We’re going to Cal Bal!

The California Balboa Classic is coming up in less than a week- we are so excited to debut the Venice Beach Skirt and Venice Beach Dress prototypes with Loco Lindo on Friday night!

What to expect:

The Venice Beach skirt is based on an original skirt owned by Genevieve Grazis, the dancer in white from the Venice Beach Clip. The pattern of her skirt appears to be the same as the dress she’s wearing in the clip. So if you watch her dress twirl, that’s what you can expect from the skirt! This skirt takes at least 4 yards of fabric to make and will be a available in a range of sizes.

Loco Lindo has created a wrap top with billowing 30’s style sleeves, the Babaloo, perfect to pair with the skirt, or try it one of her cute Amanda blouses.

What about the Venice Beach dress? The original will be there! On Friday night, I’ll be with Loco Lindo, ready to answer questions about the dress. It will be on display throughout the rest of Cal Bal.

Can I buy a reproduction of the dress yet? Kind of. You see, reproducing the dress has been a long process including multiple fittings, versions of fabric, and sleeve options. Those puff sleeves? Very important- kind of hard to make. So, we will have the sample versions available to buy immediately at Cal Bal, all with the same gorgeous skirt bottom, but with different sleeves and fabrics.

What about the final version with the iconic puffed sleeves? We’re closer than ever! Last week we visited the pattern maker and went over the design again, with Nikki Marvin of Atomic Ballroom modeling the original dress and reproductions for fit. Now that we have the right design and fit, Loco Lindo will be able to take pre-orders at Cal Bal for the dress! I highly recommend this, because Linda gives the dance community a great discount at events.

Speaking of giving, one of the main reasons I wanted to work with Linda in reproducing Genevieve’s dress is because of her generosity. I knew that she would support my desire to give a portion of each dress sale to charity, as she already does for breast cancer research with the Rachel dress.

When asked what his mother Genevieve (Jean as the family knew her) valued most in life, Jeffery Sliakis replied, “Her children. If there is one thing that I want people to know about her, it’s that she was just as great a mom as she was a dancer”.

With thanks to Jeffrey for trusting that I will help preserve his mother’s memory, and in honor of Genevieve Grazis’ lifelong work with children, $10 from the sale of each dress and $5 from each skirt will go to the Frankie Manning Foundation Youth Initiative program. This program helps support groups doing amazing work to build the future of swing dance, such as the Cleveland Junior Jitterbugs!

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