that simplicity is the key to fundamental learning. Many times, I have been asked to make a dance decision – deciding who was right and who was wrong. Fortunately, my mind cuts through the fuzzy stuff and is quickly able to observe that both parties are frequently saying the same thing – but expressing it in a different way. NOTHING is wrong if you are doing what you set out to do. The flip side is that “what you set out to do” might be less than the level that you are personally capable of achieving. When it comes to Centering – or any other concept – My MAIN concern is seeing to it that we can SEE the progress. In identifying a new concept, it is important to me that the student is able to immediately apply that concept, once it has been presented and demonstrated. Four separate Body Zones exist: The Universal Unit System® maintains that there is only ONE Center. However, we do acknowledge and regularly refer to, four separate Body Zones: Head Zone: Covers the head and the neck, down to the Centering Knob. Shoulder Zone: Covers the area from the top of the shoulder to the bottom of the rib cage. Hip Zone: Starts at the top of the hip bone and ends where the legs connect to the hip. Center Zone: Covers the lower edge of the rib cage down to the upper edge of the hips. The Center Zone provides stability by tying 3 of the Zones together. Let’s pretend that you have a wide support belt around your waist. (or – You can actually purchase one at your local drug store). Place this support belt tightly around your waist, with the top of the belt barely covering the lower ribs – and the bottom of the belt barely covering the top of the hipbones. This Center Support has now pulled the body all together into one dynamic Dance Machine. Once the whole Center Zone is under control, you can narrow down the concentration into the top of the Center Zone (Center Point of Balance – CPB – Core). Concentrating on your Center, you will be able to gain control and MOVE from that center. You will immediately be able to feel the effect in the three “tied together” Zones. This secure feeling is an amazing thing when you first experience it. It’s as if you have suddenly gained amazing power & control of your entire body.

copyright 2008 | American Bop Association

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March 2008 American Bop Association With the aid of a support belt, you can experience this feeling rather quickly OR you can experience this same feeling (after some training) by simply pulling all of your abdominal muscles up into your Center. This process takes a little time and effort but I guarantee you – It is worth the effort. We call this exercise “squeezing the banana”. It feels like someone squeezes all of your Center area into your middle – forcing your center upward and your shoulders back and down. Locating Your Own Center Point of Balance (CPB) Unlike a Center of Mass (used in martial arts for a lower base stance) – or a Center of Gravity (which seems to change location with every body type) – our Center Point of Balance is located in the exact same place on every person. It is located in the Solar Plexus (Core). It is nestled in the soft area, just below where the ribs come together. Let’s do the exercise: Stand with your feet together and you will find that you can move your “derriere” 4 inches forward – backward or sideways and still not lose your balance or have to move your feet. You can do the same with your head – shoulder – arm – foot. But NOW – Move your CENTER four inches in ANY direction – and you will find that you MUST move a foot. Moving your Center moves your entire body to a new location. You have moved your “Center Point of Balance.” That is the whole point of Centering. Try this: Another way to identify the location of your Center is to assume that your body is a mannequin. Place a fist into it’s Solar Plexus – that’s the area just below where the rib cage meets – well above the waistline – and well above the naval. Placing a fist in the Solar Plexus area – we could lift the mannequin a few inches off the floor. The feet would fall directly under it’s Center and the head and shoulder area would stay upright. If we placed a fist in the lower abdomen of the mannequin, the top half would fall over. If we placed a fist in the shoulder area – it would immobilize the shoulders – producing stiffness and a lack of flexibility. Dancers who use their hips or shoulders as their Center are easily identified by those who understand the concept. It is amazing to see the difference in the level of performance – once they learn to tighten the appropriate zones and move from the Center Point of Balance. Individual Centering Being Centered lines up the Power Point of the foot – through the knee – through the Center Point of Balance – and up through the chin – in one coordinated movement. That allows the body to land precisely ON the beat of the music. Individual Centering produces great posture and a sense of body dynamics. It creates a look of confidence and a feeling of professional performance. The next time you have the opportunity to observe social dancing, where upper level dancers are simply enjoying the dance, pay close attention. You will be able to identify that extra element of centering by the tingle it creates in your own spine. In evaluating the performance of a Ballet Dancer – or a Jazz Dancer – the same degree of professionalism exists. Movement is classified by how well the dancer moves from their Center. They are not evaluated by how fast they dance – or how complicated the material. They are judged by how well the body moves from

copyright 2008 | American Bop Association

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March 2008 American Bop Association the center. FOOT follows FRAME. The center moves first. Once you control the center to move on the &-Count – prior to a weight change – moving from the Center becomes the focal point for all movement. That one act alone – immediately adds an extra “Dynamic” to your dancing. You will be able to FEEL the difference. It takes a little time before you can maintain the feeling – but just feeling it ONCE, allows you to know that the experience exists. Partner Centering It is very difficult to perfect Partner Centering – if the individuals involved are not Centered themselves. However. one partner that is well centered can have a positive influence on the centering and total performance of the other partner. This technique can be mastered by practicing in Stages. STAGE ONE in learning Partner Centering is what we call the Flashlight Technique – This simply teaches each partner to aim their center either toward each other – or toward a destination. This will help even basic dancers to start the centering process. LEAD: His “Flashlight” (Center Point of Balance) will be aimed either at his partner – or in the direction that he wants the partner to travel. This makes a strong connection – without the necessity for arm leading – and also maintains a sharper slot. (A wonderful feeling for the follower.) FOLLOW: Her “Flashlight” will aim at her partner’s chin. This tends to lengthen her upper torso – which in turn develops better posture and centers her whole body toward her partner’s center. As she rotates in various patterns, her “Flashlight” will return to him as quickly as the tempo of the music allows. This one technique alone can elevate any performance that lacks proper centering. STAGE TWO of Partner Centering requires more control of each partner’s individual Center. More than having each partner simply face each other – a certain degree of leverage (based on a tight control of the 3 Zones and a lifted Center) – develops a more professional attitude. This is the hallmark of the upper level dancer. When two partners are really Centered to each other, an astute observer becomes aware of the action/reaction that takes place in one split second. If you are part of the partnership – you should be able to feel that action/reaction. The leader’s Center moves on &a-Count and the follower Reacts to that lead. This allows both partners to land – at the same time -precisely on the beat of the music. Both partners may choose to dance different rhythms – even different syncopations – and still be totally Centered. They are connected from one partner’s Center to the other partner’s Center. Competition Observation Centering yourself toward the judges is not considered good taste. There are times when Centering to the judges is part of the natural unfolding of the routine (when both partners are actually facing the judges). However, there are times when either the Leader or the Follower seems to center their “Flashlight” toward the judges instead of toward each other when it is not appropriate. In judging circles, we refer to that as mugging the judges. It is particularly noticeable if the lady faces the judges on every anchor instead of facing her partner. It not only detracts from the performance – but also loosens the connection of the partnership. copyright 2008 | American Bop Association

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March 2008 American Bop Association Teaching Technique I frequently use slightly flexible ropes to show how the Center, rather than the arm, does the leading. The lady holds on to the end of the rope while the rope is wrapped around the man’s Center. He soon learns that he can move the lady easily, simply by moving his Center in the direction that he wants her to go. Their hands are not connected and yet she is able to follow his lead. In the real world, the lady frequently compensates for an arm lead just by knowing where she is expected to go. However, the fault is not always his. Many ladies strong-arm their partners. It is sometimes impossible to determine who did what to whom. Arm leading leads to arm following and perpetuates the problem from both sides. MOST patterns are best led with body leads, coming directly from the leader’s Center. Of Special Note There have been enough requests for more material on the subject of "Centering" – "Connection" – and "Critical Count" – that we are making special DVD's and videos on these three subjects. If you would like to be notified when they become available, please email us. Skippy Blair

Photo by Walter Ricks May, 2007

Biography Biography: Skippy Blair has been teaching dance since 1940. She is

one of the major innovators of the dance we now know as West Coast style of Swing. Ms. Blair is the innovator of the Universal Unit System, a tool for more effectively teaching dance. She is the author of “Disco to Tango and Back” one of the more exhaustive dance manuals written. She is still very active as a dance instructor, hosting several dance intensives each year in different parts of the country. For a more complete bio go to She is a a prolific writer and had recently discovered the world of blogging. Her blogs and articles are available on her website,

Coast to Coast | ABA Club Banners copyright 2008 | American Bop Association

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March 2008 American Bop Association

ABA Club Banners Jim Watson – Director, Mid-Ohio Boogie Club The Directors of the American Bop Association voted at the January Business Meeting to purchase a club banner bearing the ABA Logo for all regular member clubs. Each club may choose a design and a size that fits their needs. These banners may be vinyl or printed in full color on canvas. The banner must bear the ABA logo and the total cost cannot exceed $75, unless the club is willing to pay the costs that exceed the $75 limit. This is an initial design for a 2 feet by 3 feet vinyl banner for use on a door at the entrance to the dance location.

The following is an example of a 3-foot by 6-foot vinyl banner.

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March 2008 American Bop Association The size and complexity of a banner determine the commercial pricing and fall into one of three pricing categories, basic or text only, intermediate containing text and graphics, and complex using several colors, outlines, shadows, and special panels. For example, the M.U.S.I.C. banner is an intermediate banner while the Boogie Bash borders on a complex banner. An example price range for the M.U.S.I.C. banner, based on the 2008 Sign Price Guide, would be from $45 to $85. The Boogie Bash banner price would range from $125 to $183. These costs do not include the required design services that usually begin around $70. For this special ABA purchase only, the price of the M.U.S.I.C. banner would be $30 and the Boogie Bash banner with 3 colors would be $65. The basic banner color can be White, Black, Blue, Red, or Yellow in standard sizes of 2x3, 3x4, or 3x6 and the vinyl lettering in White, Black, Red and/or Blue. You make request other color and banner sizes, however be prepared to wait an extra week or two for the banner. Adding more than 3 colors or requesting special vinyl, such as gold or glitter colors will increase the cost of the banner. Another type of banner available for this special purchase is a full color printed canvas banner. The following is an example of 2-foot by 3-foot banner.

These banners can be 2-foot wide by any length and any design you wish. The commercial cost for this type of banner ranges fro $9 per square foot to $15 per square foot or $54 to $90 for this banner. For this special ABA purchase only, the price of this canvas banner would be $25 for a 2x3 and $6 per running foot beyond the initial 3 feet. In all cases, there will be container and shipping charge from $10 to $15 added to the total cost.

copyright 2008 | American Bop Association

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March 2008 American Bop Association Each club requesting a banner need to provide a design of what they would like and electronic artwork of any graphic they desire on the banner. The graphic should be at least 300 dpi JPEG, TIFF, PNG.WMF, or PSD You can send your design to me at and I will prepare a graphic of what the banner will look like. I will request that you approve the design before I begin work. If the total cost remains below the $75 limit, I will bill ABA directly. I would prefer all communications be by email. If you need to call, my home number is 614-939-1844 and my cell is 614-323-8906. If you are requesting another banner though the ABA that is not part of this special ABA purchase, please indicate that in your email.

Centering | ABA Contacts copyright 2008 | American Bop Association

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March 2008 American Bop Association

ABA Contact Information Revised: April 2008 If the information listed here is incorrect, please inform our ABA Secretary, Kap Chermak. President Gary Chaney (636) 464-1253 Secretary Kap Chermak (330) 328-5463 ByLaws Doug Brown (615) 851-0958


Vice President & Membership Paul Hennessey (513) 697-6362 Treasurer Jo Reynolds (662) 536-2077 Newsletter Jim Watson (614) 939-1844

Member Clubs

Past President Jim Laux (501) 834-8609 Hall of Fame Myra Griemel (314) 296-9705 Web Master Susan Hurst (314) 822-9314 Director

Atlanta Swing Dancers Club (770) 919 -2886

Jerry Knight

Brickyard Boogie Dancers

Ron Fentz (317) 881-3750

Buckeye Bop Club

Sallie Debolt

Chicago Jitterbug Club Hotline: (708) 388-5867

Mary Lou Poremba (708) 597-5597

Chicago’s Windy City Jitterbug Club Hotline: (773) 467-0177

Joanne Kokalj (772) 792-8842

Choo Choo Shag Club

Delmus Aubrey (423) 505 -9076

Cincinnati Bop Club Hotline: (513) 697-6351

Paul Hennessey (513) 697-6362

Corvette City Bop Club

George Marshall (270) 842-7937 Derby City Bop Association (502) 543-4341

Bill Wallace

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March 2008 American Bop Association Great Lakes Swing Dance Club Hotline: (810) 742-5666

Stuart Rogers 810-743-6234

Jacksonville Beach Bop Association Hotline: (904) 731-9883

Butch Berrey (904) 739-1113

Jefferson County Swing Dance Club (636) 464-6219

Myra Griemel (314) 296-9705

Lake of Ozarks Swing Dance Club

Bill Smith (636) 456-7315 Little Rock Bop Club Magic City Boppers

Tommy Roberts (501) 753-7396

Dianne Doss (205) 424-6060

Memphis Bop Club Hot Line: (901) 362 -9299

Barbara Cooley (901) 757-8785

Mid-Ohio Boogie Club √

Jim Watson (614) 939-1844

Midwest U.S. Imperial M.U.S.I.C. Hotline: (618) 463-2405 √

Paul Stockert (618) 523-4350 No email – Send to

Music City Bop Club

Doug Brown (615) 851-0958 Northeast Social Dance Club

Paul Vitiello (570) 383-1321

Ohio’s North Coast Jitterbug Connection

Kap Chermak (330) 666-4410

Savannah Shag Club Hotline: (912) 353-0900

Kathy Taggart (912) 355-8256

South Side Imperial Dance Club (314) 991 -6199 Hot Line www.South

Susan Hurst (314) 822-9314

Spa City Bop and Swing Dance Club

Brenda Ferguson (501) 760-7375

St. Charles Imperial Dance Club (314) 423 -1933

Philip Graeff (636) 441 -6876 copyright 2008 | American Bop Association

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March 2008 American Bop Association St. Louis Imperial Dance (314) 423 -1933

Larry Eaglin (314) 631-0649

Seattle Swing Dance Club

Candy McCullough

Steel City Boogie Club (412) 561-7777 Hot Line

Jerry Kovach (412) 825-0301 No email – Send to

Tampa Bay Beach Boppers

Cal Shaw (727) 385 -1751 West County Swing Dance Club Associate Member

Jim Commerford (314) 650-4396 Representative

National Association of Rhythm & Blues Dee Jay’s

Tom Polzin (662) 342 -6413

Toe to Toe Dance Shoes Toll-Free (877) FIT-4DNC

Carol Fournier (810) 695-1010

ABA Club Banners | Upcoming ABA Events copyright 2008 | American Bop Association

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March 2008 American Bop Association

Upcoming ABA Events More Dancing and Fun Available from ABA Member Clubs Dance contest winners at Pittsburgh’s 10th Boogie in the Burg 2008

This listing includes major dances such as an anniversary dance as well as multi-day events.

Dance Events for 2008 Date



Summer Boogie Blast

Music City Bop Club

May 22-25 Sandy Brown at 615-859-0251 or email at Sweet Home Chicago

Chicago’s Windy City Jitterbug Club

July 3-5 Joanne Kokalj at 773-792-8842 or email Mike Lapina at Boogie on the Riverwalk

Jacksonville Beach Bop Association Club

July 9-13 Call 1-888-BMF-JBBA August 14-16

Shag Tracks

Choo Choo Shag Club

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March 2008 American Bop Association Mid-Ohio Boogie Bash

Mid-Ohio Boogie Club

August 21-24 Georgia Watson at 614-939-1844 or email at Mardi Gras Boogie 2008

Tampa Bay Beach Boppers

August 21-24 Joyce Lucas at 813-876-1103 or email at Rollin’ on the River

West County Swing Dance Club – ABA Convention –

August 28-September 1 Contact Jim Commerford Bop on the Lake

Little Rock Bop Club

September 18-19 Myra Wilson at 501-758-5452 or email at Boogie In The Bluegrass

Derby City Bop Association

September 24-27 Mike Hall at 502-245-3680 or email at Atlanta Swing Classic

Atlanta Swing Dancers Club

October 9-12 Move Across the River

Cincinnati Bop Club – ABA Convention –

November 12-16

Dance Events for 2009 Date



4th Annual ABA Cruise

ABA Cruise Pricing – starts at $639 plus taxes and fees

copyright 2008 | American Bop Association

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March 2008 American Bop Association 2009 Dancin' On The High Seas Eastern Caribbean Cruise – Princess Cruises – Crown Princess Itinerary: from Ft. Lauderdale to Pricess Cays, St.Maarten, St. Thomas & Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos January 25 – February 1

Contact: Linda Huebner or Gary & Charlotte Chaney Book your cabin with Just Cruisin’ – √

Mid-Ohio Boogie Bash

Mid-Ohio Boogie Club

August 6-9 Georgia Watson at 614-939-1844 or email at Rollin’ on the River

West County Swing Dance Club – ABA Convention –

September 3-7 Contact Jim Commerford Move Across the River

Cincinnati Bop Club – ABA Convention –

November 11-15

ABA Contacts | copyright 2008 | American Bop Association

ABA News  

March 2008

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