I still remember dancing at the original Memories in Anaheim, where some of the best dancers in Orange County and all of LA would show up every week! I can’t believe that was over fifteen years ago! Memories is now in charming uptown Whittier and celebrated their crystal anniversary with a Black and White Gala featuring Phat Cat Swinger and Super Kitty and the Side Cats! See the article below from Stephen Astier describing the event, as well as some history of Memories – still one of the cornerstones of the LA/OC Swing dance scene!
The 15th Anniversary Black and White Gala
Join SoCal lindy hoppers for a Black and White Gala, as they celebrate Memories’ Uptown Whittier 15 Year Anniversary, Sunday, September 18, 5-10PM. This milestone event will be held in the beautiful vintage Grand Ballroom upstairs which has an amazing 1700 square foot dance floor, one of the finest spring loaded floors in the country. The night’s showcase includes an opening set by Super Kitty and the Side Cats, and two sets and CD release party with the world famous headlining act, Phat Cat Swinger.
The Move from Anaheim
Memories owner and 1984 Olympic Decathlete John Crist moved the original Memories from Anaheim, where it had been voted the best place to swing dance in the country several years in a row, to the historic Art Deco Ballroom in Uptown Whittier. John worked with crews around the clock to accomplish the unprecedented move … closing the Anaheim Memories after the last Friday night dance to open on Monday. Shortly after moving to the new location the venue went “Totally Live in 2005,” and hosted a live swing band every Friday night 52 weeks straight. One of the bands calling Memories home was none other than Phat Cat Swinger, now celebrating their 14th anniversary as a band!
The Memories Swing Team
Also calling Memories home is the Memories Swing Team, which performs all throughout Southern California at theme parks, in TV appearances, and private parties. In February 2016, six of the Memories dancers were featured in Sia’s Cheap Thrills video. The video received an astonishing 500 million views in the first six months.
Since the beginning of the swing revival of the 1990s over 500 dancers performed on the Memories Swing Team. Many of whom have gone on to win national championships including Sam Chan and Morgan Day.
Memories holds a variety of dance classes including Swing, Salsa, and their newest addition, Tango. They continue to produce many other popular events: an annual “Salute to the Troops,” Valentine Galas, and musicals. Well over 10,000 students learned to dance, many established lifetime friendships, and several found their true love.
Memories brings members of the community, families, and associations together for special events. Throughout the last 15 years countess birthdays, weddings, and reunions held at Memories brought lasting joy to thousands.
The Original Memories and Beyond
Dancers will remember the astounding popularity of the original Memories. Each week dancers clamored to get in early and avoid the line that wrapped around the building. The new Whittier location became home for so many dancers that their numbers surpassed the earlier location by several thousand.
Former and present special guest instructors include lindy hop champions Erik & Sylvia, Balboa master Allan Toribio, International champions and boogie woogie masters Marcus & Baerbl, Hotshots founder and California Swing Dance Hall of Fame Inductee Minn Vo, and many others. Let’s dance and celebrate the legacy of Memories, remembering the special part it played during the great swing revival, and how Memories has touch the lives of so many of us.
Tickets and info: 714.925.2689
Buffet and Dance is $29 pre-sale. Dance only is $20.