A dance which originated in a church in South Carolina, converted into a nightclub called the "Big Apple." The dance includes all the earlier steps involved in swing dancing, but also requires a caller.

The caller shouts "shine!" and asks for one of the swing steps to be performed. A single couple steps into the center and takes the initiative by performing an exhibition of the requested step.

This dance was very popular in the 1930s.

The Big Apple is a colloquial name for New York City. Occasionally shortened to 'The Apple.'

According to Barry Popik, an obsessive NYC parking ticket judge with an off=hours hobby of etymology, the term 'big apple' originated in popular usage with a writer for the now-defunct newspaper New York Morning Telegraph by the name of John J. Fitz Gerald. Mr. Fitz Gerald covered the horse racing circuit, and referred to New York City and its associated plethora of racing circuits as 'the big apple' collectively. Mr. Popik hunted through the microfilm of the Telegraph and according to his research (available on the Museum of the City of New York's web page) Mr. Fitz Gerald first heard the term used by some jockeys in New Orleans in January of 1920, where (apparently) the high concentration of races and purses around New York City had earned it the moniker 'the big apple' in horse racing parlance. He began to use the term to refer to New York City in his columns.

In 1971, New York City sponsored an advertising campaign to attract tourism. To counter the city's image as a dark, dangerous place - something that movies of the late 1960s and early 1970s certainly weren't helping - the ad campaign chose as its symbol a large, cheerily red apple, and the term 'The Big Apple.'

While there are other competing and coexisting explanations, these two are the most commonly found for the popularity of the term today.

Here in Canada, we seem to have an obsession with building large replicas of small objects. Cities boast of huge plastic geese, gigantic polar bears and giant tomatoes. Of this variety is The Big Apple, the largest man-made apple replica in the world. Inside is a restaurant, a petting zoo, and a whole shitload of apples. It lies along the side of an Ontario highway and can be seen for miles. Yes, we are very proud of this.

When I was a child, The Big Apple was a favorite stop for my family while travelling through the wilds of our home province. We never did get to see The Big Lemon or The Big Tomatoe, but The Big Apple made us happy and that's all that mattered.

One day, we visited the petting zoo at The Big Apple. They had sheep, bunnies, even a big llama named Larry. Larry was very friendly at first. I extended my hand, full of tasty morsels, to this magnificent creature in a gesture of goodwill and love, and he snorted the food down quickly, eager for more. I gave another handful, even staring lovingly into his eyes and making calming noises. Then, Larry looked up from his meal, reared his head back, and spat in my face. I didn't go back to The Big Apple for a very long time. Years later, when I did finally return, there was a plaque saying that Larry the Llama was dead. So it goes.

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