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!

Guiding Light:

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.