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Blues History Resources and Research Methods
Mike Legenthal


Idiom Breakdown
Chelsea June Adams Daniel Repsch

We'll be conducting an idiomatic breakdown of blues music that examines the elements in the music that make it danceable for particular idiom dances. If you've ever wondered how to tell what idiom dances you can do to particular songs, this class is for you.

Slow Drag Parterning
Daniel Repsch Jenny Sowden

Slow Drag is a partnered dance from the 1920’s barrelhouse joints. This dance has been described as ‘slow low-down dirty blues’ and is iconic for being danced late in the evening. Come learn the basic, the music, some shaping choices and a little history of the Slow Drag.

Intro to Slow Drag
Dan Legenthal Mike Legenthal

Slow Drag is a satisfyingly simple dance, but no less rich in substance than its more complicated cousins.  It might look like a couple is just swayin', but beneath the surface is even better swayin'.  Come learn the details about what might be the oldest partnered blues dance!

Slow Drag Variations
Mike Grosser Ruth Evelyn


So You Think You Can Slow Drag
Damon Stone Julie Brown


Lunch 'n' Learn with Gerry and Ronnie

Ever wonder what blues musicians mutter to each other between songs?  Or how a band that's never met can play an evening's worth of varied tunes with no rehearsal or sheet music? Ronnie Shellist and Gerry Hundt will share the terminology and grooves musicians use to move your feet.  Dancers, DJs, and organizers alike will benefit from knowing how to better request songs, create moods, and advise bands.

Daniel Repsch


Ask a Black Person
Damon Stone Jen Delk

This class is an open dialogue. Blues dance is Black dance. But what does that actually mean? Take some time to ask about the experiences of our Black colleagues and fellow dancers in our dance community, the dance community at large, and in the world. (Note that the panelists are not speaking for all black people but sharing their perspectives personally and talking about wider black culture from a general perspective.)

Sex n Sexuality in Blues Dance
Dan Legenthal Mike Legenthal

We can't speak for the whole world, but Americans seem to have real hang ups about sex and sexuality. One of the consequences is that there's a strong urge to sterilize dances and make them "respectable." However, that's a surefire way to erase a fundamental part of the human experience. This class will be an exploration of social norms and expectations, how they influenced blues dances in the past, and how they continue to do so.

Rhythm for Grown Ass Musicians
Dan Legenthal Mike Legenthal

If this title is familiar, it's because the topic is one of our favorites. Except this time, we have a real live musician to join the party. Whether or not you think of yourself as a musician, as a dancer you are part of the band. At this level people look up to you; you need to be setting a strong rhythmic example, even on the hard songs. And there will be a-plenty!


Deep Aesthetics
Damon Stone Julie Brown

Starts at 1:45pm, halfway through lunch hour.

This class explores several aspects unique to African and African American performance, surrounding attitude, rhythm, and how dancers relate to each other. This class is ideal for competitors, performers, judges, or anyone interested in those roles.

Blues and Jazz Dance Book Club Meetup
Chelsea June Adams

Interested in learning more about the history of blues and jazz music and dances, but don't know where to find quality information? Have the information, but want a community to discuss it with? Look no further than this club! Come learn more about what we do in this reading group and our goals as a book club, ask questions you may have, discover opportunities to share information, and pose ideas for future books and media.

Responding to Triples
Daniel Repsch Jenny Sowden

There’s more than one way to dance a triple. We’ll find the triple in the music such as Shuffle, Latin, Swung, etc, and then do it in our dance with led/followed and choice movements. Train your ear to recognize and articulate this 3 beat rhythm!

Politics in Blues
Chelsea June Adams Damon Stone

Blues isn't political, you say? We'll be taking you through US history from 1910 to after the Civil Rights Movement, discussing major historical events/movements/figures and how blues music of the time period speaks to what was going on in the historical moment. 

Ruth Evelyn

Break your lines without breaking your body. In this class we will explore inward rotation, broken lines, and ways that we can dance using unexpected shapes.

The Circle
Mike Legenthal

In blues jam culture, each member of the circle must be an individual, interpreting and creating the music. Yet those individuals must never lose sight of the group as a whole, and must be constantly adapting in order to enhance what's being made, rather than detracting from it. This duality is clearly evident in many forms of African American dance and music-making, yet we as a scene are not yet good at engaging and adding to the circle. Let's change that. 

Your Scene, Your Community, Your Village
Jen Delk

Are you concerned about the lack of diversity in your scene? Are you looking for ways to reach out to POC? Join our panelists for a discussion what community means, where you and your scene fit in to the big picture, and what can be done to bridge the racial divide.

Discussion leaders: Jen Delk, Stephen York, Elizabeth Kilrain

Don't Talk, Just Dance
Damon Stone Heidi Fite

Learn to dance the good old-fashioned way. Damon and Heidi won't be teaching this class as much as demonstrating it. They'll dance, you'll copy. You may even have them "show you." You'll be taking what they're laying down and making it your own. And maybe even coming up with something new that they'll copy from you.

One Move
Daniel Repsch Jenny Sowden

Back to the good ol' days, when Blues was danced as variations on a move instead of a fusion of many. We'll explore how to create a fulfilling dance without the need for an extensive vocabulary. Find what can be changed, tweaked, or added, while really only doing one move.

Dan Legenthal Mike Legenthal

If you've ever felt bored with your dancing, fear not! Sometimes you don't need to change *what* you're doing, you just need to be more creative with *how* you're doing it!

Mike Grosser Ruth Evelyn

Groundedness is a term that gets used a lot in the blues dance world, but it is not always clear what the term means. We will break down this concept in very concrete terms and give you specific tools to work on making your dance feel and look grounded.