Here at Blues Union, we strive to help people become better blues dancers. For some, that path leads to teaching, so we’ve created a training program!
On this page we’ve included our values and criteria, as well as an explanation of the training process. Enjoy!
This is what we love and what’s important to us; it’s what we’d like to see from current & future teachers at Blues Union, in their dancing and in their teaching:
- A basic understanding of and respect for blues dance history and its roots in Black/African-American culture. Part of this respect includes understanding the blues aesthetic.
- Dancing that is characterized by the blues aesthetic. This includes a grounded, relaxed posture, a pulse that reflects the baseline rhythm of the music, and a lag that echoes the “pocket” found in most blues music. For more details, see What is Blues Dancing.
- Respect for your partner & their creative ideas. Dancing where both partners give creative contributions, and those ideas are listened to and built upon between partners.
- A deep connection to the music. The music drives the choices you make as a dancer.
- An emphasis on (and ability to teach) both solo & partnered dancing.
- Continuing to work on your own dancing and a continual deepening of knowledge & understanding, through class planning, teaching, & otherwise. For yourself (and to instill in students), an excitement about learning and exploration!
We have four tiers of instructors:
- white belt – in training
- rainbow belt – trained to teach beginner classes
- brown belt – trained to teach intermediate+ classes
- black belt – can train other teachers
Teacher Training process:
If you haven’t taught blues dance before (or otherwise want to start from step 1), you’ll start with a self-assessment & discussion with Julie Brown, then 3 months of training with black belt instructors (doesn’t have to be consecutive). Follow up with Julie to learn more.
Experienced teacher intake process:
If you’re moving to Boston and already have experience teaching blues, we have a separate process for evaluating your existing blues dance teaching skills. The intake process involves a trial period where we observe your teaching. It may involve additional training & evaluation, depending on your existing skills. Contact Julie Brown or Jenn Martinez for details.