Instructors


Jenn Martinez

Jenn is a big ball of energy and passion. She has been learning partnered dances since 1998, starting with ballroom and East Coast Swing. When she saw Lindy Hop for the first time in 2001, she was immediately hooked. In 2004, she was introduced to Blues. A new and even stronger infatuation developed, and she has been studying and exploring its possibilities ever since.

In 2009 Jenn founded Blues Union with the help of several dedicated dancers and instructors. She played a vital role in bringing back Sweet Molasses Blues, Boston’s original blues dance weekend, in 2013. Jenn also choreographs and performs; her work has been featured at BluesSHOUT, Enter the Blues, and Sweet Molasses Blues. She is known for her unique style, energy, and creativity.

Jenn has been teaching since 2006. She likes to have her classes feel fun and experimental in nature, and she uses the techniques and aesthetic of Blues dance as means of self-expression and finding personal style.


Julie Brown

Julie has been teaching, DJing, and competing in blues since 2006. With a background in many forms of solo dance, she is known for her musicality, great body  movement, and playful dancing style.

Julie got her start teaching in Pittsburgh, PA, in 2006, where she and her dance partner, Jeff, helped found a monthly blues dance. Julie and Jeff also helped found the currently successful Steel City Blues Festival, which happens every March in Pittsburgh, and brings national blues instructors, classes, and live blues music to the Northeast.

In her classes, Julie emphasizes individual body movement, musicality, and open communication in connection. Julie choreographs, performs, DJs, and teaches locally and nationally with a variety of partners, and has placed in many national competitions including 1st place in BluesSHOUT 2009 Juke Joint, 2nd place in Enter the Blues 2009 Solo and 2nd place Jack’n’Jill, and 2nd place in BluesSHOUT 2008 Open Jack’n’Jill.


Joshua Boroff

Joshua grew up loving music and moving to it. He pursued acting through High School, majoring in Theater Performance in College. He took this desire for movement and put it into fencing, which he competed in, taught, and coached for ten years. Learning Lindy hop in ‘98 at Beantown and starting his infatuation for Blues dancing in early ‘03. Regardless of what he is dancing or teaching, Joshua brings his excitement and enjoyment, as well as a critical eye for movement, connection and performance.

Joshua and Devona Cartier began dancing together in 2003. They dance in a way that incorporates vintage dances and modern variations, blended with their own personal style. When they dance, they want to express the rhythms, styles, feels, and tones of the music. They teach not just because they can or because they are good dancers, but because they feel they can offer something unique. They want to share what they love about music and dancing.

In their classes they place high importance on getting the message across clearly to the people at hand, adapting as needed. They believe difficult concepts should not be reserved for the advanced dancer or private lessons.  As a result, they strive to present those concepts as an integral part of the dance in their group classes at all levels. Their classes include demonstration, feedback, lots of music, and most importantly, practice (see it, do it, do it again, try this, do it, do it, do it).


Devona Cartier

Devona first began swing dancing, at the age of eight, learning Carolina Shag from her dad in his North Myrtle Beach kitchen. While in college in North Carolina, pursuing a BFA in dance performance and choreography, she took her first Lindy Hop class in 1998, and her first Blues class in 2000. She moved to NYC in 2001 and began to travel regularly for dance as a participant, a DJ, and a teacher. In her daily life she is a Body Therapist and Pilates teacher.

Devona and Joshua Boroff began dancing together in 2003. They dance in a way that incorporates vintage dances and modern variations, blended with their own personal style. When they dance, they want to express the rhythms, styles, feels, and tones of the music. They teach not just because they can or because they are good dancers, but because they feel they can offer something unique. They want to share what they love about music and dancing.

In their classes they place high importance on getting the message across clearly to the people at hand, adapting as needed. They believe difficult concepts should not be reserved for the advanced dancer or private lessons.  As a result, they strive to present those concepts as an integral part of the dance in their group classes at all levels. Their classes include demonstration, feedback, lots of music, and most importantly, practice (see it, do it, do it again, try this, do it, do it, do it).

Devona and Joshua travel around the country teaching dance, DJing, choreographing, competing, and judging competitions.


Amanda Mayer

Amanda has been dancing since age five. Experienced in dance instruction, choreography, performance, and show production, she has studied blues dance, lindy hop, jazz, ballet, tap, lyrical dance, sacred dance, and hip hop. She has also had instruction in other dance forms such as Argentine tango, flamenco, modern dance, popping/breaking, and ballroom dance.

Amanda has been dancing, choreographing, and competing in blues dance since 2000, and teaching blues dance nationally since 2003. She has taught at most national events and workshops, including BluesSHOUT, Down Home Blues, Austin Blues Party, Mile High Blues, Sweet Molasses Blues, Emerald City Blues Festival, BFX, Blues Blaze, and many others. Her style of blues dance combines strong connection, partnered improvisation, and elements from many of the different dance styles she has studied. This has given her a national reputation as an incredibly versatile and inspiring blues dancer and teacher.

She currently teaches, performs, and competes with Ogden Sawyer, Shawn Hershey, and Chris Mayer. Amanda also runs the New School Swing studio in Charlestown, MA (www.newschoolswing.com) with Shawn Hershey.

 


Chris Mayer

Chris is known in the blues dance community for his musicality, creativity, and fun-loving spirit. A self-proclaimed lindy hop addict until he found blues in 2006, Chris was drawn into dancing by its unique freedom of expression. Since then he has created a style of his own, with influences from tango, ballroom, and everything in between. Chris loves the challenge and camaraderie of national blues competitions – give him any song and any partner, and he’s going to have fun. He is adored by students everywhere from Hawaii to Heidelberg, and his teaching and dancing can be summed up best by this
quote: “Technique? Check. Fun moves? Check. Playful attitude? Check!”

 

 

 

 


Mike Legenthal

Mike is a passionate aficionado of jazz and blues dances, known all over the world for her friendliness, teaching skills, beautiful following, and expressive dancing. She brings both vibrant energy and technical precision to the classroom, and strives to make every social dance the best experience possible. Mike’s teaching history is extensive; having taught at a range of events from residencies to international workshops to private trainings, she brings preparation and flexibility to every class. A typical class could involve students morphing into robot penguins or seaweed, standing on one foot with their eyes closed, or analyzing chord changes- all in the pursuit of better dancing. Regardless of the material, her classes always include a mix of abstract and concrete topics, plenty of levity, and challenging homework to help students improve long after class has ended.”


Dan Legenthal

Dan is a dynamo of energy, attempting to do all the things, all the time. He strives to excel at all forms of solo and partnered vernacular Jazz dance, from Lindy Hop to Blues, even dabbling in West Coast Swing. Dan loves being the center of attention, whether he’s performing, competing, or just being a goon. His recent wins include 2nd Place in the Expert Jack and Jill at Blues Shout 2012, 1st Place at the Canadian Swing Championships 2012 Strictly Blues, 1st Place in the Strictly Blues at Hawkeye Swing Festival. In addition, Dan has taught at events like Blues Muse 2012 and Steel City Blues Festival 2012. As much as he loves the stage, Dan’s foremost goal is to be the best social dancer and teacher he can be. As a teacher he focuses on strengthening connection and aesthetic, helping dancers feel as good to dance with as they look.

 

 

 


 

Forrest Rogers-Marcovitz

Forrest is known for his SnakeHips and other unique individual dance stylings. He studied ballet for eleven years, starting at age four, and started to dance blues and swing in college. Along the way he has also dabbled in jazz, tap, tango, hip hop, West African dance, and capoeira. Based in Boston, Forrest spends his time working on robots and serving as head organizer for the Steel City Blues Festival in Pittsburgh. Outside of Boston, Forrest has traipsed across 6 continents, taught in 5 countries, won competitions at blues events around the world, including in Berlin, London, and Tel Aviv, and is the two time reigning BluesSHOUT All-Star Jack n’ Jill champion. A lively instructor, Forrest focuses on each student developing their own unique dance aesthetic.

 

 

 

 


Ruth Evelyn

Ruth skipped into her first dance class more than 25 years ago, and has since been dancing as many styles as she can get her feet on. Ruth’s 15+ years as a dance instructor have taken her on teaching adventures across the US, Canada, Europe and Southeast Asia. She has continually developed both her teaching and her dancing skills. Ruth is known for her ability to craft explanations that fit students’ learning styles. She brings a vibrant mixture of deep technical knowledge, passion for movement, and silly fun that students can’t help but connect with.

In addition to training in blues, lindy, Argentine tango, modern, ballet and many other dance forms, Ruth is certified in Franklin Method, an increasingly popular body somatics method. She has a long-standing love affair with close-embrace connection, has sneakily swung out in the Louvre, and is curating a fine collection of fishtail variations.

Ruth and Mike Grosser are full-time international dance instructors, focusing on blues and jazz vernacular dances. They both love carrot juice, smoky Scotch whisky, and philosophical discussions but differ on the use of the oxford comma. They have been known to fishtail in grocery stores and swing out in the aisles of moving trains. Students rave about their dynamic energy, precise explanations, entertainment value, and ability to make very detailed dance technique fun to learn. Check out ruthandmike.com and follow them on Facebook- Facebook.com/ruthandmike.


Mike Grosser

Mike reluctantly started social dancing in college when a couple of his friends persuaded him to do some ballroom east coast swing in their dorm social lounge. In the many years since then, dance has steadily taken over Mike’s life. He has now danced until sunrise more times than he remembers, been a dance nomad with no home base for years, and taught around the US, Canada, and Europe. As an instructor, Mike strives to put himself in his students’ shoes so that he can explain techniques as intuitively and thoroughly as possible. He loves seeing students’ eyes light up when they understand a concept or feel a movement work naturally in their body for the first time.

Mike is constantly working on his movement. If you run into Mike at grocery store, on public transit, in a museum, or on a mountain top, you’ll probably catch him dancing.

Mike and Ruth Evelyn are full-time international dance instructors, focusing on blues and jazz vernacular dances. They both love carrot juice, smoky Scotch whisky, and philosophical discussions but differ on the use of the oxford comma. They have been known to fishtail in grocery stores and swing out in the aisles of moving trains. Students rave about their dynamic energy, precise explanations, entertainment value, and ability to make very detailed dance technique fun to learn. Check out ruthandmike.com and follow them on Facebook- Facebook.com/ruthandmike.


Ogden Sawyer

Ogden’s experience with movement began studying martial arts at age nine. In 1997, he walked into a swing dance and was hooked. Over the last 12 years, he has studied various swing dances, ballroom dancing, African dance, Argentine tango, lindy hop, and blues dancing, and has been teaching lindy hop, connection, and musicality classes in the Boston area for the past 7 years.

Ogden and his main partner, Amanda Gruhl, have been dancing, choreographing, and competing in blues dance since 2000, and teaching blues dance since 2002. Their style of modern blues combines historic blues dance with modern concepts of strong connection, partnered improvisation, and elements from many of the different dance styles they have studied. This unique blend has given them a national reputation for inspiring and emotional partnered blues dancing.

Their teaching style communicates their passion for blues dancing, and encourages dancers of all levels to take chances and push their personal boundaries.  Since 2003, they have been teaching at national events and workshops, including Blues Shout, Down Home Blues, Cheap Thrills, Red White and Blues, and Emerald City Blues Festival, and encouraging and supporting the recent growth and popularity of blues dance.