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US Open founder Jack Bridges

Stage Name

Birth Name

Jack Bridges

Jack Bridges


    Dancer and Promoter Jack Bridges started dancing as a teenager with his father when his father was a band leader who played for dance venues. Jack would hold dances at his High School as well as local Sock Hops in San Diego, Ca. Later he would learn how to Tap dance and perform at certain Theatres around town. Here's a rare clip of Jack social dancing at Happy Daze Disco in 1982... Click Here (Video pop-up)

    Jack competed in many contests over the years as well and won the IMIG Manor Hotel's "Mississippi Room" dance championships, for fourteen weeks in a row with Kay Fox. With growing up in the San Diego area Jack would become very involved with the West Coast Swing community, eventually becoming President of the San Diego Swing Dance Club in 1977/78. Later he would marry Mary Ann Rogers who would be his right-hand-Man ( Sort of speak) over the years.

    Founder and Original U.S. Open owner / promoter, the U.S. Open was the biggest organized and longest running all swing dance contest in the history of swing dancing ( The Harvest Moon Ball held other non-swing categories.) This swing dance

Contest was to set the stage by which all others would be judged. Many people confuse the US Open as a swing dance convention, similar to the others, however, it is a three day contest / Competiton that has simalrities to the other dance events, It is not a convention event.

    The Open was founded by Jack, Mary Ann and Kenny Wetzel in 1979. On Thanksgiving Weekend of that year held its first 'Open' at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV. and had a dismal turn-out. Not being one to give up he re worked the vent and offered it up again in 1982 which was a much more attended event. Making some changes he moved the event in 1983 to the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, California. It was a huge success. Disneyland was making changes to it's theme park and closed down the Disney Hotel so Jack had to move the event to the Century Plaza Hotel in Century City, CA. ( The U.S. Open was also held in Texas and Chicago, etc as a regional event, but they failed.) The Century Plaza hotel did not treat the Open well, but wanting to retire from the promotion business Jack and Mary Ann sold another event they ran called "the Jack and Jill O' Rama" to Tony Fuentes and a few years later sold the US Open ( Which is still being held today in it's new location in SoCal.)

    The word "Open" in the title meant it was 'Open' to all forms of swing ( West Coast, Lindy, Shag, Balboa, Jitterbug, East Coast, Jive, LeRoc, etc.) Each style originally competed against the other for many years. Since WCS was the "reigning swing style champion" at the open, they have added other categories allowing the other styles more of a chance to win against their own respective styles of swing.

 

Birth Place

Birth Date

Spouse

Offspring

San Diego, Ca. 3/24//2003 Mary Ann Rogers Susan, Janet, Laurie (Rogers)
       

Dance Types

Dance Partners

Contests

Ballroom Helen Fox Jack & Jill O' Rama - California
Jitterbug Kay Fox (d) - Competed U.S. Open Swing Dance - California
Tap Mary Ann Rogers U.S. Open Swing Dance - Las Vegas
West Coast Swing   U.S. Open Swing Dance - St Louis, MI. (6/1985)
  Peggy Diamond U.S. Open Swing Dance - Texas

Night Clubs

Theaters

Awards & Accomplishments:

Bobby McGee's Orpheum Theater - San Diego US OPEN Presentaion - US Open Swing Dance Week in OC.
Club Romance     Spreckles Theater - San Diego 19771978 - President of the San Diego Swing Dance Club
Hideaway Club       1989 - National Swing Dance Hall of Fame Inductee
IMIG Manor       1995 - Initiated the National Association of Swing Dance Events (NASDE)
Lion d' Or      
Press Box        
Rosie's        

Films

Television

Founded

n/a US Open Swing Dance Championships US. Open 1982-2000
            Jack and Jill O'Rama

NOTE:

Video Clip direct links : Jack Social Dance 1 |

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