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L. A. Knockers

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LA Knockers: Marilyn, Jennifer, Yana

June 22, 2010

Miracles of the Internet age!

Yesterday, I searched Google for LA Knockers and found 4 wonderful videos on You Tube, of this amazing dance group, lovingly edited by Marilyn Corwin, the curly hair blond bombshell I fondly remember.

I logged on to Facebook and found her email, I wrote her a message and she CALLED ME!

Not only that, but she put me in touch with LA Knockers creator and choreographer, my old friend Jennifer Stace.  She is now living in Baja California, close to the other stunning dancer, Yana Nirvana!

I used to photograph these wonderful girls in all kinds of fantastic attires and dance poses, when I was a photo-journalist living in Hollywood, starting from 1976 until 1984.

I will now edit all these images, select my favorites and post them on this blog.

I hope lots of old and new fans will find this and leave their comments.

Thanks!

Elisa Leonelli, photographer (see About LA Knockers page for more info)

And now enjoy the first LA Knockers video (more to come as  you scroll down)

Written by laknockers

July 4, 2010 at 7:34 pm

L. A. Knockers first photo session

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Yana, Jennifer, Marilyn

June 24, 2010

I first saw the LA Knockers perform live at the Starwood in 1976, and I was – literally – knocked out by their exciting dance energy.

So I immediately asked Jennifer if we could do a photo sessions, because I had just started working as a photo-journalist and I was contributing to the theater section of the Italian magazines TEMPO and ESPRESSO. They wanted me to send photographs and text about visually interesting and risqué performers.

I didn’t even have a studio yet at the time, so a borrowed the space from my photographer friend Ave Pildas, and we did various set-ups for the layout: red tutus against a huge dark grey backdrop, white leotards against white, black costumes on red, also, in an outdoor location by the fire-escape, a cheerleaders theme, with football helmet and pom-pons.

Jennifer, Marilyn, Yana

Jennifer, Marilyn, Yana

Yana, Jennifer, Marilyn

Jennifer, Marilyn and Yana even posed for me in the costumes for their movie CINDERELLA, as the stepmother and stepsisters Marbella and Drucella.

We want to know if you’re checking us out, log on to our blog, so leave a comment with your email and we’ll send you the Cinderella photo!

Written by laknockers

July 3, 2010 at 11:07 pm

L. A. Knockers add guitars

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Jennifer, Becky, Kimberlee

July 4, 2010

After that first photo session, I became the LA Knockers “official” photographer.  That is, when they needed photographs, I would take them in my studio.  By then I had rented a storefront space at 6340 Yucca, close to my apartment on Beachwood Drive.

In March 1977, I took black and white head-shots of the 3 dancers: Jennifer, Marilyn and Yana.  In November 1977, Jennifer needed a group shot with their guitar players, Arnold Schoonover and Phillip Truescroff, and the new dancers: Becky Jordan and Kimberlee Carlson.  Here’s a color slide from that session, which was mostly in B&W.

L.A. Knockers 1979

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Marilyn, Patti, Jennifer, Kimberlee, Becky

July 4, 2010

Another photo session, for the purpose of advertising the LA Knockers new line-up, took place in my studio in 1979, I shot mostly B& W and some 4×5 slides as well.  I was learning to use different techniques and the big view camera was my next challenge; I used blue gels for the background light on white seamless, and red gels for the rim light.  Here’s a 35 conversion of one of those 4x5s and a B&W print.

Kimberlee, Marilyn, Jennifer, Patti, Becky

Written by laknockers

July 1, 2010 at 2:28 am

L. A. Knockers outdoors

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Becky, Kimberlee, Jennifer, Marilyn, Patti

July 4, 2010

For this session from June 1979 we decided to use outdoor locations, one was the shiny blue wall of the Pacific Design Center, another the red wall around a doorway, fit backdrops for the colorful leotards of the LA Knockers.  The line-up: Becky Jordan, Kimberlee Carlson, Jennifer Stace, Marilyn Corwin, Patti Nelson.

We sent out to various magazines a selection of images from these early photo sessions, with a text where I wrote about the L.A. KNOCKERS

“They are hot, wild, glittery and moving in fast motion.

They dance at the beat of punk disco tunes and strike provocative poses. They are pretty but not girlish. They are strong, assertive, sexually aggressive women.

With their bodies they express the fire of unrestricted female sexuality, a world apart from the coy and slow seductiveness of traditional gogo dancers.

There is something compelling about their performance.  It must come from the fierce determination of director choreographer Jennifer, the veteran that taught them how to dance and keeps them under her wing with the love of a big sister.

They perform at the Starwood, Troubador, Comedy Store, Matrix Theater, Playboy Club, in TV and movies.”

Marilyn, Patti, Jennifer. Kimberlee, Becky

Written by laknockers

June 30, 2010 at 2:33 am

L.A. Knockers dance

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Kimberlee, Becky, jennifer

July 7, 2010

It’s frustrating to look at photos of dancers, without being able to see them move and sing.

For this experience we recommend watching the L. A. Knockers videos edited by Marilyn Corwin on You Tube.

As the next best thing, we show here a sequence, of this dance number called “Choice”, created for the show at the Playboy Club in late 1979.

First Jennifer, as the fiery Spanish man with a moustache, dances with hot Kimberlee, as a flamenco dancer in a red dress with a rose between her teeth.

Then Jennifer dances with another sexy girl in a read dress.

Finally, the first girl is upset that the man’s attention has shifted to the second girl.  Jealousy!

Please leave your comments, we’ll post them here.

Kimberlee, Jennifer, Becky

Kimberlee, Jennifer, Becky

Kimberlee, Jennifer

Becky, Jennifer

Written by laknockers

June 29, 2010 at 9:27 am

L. A. Knockers spoof movies

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Jennifer and Becky

Kimberlee and Kim (Kimberley)

July 7, 2010

As a recurring theme of the Playboy Club show in late 1979, the L. A. Knockers spoof Hollywood movies.

Jennifer Stace as John Travolta from “Saturday Night Fever” dances with Becky Jordan, as a sexy Dorothy from “The Wizard of Oz”.

Kimberlee Carlson as Dracula is about to dig her fangs into the neck of Kim Blank, as the lady in distress in a white nightgown.

And here’s another video, to see the exciting LA Knockers dance: Part 3

L. A. Knockers 8 dancers

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Kimberlee, Becky, Jennifer, Patti

July 7, 2010

Another Hollywood movie spoof, the 1939 classic “Wizard of Oz”

Kimberlee Carlson as Tin Man, Becky Jordan as Dorothy, Jennifer Stace as Scarecrow, Patti Nelson as the cowardly Lion.

The L.A. Knockers have gone from 3 to 5 to 8 dancers.  Here’s the new line-up in a publicity photo.  Debbie Petersen, Leticia Ibarra, Jennifer Stace, Kimberlee Carlson, Jolli Neal, Kim Blank, (front) Becky Jordan, Patti Nelson.

Debbie, Leticia, Jennifer, Kimberlee, Jolli, Kim, Becky, Patti

Written by laknockers

June 29, 2010 at 7:10 am

L. A. Knockers new dancers

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Debbie, Jolli, Leticia

July 7, 2010

Here’s 3 new dancers added to the line-up in late 1979.

Debbie Petersen, Jolli Neal, Leticia Ibarra.

We have lost track of them, if anyone knows how to contact them, please send us their email.  Thanks!

Kim

Leticia, Kim, Debbie

The fourth dancer, Kim Blank, hidden by a mask in the photo below, in the middle between Leticia Ibarra and Debbie Petersen, dancing the number “Have a Cigar”, is very much around, an accomplished choreographer.  You may want to take a dance class from her! Take a look at her website.

And here is Kim (Kimberly) Blank again in her boxer outfit.

Pop Quiz!  But you had seen her face before, although upside down, as the lady in white threatened by Dracula, in a previous post.  Go back and take a look!

Written by laknockers

June 29, 2010 at 6:29 am

L. A. Knockers Village People

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Debbie, Leticia, Jennifer, Kim, Jolli, Patti, Becky, Kimberlee

July 7, 2010

The opening number of that legendary show at the Playboy club was a chorus kick line to the tune of the song ‘The Women” by the Village People.
Here’s the line-up: Debbie Petersen/Hard Hat, Leticia Ibarra/Electrician, Jennifer Stace/Military Police, Kim Blank/Boxer, Jolli Neal/Football Player, Patti Nelson/Military Cadet, Becky Jordan/Sailor, Kimberlee Carlson/Cowboy.

And here’s the L. A. Knockers clad in white leotard and vinyl leggings for the dance number “Visions Aurora,” song by Michael Cavanaugh (Jennifer’s son).

Leticia, Kim, Jolli, Kimberlee, Jennifer, Patti, Becky, Debbie

L. A. Knockers Playboy Club

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Kimberlee, Jennifer, Jolli, Becky, Patti, Boyd

July 7, 2010

The show at the Playboy Club generated rave reviews, see one below from The Hollywood Reporter, November 16, 1979, by Frank Barron.

“L.A. Knockers. Playboy Club, through Dec. 8
The action is hot in the Playboy Club’s living room these nights, courtesy of a dynamite dance group called the L. A. Knockers.  These eight energetic women combine every sort of dancing style, have marvelous sensuality, plus a knack for comedy that has the audience yelling for more.
The Knockers spoof the Village People’s “Women” in various amusing costumes, as well as Dorothy (“The Wizard of Oz”) meeting Dracula, Superman, King Kong and John Travolta (“Saturday Night Fever”) as she dances her way in ruby slippers through the craziness.  There are right-out-front sizzling dance numbers such as “Taxes”, “Love Vibrations” and “Have a Cigar”.
The show is well choreographed by Jennifer Stace, and the costumes by Boyd Clopton, who also directed, are a standout.  This is just the kind of unique and exciting act that the dying nightclub business needs nowadays to liven things.”

Jennifer, Boyd

One reason why this happened is that the dance routines were very ambitious and elaborate, and to help out Jennifer Stace and her wonderful choreography, director Boyd Clopton stepped in and created these imaginative costumes.

See Boyd Clopton above at the feet of  Kimberlee Carlson as Dracula, Jennifer Stace as John Travolta, Jolli Neal as King Kong, Patti Nelson as Superman, Becky Jordan as Dorothy.

And here with Jennifer Stace, both looking hot in black leather.  Boyd sadly passed away ten years later, in 1989, but Jennifer is still alive and kicking, teaching dance to new generations of students.

L. A. Knockers in motion

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Jennifer, Patti, Becky, Lisa, Eileen, Yana

July 9, 2010

In November 1980 we did another photo session in my Hollywood studio to create updated publicity shots for the new line-up.  Some of the costumes are familiar, a few of the dancers have changed.
Kim Blank and Kimberlee Carlson are gone (don’t worry, they will be back, as will Marilyn Corwin), but Yana Nirvana is once again in the L.A. Knockers.
Two new dancers have been added.  Spot them in the revised costumes for the “Women” song by the Village People:
Jennifer Stace as Boxer, Patti Nelson as Military Cadet, Becky Jordan as Cowboy, Lisa Durazo as Sailor, Eileen Molloy as Military Police, Yana Nirvana as Baseball player.

This is the description with the You Tube videos, and Part 2.

The L.A. Knockers – a dynamite female cabaret dance ensemble of the 70’s – 80’s toured the U.S., Japan, and Canada appearing on stage, in films, commercials and videos. Street dances- locking-waacking-disco-funk-ballroom-jazz choreographed and stylized by creator and director, Jennifer Stace and featured Yana Nirvana, Marilyn Corwin, Kimberlee Carlson, Kim Blank, Lissa Kastin, Denice Polk, Joan Wulfsohn, Becky Jordan, Susan Lonergan, Eileen Molloy, Lisa Lecover, Lisa Durazo. Editing by MARILYN CORWIN

L.A. Knockers and Joan

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Patti, Eileen, Yana, Lisa. Becky, Jennifer, Joan

July 9, 2010

Here are the L. A. Knockers in their trademark black tights and fishnet tops for the notorious dance number “It ain’t the Meat, it’s the Motion”: Patti Nelson, Eileen Molloy, Yana Nirvana, Lisa Durazo, Becky Jordan.
Sitting in front choreographer Jennifer Stace and artistic advisor Joan Wolfsohn.
In her upcoming autobiography, “The Philosopher’s Daughter”, Jennifer talks about meeting Joan, then a ballet teacher at Dupree’s Dance Academy, in the early 70s; Joan introduced Jennifer to one of her students, the striking Yana Nirvana, and the L.A. Knockers were born.  We can’t wait to read the whole exciting story when this book is published.

And here’s the line-up, look at those legs!

Patti, Eileen, Yana, Lisa, Becky

L.A. Knockers act out

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Eileen, Yana, Jennifer, Lisa, Patti, Becky

July 9, 2010

In this set-up “Acting Out” in the back row: Eileen Molloy, Yana Nirvana, Jennifer Stace in white leotards and feathered boas for the dance number  “Vision Aurora”, in the front row: Lisa Durazo, Patti Nelson, Becky Jordan in pink leotards for “Love Vibrations”.

One last set-up.  Standing in the back:  Eileen Molloy, Yana Nirvana, Becky Jordan, in black costumes for the dance number “Have a Cigar”.  Kneeling in front with wigs: Lisa Durazo, Patti Nelson for the punk number “Rock Lobster”.

Eileen, Yana, Becky, Lisa, Patti

Patti, Lisa

L.A. Knockers layout

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LA Knockers-L’Espresso

July 9, 2010

And here is a published layout in the Italian Weekly L’Espresso from 1981.
The short text says:
SINGING IN THE FEMININE
They are 6 girls, all of them from California, they sing at dance at the rhythm of disco music.  They are called the L.A. Knockers and they represent the female response to the macho style of the Village People.  A cross between vaudeville and sophisticated avant-garde, with an an eye on the box-office, the Knockers deliver comic gags, shiny glutes and sinful moves in the clubs of Las Vegas and Reno.  Recently even Frank Zappa wanted them to tour with him across the United States.

Written by laknockers

June 28, 2010 at 9:28 am

L.A. Knockers fashion

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In those years, 1979-1980, I had been shooting some fashion in my studio and on location, so I decided to print a promotional card to advertise this kind of photographic work.

A photo of the L.A. Knockers was included.

Written by laknockers

June 28, 2010 at 8:24 am

L.A. Knockers in Rapture

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Kim, Dee Dee, Kimberlee, Lisa, Becky, Marilyn, Suzi

July 9, 2010

For this photo session from August 1982, in fashionable black outfits for the opening number “Rapture”, we find that 3 favorite dancers have come back into the L. A. Knockers line-up: Kim Blank, Kimberlee Carlson and Marilyn Corwin.  Then we have 3 new dancers:  Lisa Lecover (Kessler), Suzi Lonergan, Dee Dee Rescher.  See a photo of the three of them below.  And the blonde bombshell Marilyn Corwin happily back and dancing with Becky Jordan.

Lisa, Suzi, Dee Dee

Marilyn, Becky

Written by laknockers

June 28, 2010 at 8:00 am

L.A. Knockers love Jennifer

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Lisa, Kimberlee, Dee Dee, Marilyn, Kim, Suzi, Becky

July 9, 2010

The 6 girls line up, like dancers do, in their multi-colored leotards and fishnet stockings:  Lisa Lecover (Kessler), Kimberlee Carlson, Dee Dee Rescher, Marilyn Corwin, Kim Blank, Suzi Lonergan, Becky Jordan.
Then they huddle around Jennifer Stace, beaming in her short hairdo, who loves all of her girls like a big sister and they love her back.

Marilyn, Kimberlee, Dee Dee, Lisa, Becky, Suzi, Jennifer, Kim

Written by laknockers

June 28, 2010 at 7:07 am

L.A. Knockers do the Twist

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Lisa, Suzi, Becky, Kim

July 9, 2010

Here’s a hot dance number inspired by the Twist, choreographed by Vincent Paterson, especially for the L.A. Knockers’ upcoming tour to Tokyo, Japan.  In wigs and short dresses: Lisa Lecover (Kessler), Suzi Lonergan, Becky Jordan, Kim Blank.

Watch the other video edited by Marilyn Corwin for You Tube: Part 1.

Written by laknockers

June 28, 2010 at 6:13 am

L.A. Knockers Downtown

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Dee Dee, Liz, Kimberlee, Jennifer

Jennifer, Kimberly, Liz, Dee Dee

July 9, 2010

On March 30, 1984, 100 photographers documented the city for the book “24 Hours in the Life of Los Angeles”.  I was one of them and asked the L.A. Knockers if they would pose for me downtown.  Jennifer graciously consented, so here they are, dancing at the Downtown L.A. Cafe (Dee Dee Rescher, Liz Brody, Kimberlee Carlson, Jennifer Stace) and in front of City Hall.
By the way, we’d like to find Liz Brody.  She’s from New York, does anyone know how to contact her?

I wrote an article about this event for the ASMP newsletter (American Society of Magazine Photographers) and a personal account of my experience, this is what I said about the L.A. Knockers.
“This all girls dance group invented and choreographed by Jennifer Stace has been performing in Los Angeles for the last 10 years, always funky and outrageous and constantly avant-garde.
“First we photographed Jennifer, Dee Dee, Liz and Kimberly in their blue outfits in front of the blue and grey sign for the Downtown L.A. Cafe, the artists’ hangout created by Debbie Stone.  Then we walked to the Los Angeles Mall where the L.A. Knockers performed for a bunch of passing-by school children in front of the L.A. Courthouse. Then they pose for us in front of one of the oldest downtown L.A. landmarks: City Hall.”

Dee Dee, Liz, Kimberlee, Elisa, Jennifer

And here’s a self-portrait of your truly, Elisa Leonelli, the photographer, striking a pose with the dancing girls.

It’s been really fun and exciting to create this blog, with the help of Jennifer and the “girls”, all of us still around and involved in various creative endeavours: dancing, teaching, choreographing, acting, writing books, making sauce…

Thanks everyone!!!

Next stay tuned for individual pages.  Please send us your memories and comments, tell us what you’re up to now!

Yana Nirvana

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Yana as Valkyrie

July 12, 2010

Look at this photo session we did with Yana Nirvana in October 1983, read what I wrote to accompany the layout!

“Who is this Valkyrie let out of a German mythology comic book? It’s Yana Nirvana doing her takeoff of a female bodybuilder.
Aerobic dancer, stand-up comic, health and fitness writer, bodybuilder … Ms. Nirvana is performing at GIO’S Cabaret in Los Angeles with the L.A. KNOCKERS, the outrageous all girls dance group.

Yana

Yana

Written by laknockers

June 26, 2010 at 2:32 pm

LA Knockers headshots

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Jennifer

Yana

July 27, 2010

After becoming friends with Jennifer Stace, Marilyn Corwin and Yana Nirvana, during our first photos session in 1976, they asked me if I could take B&W headshots of them, because they were needed to print 8x10s for their work as dancers and actresses.

I readily complied and we shot 2 rolls of negative film.

Here are some of the results, my favorite frames.

Marilyn

Written by laknockers

June 24, 2010 at 8:00 pm

Marilyn Corwin

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Marilyn

July 28, 2010

Marilyn sent us these thoughts

I always felt like was a little too funky to  fit in with my blonde hair blue-eyed California girl image… it wasn’t until I experienced Jennifer teaching her creative, outrageously funky dance moves and fun combinations to James Brown, Rufus and soul tunes that I found my calling. Her students resembled a mix of sorority girls, from Chicago to Beverly Hills.   I noticed a blonde blue-eyed ice skater, Natalie, doing these robot and locking moves alongside a girl I thought I had watched  on Soul Train, Lissa. Yana was a tall athletic blonde, striking and  unusual.  Adding to the eclectic mix of beauties was Denice, a curly-haired dancer from UCLA, perhaps a princess type but certainly not in attitude.  It was so exciting watching these white Girls get down and funky in their striped knee socks, knickers pants, sport tops and hats.  I thought “I want to do that.” Jennifer’s class was a blast!  Her work always left room for individual self expression. What a great fit!  After class Jennifer approached me and asked if I was interested in joining her company.
From Tokyo to Las Vegas, with Dick Clark and Frank Zappa, the L A Knockers have been turning heads  and raising eyebrows, in films, commercials, on stage  and television, since the mid seventies, with their unmistakable trend-setting rule-breaking fashion styles.

Were we chicks and babes?  Never!  Strong women and individuals?  Always! We ARE the L A Knockers!

Read about Marilyn’s credits as an actress, dancer and choreographer in her IMDB biography.

Written by laknockers

June 24, 2010 at 6:00 pm

Kimberlee Carlson

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Kimberlee

August 3, 2010

Kimberlee Carlson wrote these comments.

In 1976 I was 18 years old when I met Jennifer and the LA Knockers. I had barely managed to graduate from Palmdale High and that summer found myself at a dance class in Hollywood with no plans for the future other than that I love to dance and dance hard. I had had ballet training as a child and in high school was that embarrassing white girl who was always the only one rocking out whenever there was some sort of a rock band or music assembly. Then I find this class and there was Jennifer Stace and the Knockers. All attitude in torn Betsy Johnson tee shirts, giant yellow leg warmers, hot pants, Biba maroon lipstick, saucy smirks and Parliament Funkadelic. I had found a home.

Kimberlee

Diligently I worked my way into the group by first becoming a Knockerette.  This required attending and assisting Jennifer’s classes and keeping her Lucky Strikes lit. Her class was where she created an environment for the wacky and rhythmic. She was audacious and confident.  She created a hybrid style combining street dancing (Locking, Pop Locking, Waacking, etc)  with her ballroom training, which may seem contrary but really worked. The ballroom gave the moves a certain amount of discipline and composure and the street dancing gave it the sex appeal and the attitude. The late 70’s was the beginning of the era of the comedy clubs.  At the Improvisation and the Comedy Store we became the house showgirls with our live band. It was a family affair for Jennifer.  Her son Michael Cavanaugh, a successful funk keyboard player played with us and wrote several originals songs for us. I would say we were the original Pussycat Dolls but with a sense of humor. We didn’t dance like ladies. The style was seriously funky and seriously fun to do and perform. This was the beginning of the era of when street dancing crossed over and became legit and professional (now it’s ubiquitous and is called Hip Hop).

I never had so much fun and I am forever grateful for that experience. Jennifer’s standards and her exacting rhythmic style helped train me to become the dancer and mover that I am today (after several incarnations I am now in Western Montana teaching movement, Feldenkrais, Salsa).  She was my dance mother.

Becky Jordan

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Becky

August 3, 2010

Becky wrote (July 21)

Hi Elisa,
I have been working extra hours last few weeks.  I got together with Marilyn Saturday, it was great.  She showed me the blog (I am a little computer challanged!) it’s FABULOUS.  I will get something to you this weekend.
Bless you for doing all this, I have wonderful memories of our shoots with you!  Becky

Becky called me (Aug 16) and said:

I was taking dance classes at Dupree, decided to take a rock class, met Jennifer and fell in love with her style.  From then on, every moment that I could get away, I came to take her class and learn that style!

Written by laknockers

June 24, 2010 at 4:57 pm

Patti Nelson

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Patti/Trish

August 3, 2010

Patti Nelson now goes by the name of Trish.  She lives in Colorado Springs  Lisa Durazo (now Rebik) is in touch with her, she writes:
(July 29) Hi Elisa,
I just spoke to Patti (Trish), she doesn’t “do” e-mail so I’m forwarding all the LA Knocker stuff to her sister. She’ll visit her sister and read everything. I’ll stay in touch with her, so that she can send a little memory blurb to you.

Jennifer Stace remembers:

Patti, Eileen, Lisa

(July 31) Patti created a spot for herself because she was a gymnist and could do acrobatics, which was a plus for my choreography; acrobatics were becoming fashionable at that time.

Those two girls, Lisa and Patti/Trish were two peas in a pod, adorable! Both were fine dancers and improvisers. Patti brought in Lisa (Durazo) and Lisa brought in Eileen (Molloy) after Patti left.  Patti and Lisa were roommates and Eileen was their best friend; they were both beautiful dancers. Eileen was a classic beauty and dancer. She displayed a first class standard of excellence and was one of my favorite dancers.   Lisa tapped like a fiend and could spin like a top.  She had a magnetic personality on stage.

They joined the company late, and traveled with us to Japan. All three were excellent performers and were a major and bright addition to the LA Knockers!

Written by laknockers

June 24, 2010 at 1:26 pm

Jennifer Stace

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Jennifer

August 6, 2010

Jennifer writes:

In 1987 I moved to Baja, not to retire but to start the next facet of my life. I wanted to read, write and think – things I’d neglected for years. I wrote a memoir, The Philosopher’s Daughter, as a tribute to my son, Michael, who died in 1994, and I hope to get it published next year. And now after writing about my life, I felt the urge to swing across the dance floor again. I’d been doing yoga, but dancing brings music to the spirit and laughter to the soul, energies I’d sorely missed. Today I’m teaching retirees how to do hook turns, ripples, swing their hips while whaacking their arms to Latin Rhythms.  They love it and I love them. Thanks everyone for the joyous times we shared.

Read a write-up about Jennifer (click on it to enlarge)

Baja Times

Final comments from Jennifer:

It wasn’t just a twist of fate that brought all these beautiful dancers together. It was a sense of the unusual, the joy of laughter, and rebelliousness in their characters.  The LA Knockers created a pocket of special-ness that lasted for years. Across Los Angeles to Texas and up to Canada and over the sea to Japan, we entertained audiences everywhere, getting fired even retired, but we never gave way to the mundane. We reveled in our eccentricities. It was a privilege to work with these amazing women and to create with and for them a spot in the world of funk, a kookiness, into a theater of the bizarre. We found a wonder in life and created hilarity instead of straight up and down entertainment. When I look back I’m filled with awe at what we accomplished. It shines on every page of our blog that Elisa Leonelli, who believed in us from the start, created. We see ourselves dancing in videos from edited versions of our shows created by our own, Ms Marilyn Corwin. Thank all of you for your phenomenal contributions to the L A. Knockers. It was a time in my life I’ll always treasure.

Written by laknockers

June 24, 2010 at 12:49 pm

Marilyn Corwin

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Jennifer, Marilyn, Becky 1978

Jennifer, Marilyn, Becky 1978

 

May 16, 2014

MARILYN CORWIN sent us an update about herself and other Knockers:
“The L A Knockers have always been known for their futuristic visions. We’ve managed to incorporate creative ideas into our current activities.
KIM BLANK – her amazing diverse world beat workouts, salsa jam classes include many of her dance and funk styles.  KIMBERLEE CARLSON – still singing, recording, southern swing dancing in Montana.  YANA NIRVANA – has remained a faithful classical lyrical dancer in Stephans classes for 30 years, and it shows on her fabulous fat-free fit long-legged body.
Three years ago I choreographed the benefit scene for the movie The Help.  As it was an early 1960’s period piece, teaching the cast the twist, mashed potatoes, locomotion, watusi, etc. was fun fun fun.

See Marilyn singing and dancing up a storm, with Jennifer Stace and Becky Jordan, During a live performance of the LA Knockers at the Comedy Store in Los Angeles on March 26, 1978.

Jennifer, Marilyn 1978

Jennifer, Marilyn 1978

Written by laknockers

June 19, 2010 at 6:48 pm

Posted in Dance, Los Angeles

LA Knockers on Melrose 1979

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Marilyn, Patti, Jennifer, Kimberly, Becky

Marilyn, Patti, Jennifer, Kimberly, Becky

September 18, 2014

In June 1979 we decided to have a location photo session outdoors, after many in the studio. I picked Melrose Ave, the place where I had first met the LA Knockers in 1976, because I liked the blue background with glass reflections of the Pacific Design Center (nicknamed the Blue Whale) and the bright red color of a wall nearby. These photos are in B&W, for color versions click on L.A.Knockers outdoors. Jennifer Stace, Marilyn Corwin, Kimberlee Carlson, Becky Jordan, Patti Nelson.

Happy birthday to Jennifer!

Jennifer, Marilyn, Kimberlee, Becky, Patti

Jennifer, Marilyn, Kimberlee, Becky, Patti

Written by laknockers

June 16, 2010 at 6:10 pm

Posted in Dance, Los Angeles

Blue Pacific 1979

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Marilyn, Patti,, Jennifer, Kimberlee, Becky

Marilyn, Patti, Jennifer, Kimberlee, Becky

June 15, 2015

At that same outdoor photo session of June 28, 1979, we chose as backdrop the glass wall of the Pacific Design Center, nicknamed the Blue Whale.
Marilyn Corwin, Patti Nelson, Jennifer Stace, Kimberlee Carlson, Becky Jordan.
See Marilyn yanking that chain, Jennifer kicking that heel…
For B&W photos see this post.

LA Knockers. Pacific Design Center. June 28, 1979. Marilyn Corwin, Jennifer Stace, Kimberlee Carlson, Becky Jordan, Patti Nelson

LA Knockers. Pacific Design Center. June 28, 1979. Marilyn, Jennifer, Kimberlee, Becky, Patti

Written by laknockers

June 16, 2010 at 10:00 am

Posted in Dance, Los Angeles

Jennifer as a man 1979

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Jennifer as john Travolta

Jennifer as john Travolta

Becky and Jennifer

Becky and Jennifer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 18, 2015

In November 1979, we did a major LA Knockers photo session in my studio with the costumes for the Playboy Club show.  Jennifer Stace dressed up as a man to play the male role for Kimberlee Carlson and Becky Jordan. She was a Spanish dancer choosing one girl and jilting the other in a dance routine called “Choice.”  See it here. She was still wearing that outfit, when Becky had already changed from her flower dress to the red and white polka dot apron of Dorothy in the 1939 classic “The Wizard of Oz.”  See her holding her (stuffed) dog Toto!  Jennifer then changed to the signature white suit that John Travolta wore in the 1977 musical “Saturday Night Fever.”  See Jennifer and Becky together in those outfits here.
for B&W images of these dance routines click here.

Written by laknockers

June 16, 2010 at 9:00 am

3 new dancers 1979

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Debbie, Jolli, Leticia

Debbie, Jolli, Leticia

June 22, 2015

How lovely are these dancers dressed in pink for the routine
“Love Vibrations” at the Playboy Club show.

Their names are Debbie Petersen, Jolli Neal, Leticia Ibarra.
Where are they now?

See another photo on this post, on this promo card,
on a published article

Written by laknockers

June 16, 2010 at 5:14 am

White leotards 1979

with 2 comments

Jolli, Patti, Becky, Kim, Kimberlee, Leticia, Jennifer, Debbie

Jolli, Patti, Becky, Kim, Kimberlee, Leticia, Jennifer, Debbie

June 24, 2015

This dance routine in white leotards, chains and leggings, created for the 1979 Playboy Club show, is called “Vision Aurora,” a song composed by Michael Cavenaugh, the son of Jennifer Stace.

(standing) Jolli Neal, Patti Nelson, Becky Jordan, Kim Blank, (kneeling) Kimberlee Carlson, Leticia Ibarra,  Jennifer Stace, Debbie Petersen.

See another color photo on this post, and a B&W here.

Kimberlee, Jennifer, Becky, Patti

Kimberlee, Jennifer, Becky, Patti

Becky, Kimberlee, Jennifer, Patti

Becky, Kimberlee, Jennifer, Patti

Written by laknockers

June 16, 2010 at 4:30 am

Italian blog

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 Jennifer, Patti, Becky, Lisa, Eileen, Yana

Jennifer, Patti, Becky, Lisa, Eileen, Yana

July 20, 2015

An Italian blog just published the story of my career, with advice for young people on how to make it in another country.  I made sure that the LA Knockers were mentioned, with a photo of those wonderful girls, and their names too!  I picked the lineup of a November 1980 photo session in my studio. Jennifer Stace as Boxer, Patti Nelson as Military Cadet, Becky Jordan as Cowboy, Lisa Durazo as Sailor, Eileen Molloy as Military Police, Yana Nirvana as Baseball player.

See the earlier post on this blog, and the 2013 post.

See the third chapter of my career, if you read Italian.

For those who don’t, I created a website, Elisa Leonelli-My Career, with English translation.

Written by laknockers

June 16, 2010 at 4:20 am

Black on Red 1980

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Patti, Eileen, Yana, Lisa, Becky, Jennifer, Joan

Patti, Eileen, Yana, Lisa, Becky, Jennifer, Joan

July 21, 2015

As I continue to scan more photos of the LA Knockers for my archives, I chose another pose of this line-up for the song “It ain’t the Meat, it’s the Motion” with Jennifer Stace kneeling next to Joan Wolfsohn, standing Patti Nelson, Eileen Molloy, Yana Nirvana, Lisa Durazo, Becky Jordan.  Also from November 1980.
See the earlier post.

At that November 1980 photo session, I also took one roll of 120mm film with my Hasselblad.   See below.

Patti, Eileen, Yana, Lisa, Becky, Jennifer, Joan

Patti, Eileen, Yana, Lisa, Becky, Jennifer, Joan