Sara Cherny- Board - Director
Sara began blues dancing in 2001 in St. Louis, and has been on the leading edge of the blues dance community since then. She first became involved in cat herding ... ahem, event organization in 2003 with the St. Louis Lindy Blues Exchange and Cheap Thrills All Blues Weekend, and is a Co-Director of Bluetopia, Chicago's longest running blues dance event. Sara is passionate about helping the traditional forms of blues dance persist across generations, and is proud that bluesSHOUT! has earned its place as the world's premier blues dance event.
Sara isn't accepting direct donations. She asks that you donate to Dance Center Chicago COVID-19 Relief
Mike Legenthal- Boston, MA
Mike Legenthal has been a full-time student and teacher of blues for over a decade. In her dancing, she seeks to be distinctive and creative, but always driving towards the heart of blues aesthetic and culture. She immerses herself in the music and in playful, dynamic partnership. As an instructor, she offers both detailed technical descriptions and imaginative metaphors, to reach a wide range of minds. She is clever and respectful, and hopes to leave her students engaged in critical, nuanced critical thought. Mike’s current projects include being a member and choreographer in the B-Sides, helping to run The Blues Experiment and Blues Muse, and researching blues-idiom movement through video, in the hopes of expanding the community’s knowledge base.
To find out more about Mike visit Mikethegirl.com
You can support Mike financially via paypal to firstname.lastname@example.org or paypal.me/mikelegenthal You can also send Mike Amazon gift cards :)
Julie Brown- Boston, MA
Julie’s expressive dancing and dynamic connection are known throughout the blues dancing world. With a background in theatre and solo dance, and an undying desire for continued learning, she is best known for her solo movement, choreography, aesthetics, and killer follower expression.
A hard-working competitor, Julie has won many national competitions, including Blues Muse 2017 Follower Invitational, North Star Blues 2017 Invitational Cuttin’, bluesSHOUT! 2017 All Star Jack & Jill, and more.
As a teacher, Julie is clear, thoughtful, and earnest. From advanced Struttin’ variations to beginner-friendly intros to lead-follow dynamics, Julie carefully crafts her classes and tailors her material to fit the crowd at hand. Julie has taught blues dancing in San Francisco, Seoul, Austin, Boston, London, Chicago, Zurich, and many places in between. She also teaches regularly in her home-base of Boston.
For dance videos, pictures, and more info, check out https://dancewithjulie.wordpress.com.
Ruth Evelyn- Boston, MA
Known for both her leading and her following skills, Ruth’s teaching gives detailed, inspiring, and artistic guidance for both roles. Ruth’s 20+ years as a dance instructor have taken her on teaching adventures in more than 20 countries around the world. Some students enthusiastically claim that “mean Ruth” is their favorite- a hard-core coach happy to help people push themselves to fulfill their goals. Others say they prefer some of her more light-hearted classes, with vivid metaphors and lots of fun exercises that make learning natural and easy. Organizers, co-teachers, and students agree that Ruth’s teaching techniques combined with her dance expertise make her a fantastic instructor.
In addition to teaching, Ruth is passionate about choreography. She is one of the choreographers and founding members of the B-sides, the world’s first professional blues dance group, and collaborated with many people on projects. Her University studies in music and dance impact her choreographic style, merging stage and social dance ideas and aesthetics.
Students rave about Ruth’s uncanny ability to change their lives on and off the dance floor by drastically deepening their body awareness and restructuring their longstanding movement habits. She draws on her two certifications in Franklin Method, as well as deep studies in many other mind-body modalities to help students eliminate pain and to discover new movement possibilities.
As a dancer, Ruth is a technique geek whose true love is artistry. Her dance passions range across several dances- Balboa, Blues Dances (over 30 idioms), Lindy Hop, and Argentine Tango are her current focuses. When asked what her uniting vision is across dance- leading, following, solo, she replies, “Relating. Relating to a partner, relating parts of the body, relating to music, relating to community, relating to culture, relating to history.”
You can support Ruth financially via paypal to email@example.com or TransferWise to Hoffman.firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike Sonder- Boston, MA
Mike Sonder combines his knowledge of music, functional anatomy, physics, and a plethora of dance forms to create classes that are uniquely insightful, inspiring, energetic, and challenging. Mike strives to put himself in his students’ shoes so that he can convey material 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 has taught in 19 countries and counting. He currently teaches Lindy Hop, solo jazz, Balboa, and well over 30 Blues idioms. Mike has not only placed in and won respected competitions across multiple genres but also thrown down hard in unofficial late night dance-offs.
Mike lives and breathes dance. He is constantly honing his skills and developing new ideas. If you run into him at grocery store, on public transit, in a museum, or on a mountain top, you’ll probably catch him dancing.
You can support Mike financially via PayPal: email@example.com or Venmo: @ Michael-Grosser
Laney Barhaugh- Minneapolis, MN
Known for her effervescent presence and upbeat teaching style, Laney has been dancing blues since 2009. She prioritizes empowering you, providing historical context, and keeping class creative and fun. Her primary goal is to help you find confidence and joy moving your body to blues and jazz.