Weekend dance party event promises blast from the past

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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — People looking for a fun Saturday night experience with a retro twist may want to consider the Bootlegger’s Boogie.

The dance party happens Nov. 16 at the El Rocko Lounge on Whitaker Street. 

Organizers tell News 3 that the event is inspired by the raw energy of Harlem jazz clubs in the Prohibition era of the early 1920s and 30s.

“We’ll be playing a lot of jazz and modern swing music,” said José Ray, one of the event’s DJs, along with Ben Umbreit.

Ray says the unique event, which features dancing from four performers, encourages party attendees to get in on the action — and do their thing out on the dance floor.

Those four performers make up the Bee’s Knees dance troupe: Maggie Hart, Jamie Failing, Tawney Icaza and Richie Cook.

The Bootlegger’s Boogie, according to organizers, will be a mix of vaudeville-style antics, musical numbers and dance routines — and you’ll never know where the action will happen.

Maggie Hart, Jamie Failing, Tawney Icaza and Richie Cook make up the Bee’s Knees performance troupe.

“Performers might be on stage, they might be out in the audience, they might be standing up on top of the bar, that’s the kind of energy we want to bring,” Ray said. “So, it’s a dance party, but then occasionally, organically, a performance will emerge out of that dance party energy.” 

Saturday night’s event, which will take place from 9 p.m. to midnight, will be the third Bootlegger’s Boogie event put on by organizers. They’re hoping that people who attend will show up and show out in their “glad rags”, especially since there will be costume and dance contests. 

Whoever wins the best costume will have a shot at winning Strut Bucks from House of Strut, a Savannah vintage clothing store.

The main goal, Ray says, is to come out and have a great time.

“We want you to be in the fold, dancing with the performers,” he said.

He admits it might seem out of the ordinary if you haven’t yet experienced an event quite like this.

“Get in there, we want you dancing and having fun,” Ray said. “That’s really the idea, it’s like the audience is part of the action.”

To view the Facebook event for the Bootlegger’s Boogie, visit here.

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