'Two Books,One Community' program celebrates finale with 1920s themed jazz music and dance

The “Two Books, One Community: Great Gatsby & Fire in Beulah” Jazz Dance Finale is this Saturday from 7-9 p.m. The dance will be held at the Community Center and is free to attend, though the Stillwater Community Jazz Band is accepting donations, and the Stillwater Community Band is accepting donations for the refreshments they provide. We encourage anyone who attends to dress in any type of 1920s style.

The very amazing Stillwater Community Jazz band will be taking us on a musical tour of the history of jazz. They will start off with some of the precursor styles, like Blues and Dixieland, and then play us up into the magical Swing-jazz era of the 1940s. The lovely Jenny Gilliland will provide vocals for several of the songs. At intermission, our great friend and dance expert, Barbara Wells, will instruct everyone on how to do the Charleston line dance as we listen to a few of the top Charleston-like songs.

For anyone who would like to make a date night of the event, Louie’s has provided the library with $3 off coupons that can be used for dinner before the dance or for refreshments afterward. Stop by the library for a coupon, or pick one up at the dance.

The Finale jazz dance is going to be an amazing event, so don’t let the description intimidate you. I’ve had several people say they were not sure about attending because they don’t have 1920s clothes or they don’t know how to dance, but that shouldn’t stop you! The great thing about this event is that you don’t have to do either. Attendees are welcome to dress in any “after 5 p.m.” clothing (i.e. dress up a little) and people are welcome to just sit back, listen to the music, visit with friends and watch other people dance.

If you are interested in dressing in the 1920s style, but have procrastinated in getting an outfit, here are some tips. For men, one of the easiest outfits is to get one of your baggier pair of pants and tuck the legs into a pair of taller socks, but let the pants balloon over the socks a bit. Slip on some shoes and a suit or sports jacket and there you are---a nifty 1920s, collegiate outfit with homemade “plus fours.” It is even better if you can add a bow-tie, sweater vest, and newsboy cap, but those are just icing.

Women have it even easier. To a dress or skirt, just add a long necklace, and then tie a wide scarf into your hair covering part of your forehead. Finish with a pin or broach added to the scarf in your hair. If you want to go a bit further and have a skirt and shirt, leave the shirt untucked and just tie a scarf around your hip area to create the illusion that you are wearing a drop-waist outfit. Add smoky dark eyeliner and shadow and you have a 20s costume. Women could also use the men’s “plus four” trick themselves.

Or just throw on some dress clothes, come down to the dance and join us for a great night celebrating the 1920s and our united community. I hope we see you there!