Category Archives: Part 3: Shall We Dance?

Elvis vs. the Mambo Grande

“ “By the 1950’s it was the Latin Rhythms that were keeping the nation’s ballrooms afloat. Stars like Tito Puente in New York were hot well before Elvis hit #1 in 1956. Changing tastes were a challenge, but in Detroit … Continue reading

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Grande Jitterbugs and the War

The rise of Swing music helped sustain the ballrooms in Detroit during the depression and the War, in fact the Grande was famous for its swing dancers. Knowing not everyone had a car or money for the streetcars, I asked … Continue reading

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Jazz Age at the Grande

“The Grande Ballroom opened on the heels of sound on film at the peak of the Jazz age. With the stock market crash and the ensuing depression, a new form of popular music would arise..” For more.. get the book!

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Dance Age

“In the first quarter of the 20th Century demand for sheet music shifted from songs one  could sing or play, to titles buyers could DANCE to.  Starting in 1928 public dancing at the Grande Ballroom gave folks a chance to try out the … Continue reading

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Part III: Shall We Dance ? – Paul Strasburg

Paul Strasburg, the heir to a Detroit dance academy fortune, ran the Grande Ballroom dance operation.  Strasburg was also a pioneering aviator and speed demon. Here,  in a shot that did not make the book, is Strasburg and his float plane … Continue reading

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