I was saddened to learn earlier today that my old friend Holly Dumaux Ginsburg passed away suddenly this morning near her home in Palos Verdes. All of my previous Lineage posts pay respect to dancers from earlier generations. Holly has earned her spot in the family of lindy hoppers who we should remember, even though we only started dancing within days of each other.
Holly was witness to my own earliest days of exploring the lead/follow dynamic. We were in the first bunch of students taking private lessons with Erik Robeson & Sylvia Skylar, right before the phrase Hollywood Style popped up. This was that period sometimes called the Style Wars, more about which some other time.
She more than once credited me with making leading and following work for her. I'll take the compliment, though I'd be remiss if I didn't note how much hard work, blood, sweat, tears and LOVE Holly put into the dance with her then partner Tip West.
Tip & Holly were among the crew of young dancers who spent so many Sundays with the old timers at Bobby McGee's around the turn of the century. As far as I'm concerned they're the dancers who really understood Hal Takier's lessons on how to do the Merry Go-Round. That was one of their signature moves, and I know how important it was to them to get it right.
And these two were up in the top of the competition all the time. I remember watching a full house at the Palladium for one of the early Camp Hollywood events and feeling like the roof exploded when they landed one of their stunts.
But if it was only for collecting moves and competing, there were so many of us doing that. Holly was a mother-figure to us, then the young dancers. And while the world was looking at Tip & Holly as rock stars, to us in Los Angeles, they were family.
So many weekends spent at Holly's condo in Pasadena, watching VHS footage we collected, or going over steps together. Holly made sure everyone felt welcome. I'm sure she felt that we were all kin. She was one to keep us together.
And though I haven't seen her for many years, many memories are flooding back. I'm grateful to have spent so much time with Holly and hope you'll find some time to remember her yourself.