Labels (CDL):
(B)lues, Technique, and Aesthetic (M)usicality (P)erformance and Competition (L)ecture/Seminar
All Levels: (Ev)eryone Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5
Friday Saturday Sunday / Class Time 1 Class Time 2 Class Time 3 Class Time 4
-> Titles Only Go to Class Schedule View

Class descriptions are under construction, content may change.

How to Judge
L Ev 2 Sa
Damon Stone

Whether you're watching a dance competition with a clipboard or watching your friends in a practice group, visual assessment is an important and difficult skill to cultivate. This class will talk about the importance of aesthetic, determining your values as well as evaluating based on someone else's, and some of the techniques for processing visual information and managing your thoughts in real time.

Ask a Black Person
L Ev 1 Su
Damon Stone Jen Delk

This class is an open dialogue. Blues dance is Black dance. But what does that actually mean? Take some time to ask about the experiences of our Black colleagues and fellow dancers in our dance community, the dance community at large, and in the world. (Note that Jen and Damon are not speaking for all black people but sharing their perspectives personally and talking about wider black culture from a general perspective.)

Modern Music, Classic Blues: Confronting Racial Discrimination and Violence through Music
L Ev 3 Sa
Chelsea June Adams Jen Delk

Many musicologists praise blues music for its ability to confront difficult topics—about race, gender, and politics, to name a few—despite existing taboos. This class will explore how musicians confront racial violence through two important examples: Billie Holiday and her iconic song, "Strange Fruit," and Beyonce and her groundbreaking Lemonade album. And maybe more importantly, we'll discuss our interactions with the works, what they're asking of us as listeners, and the actions we can take as dancers to support and encourage awareness and change.

Dance Your Books
B L Ev 3 Su
Tim ONeill

We read a passage together, we dance it. Rinse. Repeat. Ballin the Jack, Drum salute, Earth embrace, rockin, slow drag, etc.

Deep Aesthetics
P Ev 1 Sa
Damon Stone Julie Brown

This class explores several aspects unique to African and African American performance, surrounding attitude, rhythm, and how dancers relate to each other. This class is ideal for competitors, performers, judges, or anyone interested in those roles.

Blues Plate Special: Blues Across Triples
B M L2 3 Sa
Daniel Repsch Jenny Sowden

Solo movement? Great! Triplet rhythms? Also great! We’ll find ways we can weave triplets across a variety of solo movements. Add a new shape to your triples, with a triple rhythm to your moves

Blues Plate Special: Boogie Blues
B M L3 3 Sa
Mike Grosser Ruth Evelyn

Boogie Blues has a distinct sound that makes us want to move in specific ways. We'll teach you some of our favorite boogie blues moves.

Blues Plate Special: Piedmont Blues
L4 4 Sa
Damon Stone Heidi Fite

Many contemporary blues dancers are used to dancing in half or single time to the music, but sub-dividing the beat into triplets with fancy footwork is often thought to be the realm of swing dancing. In this class we'll bust that myth, along with the myths of Blues music is all slow and sad. Stomps, stamps, slips, slides, and fans characterize the triple-step style of the Piedmont dances, essential tools of expression in the lexicon of the modern Blues dancer.

How to Practice
B Ev 1 Sa
Mike Grosser Ruth Evelyn

When you head home from a weekend workshop, what do you do with all of the new information you have? How do you continue to work on your dancing, both alone and with others? We’ll give you concrete ways to practice your dancing.

Jookin: Do It, Feel It, Love It
B L2 2 Sa
Julie Brown Tim ONeill

Spend an hour learning (or learning more) jookin’ or jukin’ blues, a sub-style born and danced in juke joints, honky-tonks, and house parties. Learn dances like the funky butt and fishtail, work those hips, and learn how to get down even in a very small space. Jookin is known for its energetic, rhythmic, and purposefully-unpolished look and feel. You will love it for that deep, growling resonance in your gut when the music makes you move.

Expression and Aesthetic
B P L3 L4 2 Sa
Mike Grosser Ruth Evelyn

Personal style and individual voice are valued highly within blues and other dances created by the African American community. Blues dances also have specific aesthetics. How can we stay true to the aesthetic values of blues and African American dance while also fully expressing ourselves? We will delve into this topic with concrete examples as well as conceptual exercises.

Blues Plate Special: Triples and More
B M L5 2 Sa
Dan Legenthal Mike Legenthal

Rhythm is a fundamental building block for blues and jazz music, and studying rhythms is essential for really understanding the dances that were born from that music. This class is all about getting a deeper understanding of the triple rhythm as a concept and how this rhythm is idiomatic to the genre, playing off of other rhythms. We'll play some rhythm games and integrate those ideas into our partner dancing.

Shaping The Note
M L4 L5 3 Sa
Dan Legenthal Mike Legenthal

We see you dance fast, and we see you dance slow... but we want to see you go from fast to slow in the span of a moment. We want individual steps to have as much energetic arc as entire phrases. Come put your dancing under a microscope, and see if it still looks dynamic.

Polyphonic Dancing
M L2 L3 4 Sa
Dan Legenthal Mike Legenthal

Consider two terrible extremes: a band where everyone plays in unison the whole time, and a band where everyone solos all the time. We as social dancers and perfomers must find the same balance that bands find, and consider the different modes of relationship that we can take with our partner.

Self Assessment
B L5 4 Sa
Julie Brown Tim ONeill

This isn’t really a class. We really aren’t going to teach anything. But you will learn a whole lot. Through a series of tests we will explore your strengths and weaknesses together in a rapid-fire, greuling, no-nonsense setting. Show up ready.

Developing a Teaching Partnership
L Ev 2 Su
Daniel Repsch Jenny Sowden

How to set up the foundation and maintain a healthy work environment, and balanced teaching partnership, to grow with a person over a long period of time. We will share what works for us and also how we get out of our ‘hiccups.’ Let’s talk about it.

Blues Aesthetic: Srsly dude, what is it?
B Ev 2 Su
Mike Legenthal

An aesthetic is "a set of principles underlying and guiding the work of a particular artist or artistic movement." There is a bluegrass aesthetic, a cubist aesthetic, and- as you know- a blues aesthetic. This class is all about where it comes from, what it is, and what that means in terms of your dancing.

Final Latin Rhythms
M L2 L3 3 Su
Daniel Repsch Jenny Sowden

Let’s find how we can accentuate different latin rhythms present within Blues music! This class will include ideas for basics, shapes changes, rhythm accenting, individual choice, and led-followed movements. Be ready to play with Latin Blues rhythms!

Authenticity in Performance
P Ev 4 Su
Julie Brown Ruth Evelyn

How do you build and perform a character that is realistic and authentic? How do you act without seeming like you're "acting"? How can your character integrate with your dance, instead of taking away from it? This class will explore those questions, in a blues dance performance context.

Theater (not available)
1 2 3 4 5 Sa

The theater is closed.

Blues and Jazz Dance Book Club: Meet the Admin
L Ev Su
Chelsea June Adams

Interested in learning more about the history of blues and jazz music and dances, but don't know where to find quality information? Have the information, but want a community to discuss it with? Look no further than this club! Come learn more about what we do in this reading group and our goals as a book club, ask questions you may have, discover opportunities to share information, and pose ideas for future books and media.