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Posts Tagged ‘Comedy Store

Kimberlee Carlson

with one comment


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.


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.