What should I wear?
Comfortable, secure shoes that are easy to pivot in. Wear shoes that will stay securely on your feet, and are easy to pivot in. Some great choices are shoes with leather or suede bottoms. Avoid athletic shoes with a lot of grip or sandals that easily fall off.
Comfortable clothing. Wear whatever you like to Blues Union, there’s no dress code. We do recommend avoiding long or tangle-prone jewelry, or any other clothing that could get caught on, tangled in, or could hurt you or your partner while dancing.
Practice good hygiene. If you sweat a lot, we recommend bringing deodorant and a change of clothes. Be the person that you want to dance with!
How do I ask someone to dance?
With words! It helps to make eye contact, smile, then ask someone if they would like to dance.
Anyone can lead, follow, or both. Blues Union supports the idea that dance roles (lead and follow) are not tied to gender. We encourage all dancers to dance their preferred role or roles at any given time. When asking someone to dance, it helps to discuss your dance role preferences. Here are some great ways to do that:
“Do you mind if I follow?”
“Will you lead me in this dance?”
“Would you like to dance? I’m happy to either lead or follow.”
‘Yes’ and ‘no’ are equally-acceptable answers. Although we encourage you to dance with many people, it’s okay to say no to a dance! You are not obligated to dance with anyone if you don’t want to and you don’t need to offer an excuse. Just use common courtesy, such as, “No, thank you.” If someone declines a dance with you, also accept their answer respectfully.
What should I know before social dancing?
Be aware of your partner. Make sure you and your dance partner are both happy and comfortable with how you are connecting to each other. If your partner seems like they might be uncomfortable, try changing dance positions or check in with them verbally.
Be aware of other dancers on the dance floor. Both partners are responsible for using eyes and ears to keep themselves and their partner safe on the dance floor and to avoid accidental collisions and injuries. Accidents do happen, so if you bump into someone, apologize and check in to make sure they’re okay.
Avoid unsafe dancing and dangerous moves. To help prevent injuries to yourself or your partner, avoid overly forceful movement when leading or following (anything that feel like a yank or jerk), bending over your partner during a dip when leading, sudden weight sharing when following, or any lift where both of your partner’s feet go above your knees. If you are unsure what constitutes unsafe dancing, please ask an organizer or instructor and they’ll help you out.
What do I do if I have a concern that I don’t know how to address?
We want you to feel safe and comfortable at Blues Union. As part of that, we have a Code of Conduct for all attendees. If you have a concern, or a question about a situation that you can’t resolve on your own, please reach out to our at-the-door volunteer. We are here to make sure that you have a good time and feel at ease at our dance.
Which classes should I take?
Blues Basics class [Thursdays 8:00-9:00pm]: Great for anyone who’s new to blues dancing (first 6 months to a year) or anyone who wants to re-focus on the fundamentals. There are 6 monthly themes to take (and retake!): Ballroomin’ Blues, Style & Improvisation A, Partner Techniques, Jukin’ Blues, Style & Improvisation B, and Partner Conversation.
Bluesy Tuesy‘s class [Tuesdays 7:30-8:30pm *at 45 Mt. Auburn St*]: Great for anyone who’s new to blues dancing (first 6 months to a year) or anyone who wants to dig deeper on the fundamentals. There are 6 monthly themes to take (and retake!):Ballroomin’ Blues, Style & Improvisation A, Partner Techniques, Jukin’ Blues, Style & Improvisation B, and Partner Conversation.
Extended Topics series [Thursdays 7:00-8:00pm]: Designed for dancers who are excited to delve deeper into blues technique, expression, and more advanced vocabulary. The requirements can vary, so make sure to check the series description each month.
Can I take both classes?
Absolutely! We encourage continued learning, and it’s always great to refocus on the basics (and meet our newest dancers!). You’re welcome to retake the basics classes any time or try your hand at an extended topics class that you meet the requirements for. Each class is priced separately.
Do I need to bring a partner?
Nope! You don’t need to bring a partner. We call partner changes throughout class, so you’ll have the opportunity to dance with plenty of people during class, even if you didn’t bring someone with you.
Can I bring a partner?
Absolutely. If you want to bring a partner or friend to dance with, that’s great too! If you came with someone, you can still change partners during class if you like, or stay with the person you came with.
Is the venue wheelchair accessible?
Unfortunately not at this time. The venue is located on a second floor with stairs; the building does not have an elevator.
Are there gender-neutral bathrooms?
Yes. The venue has two, single-occupancy bathrooms, both of which are available for any gender.
Where are good spots to eat in the area?
There are lots of great restaurants close by! Here are Black-owned restaurants in Somerville, and around the Boston area: shorturl.at/dfzB0
I’ve heard you’re reducing fragranced products in the space. What does that mean?
Special thanks to Blues Dance New York for some of these FAQs!