Annie was one of the first Inductees honored at the first California Swing Dance Hall of Fame Gala held in 1990. She was inducted as a Shining Star that year. It was not until 1992 that the Golden Star category was added. When her older brother, Danny taught her how to dance Swing, she knew she had found her passion! Yet, her early dance experience was very frustrating, for she couldn’t find others dancing the tight style of Swing she had learned from her brother. In the early 60’s she moved to Southern California and her friend, Patti Demaio took her to “The Water Wheel” in Covina where she, once again, saw the Swing dancing she loved. She recalls looking up and saying to herself “There is a God!” Years later, when some of the Swing dancers started fading out, Annie was very thankful for Kenny Wetzel’s ability to “keep us die-hards together” with his ongoing dances and she was always nearby, “Swinging” to Kenny’s music. Annie is known for her amazing footwork and syncopations. When she met and started dancing with Jack Carey, a new blended style emerged and they were favorites to watch on any dance floor. Anxious for the Swing World to grow, Annie volunteered her time to dance clubs and promoters across the country, helping them organize their dance events. In 1993, she co-founded the World Swing Dance Council with Skippy Blair, shortly after the “United States Swing Dance Council” closed its doors. Feeling a strong need for dancers to compete in their appropriate “level”, she developed the points tracking system and several competition guidelines that are still in use today. After retiring from her Chief Judge position that she’s held for many years, Annie now travels, dances, and enjoys the many friendships she has made over the years. Annie has earned the highest degree of respect that anyone could achieve in the dance world. She’s dedicated her efforts to all dancers – and focuses on promoting dance to the younger generations and supporting their efforts to excel and keep Swing dancing alive for future generations. Within every community, there are those with big hearts, who give endlessly and unselfishly of their talents and time to make the world a better place – and so it is with this gracious first lady of our Swing dance family.
Jack Carey & Anne Hirsch & Jonathan Bixby!Rest in Peace Jack!
Posted by Tony Azar on Wednesday, September 12, 2018