Thursday, April 8

Our month of guest instructors is over, sadly, but this Thursday we have the opportunity for you to practice what you’ve learned! We’re going to throw down an ol’-fashioned Blues Clinic, where instructors and advanced dancers mill about the room dancing with everyone and offering feedback. You essentially get mini private Blues dancing lessons with the dancers of your choice, who give you feedback and things to work on in order to make your dancing feel better! Blues Clinics help everyone from inexperienced newcomers right off the street to advanced dancers looking to tweak their performance to perfection. The Blues Clinic takes the place of our traditional lessons, running from 7:30 to 9:00.

Plus, if you attend the Blues Clinic you’re automatically entered into a raffle for a FREE private lesson with the Blues instructors of your choice!

After the Blues Clinic, Gui Cavalcanti and John Brooks will be spinning up a storm for you at the DJ booth!

As always, the Blues Clinic is $5 and the dance is $5.

See you all out on the floor!

Thursday, April 1

We’re wrapping up our month of guest instructors and DJs with a special treat… this Thursday, we have Carsie Blanton of Philadelphia teaching a hour-and-a-half long all-level class (beginner, intermediate, and advanced dancers are all welcome!) on the history of Blues music and the dances that have evolved alongside it! Check out the class description:

We all love Blues music, because it makes us want to dance! But have you ever wondered how Blues music came to be, what the different styles of Blues are called, and how to change your dancing to match them? If so, this class will begin to satisfy your curiosity. We’ll discuss the history of Blues music, and listen to examples of many styles, including Delta, Piedmont, Texas, Chicago, New Orleans, Urban, R&B, Jump, and Slow Jazz. We’ll also teach the different ways of moving and connecting appropriate to different styles.

In case you’re wondering about Carsie’s background, here’s her self-description:

Carsie Blanton is a musician first, and a dancer second. She loves the feeling of a truly connected dance, and of a truly graceful movement, but most of all she loves using her body as a musical instrument, contributing new textures and rhythms to a great song. In her real life, she is a singer/songwriter, and travels the world performing her original music (www.carsieblanton.com).

Our own Paul Mandel will be assisting her in the class that runs from 7:30 to 9:00, and then Carsie and Julie Brown will be teaming up to DJ for us!

IMPORTANT NOTE: This is a special event, and we will not be having a beginner class as usual at 8:15. All beginners are welcome to attend this all-level Blues History class.

As usual, the class is $5, and the dance afterwards is $5.

Thursday, May 25

Hello, hello!

We’re back and continuing our month of guest instructors and DJs, and this week we have Christine Moser, all the way from San Luis Obispo, California! Christine and Paul will be teaching the lessons this week:

Intermediate Lesson (7:30-8:15): How Blues is Like an Onion
No, not that it smells bad and makes you cry. We’re going to be discussing layers of connection to your partner and your music, from solo cutting to microblues and everything in between.

Beginner Lesson (8:15-9:00): Milking the Movement
We’ll explore how to make your dancing more powerful and dynamic, letting you milk every movement for all it’s worth.

Christine will be in town all week, and available for private lessons. If you like her classes, be sure to ask her for a private!

After the lessons, Amy Kucharik and Christine will be DJing it up for us!

As always, the lesson is $5 and the dance is $5.

Thursday, March 18

Hey, folks!  Our month of guest instructors continues with Dan Repsch, whom you may recall from the competitions at Sweet Molasses Blues.  He’s here this week to bring us some out of town goodness.
Shapes, Shifts, and Safety belts
This is a lesson designed to acquaint beginners with the blues.  We’ll start with moving your own body, then introduce a partner and learn the basic shapes that blues dancers create in almost every dance.  If you don’t have any experience dancing you’ll be prepared for a social dance by the end of the class and if you’ve been dancing for a while you’ll come away with new ideas and some of the finer details of the fundamentals.
Putting Yourself Into Your Blues
This class uses a concrete structure to show how you can bring your personality out in your dancing.  We’ll briefly discuss the emotions present in selected songs, but the majority of the class will be spent dancing simple yet impactful ideas.  I’ll provide tools I’ve developed through both social dancing and numerous classes, and also look to the students for some of their interpretations so they can define their own dancing style

Thursday, March 11

Hello, hello!

We’re kicking off our guest instructor/DJ month with Andrew Smith (http://www.andrewsmithdance.com/), from Portland, Oregon! Andrew’s taught at Blues Union before, in addition to teaching at several national venues and local venues in Portland. This week, he and Julie Brown will be teaching the following classes:

Solo Movement (Intermediate, 7:30-8:15)
Through various improv exercises, learn how to emote in your dancing. Practice listening to the sentiment of a song and conveying that in your body through solo movement. This class covers isolations, rhythms, and musicality.

Vintage Ballroom Blues (Beginner, 8:15-9:00)
This class introduces you to Ballroomin’ — originally a slow dance done by Lindy Hoppers at the Harlem Ballroom — that has become a nationally recognized and appreciated styling for Blues dancing. The styling is ideal for dancing to vintage jazz and New Orleans blues music. The class will look at quintessential elements of Ballroomin’, such as walking, turns, posture, and aesthetic lines.

Afterwards, he and Julie will be DJing for us from 9:00 to 11:00.

As always, the lessons on their own are $5, and the dance on its own is $5. Both combined… are $10!