Today in 1940 the birthday of Bruce Lee.

Pretty much anyone who watched him in martial arts movies like “Enter the Dragon” knew they were watching a master at work.

He was also a TV star, a poet, a philosopher and a martial arts trainer to many Hollywood stars.

And, on top of all that, Bruce Lee was a extraordinarily good dancer.

Lee was born in San Francisco, but he spent much of his childhood in Hong Kong.

He had numerous film roles as a kid, but when he wasn’t on a movie set he had several other hobbies.

One was getting into fights with other kids, which is why his parents encouraged him to take up martial arts, so he’d build up some self-discipline and stay out of trouble.

The other was dancing.

According to Matthew Polly’s book “Bruce Lee: A Life,” Lee spent a lot of time at a teahouse in his neighborhood, where teens would hang out, listen to music and try out the latest dance moves.

Lee later became famous for picking up every form of martial arts he tried as thoroughly as he could, and apparently he was the same when it came to different dances.

When the cha cha came to Hong Kong, Lee got really into it.

The dance had come to the Philippines before reaching China, so Lee found the Filipina owner of a dance studio and learned the steps from her.

Then he kept notes about all 108 different steps so that he could practice and practice and practice.

And all that practice made perfect: Lee won the Crown Colony Cha-Cha Championship in 1958.

His brother and dance partner, Robert Lee, said that of all the honors and awards Bruce won in his life, nothing topped the time he became “The Cha Cha Champion of Hong Kong.”

Today in 1942, the birthday of Jimi Hendrix.

Of course he’s best known for his astonishing guitar playing and songwriting, but he had other interests too.

In 2018, Hendrix’s friend and fellow musician Graham Nash told SiriusXM Radio that Hendrix was a big fan of the board game Risk, the game of military conquest.

Nash said that Hendrix especially liked to play Risk after taking acid, and “no one ever beat him at Risk.”


Graham Nash recalls playing Risk with Jimi Hendrix on acid (SiriusXM)

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Photo by Ank Kumar – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikicommons