About bluesSHOUT! Classes

Levels & Auditions

As part of the registration process, you will need to indicate your desired class level. Levels will be assigned by audition; however, to cut down on the time for auditions, we’d make some assignments beforehand. Our instructors will review your requested level before the event.  You can change your selected level in the registration system until March 9th (after that date you will need to email registration@bluesshout.com to make changes). If a majority of the instructors are familiar with your dancing and feel that you fit into the level you have selected, you will not need to audition. If the majority of the instructors are not familiar with your dancing, or have some questions about the level you requested, you will have the opportunity to audition for that level. All registrants will be notified of level placement or audition status before the workshops, so you will know whether attendance at auditions is necessary or not.

Class Levels

Note You are welcome to attend any class at your assigned level or below, as well as classes labeled “Everyone”.
Level 1 Bootcamp is a chance to jump start your learning! Get some personalized attention in a fast track to getting down your basic blues dance skills. You should come to Level 1 Bootcamp if you are new to Blues dancing. Even if you are not new to dancing (in general or some other style), if you are new to Blues, this level is for you. You are still learning the Blues aesthetic and learning the basic steps of various blues dances. Zero to one year Blues dance experience.
You have been studying Blues dancing (workshops, drop-in lessons, private lessons, camps) for a minimum of a year. You understand what creates the Blues aesthetic but are still developing your ability to maintain a relaxed, athletic posture, grounded pulse, and lag between yourself and your partner. You dance in place as well as traveling. You are usually able to identify Blues music when you hear it. You are working on growing your solo Blues dancing vocabulary.
You have been studying Blues dancing for at least two to three years and are able to demonstrate and maintain all Level 1 and Level 2 skills in your Blues dancing. You are capable of body articulation without disrupting the Blues aesthetic. You understand the difference between blues dancing to jazz styles and Delta or Jookin' styles technically and musically, and are comfortable dancing Blues as slow as 80 BPM and as fast as 145 BPM. You are starting to learn regional idiom dances. Your solo Blues dancing vocabulary is large enough that you can dance an entire song comfortably.
You have been studying Blues dancing for a minimum of three years and are able to demonstrate and maintain all Level 1, 2, and 3 skills in your Blues dancing. You are capable of creating and maintaining polyrhythms while you dance, and express yourself artistically to various forms of Blues music without disrupting your partner in their artistic expression or losing the Blues aesthetic. You can identify music that is unmistakably Blues and are gaining confidence in identifying regional idiom dances such as Piedmont Triple, Struttin', and Savoy Walk. You're good at learning routines and you enjoy tearing apart the fundamentals. You are comfortable dancing Blues as slow as 60 BPM and as fast as 160 BPM. You are equally comfortable dancing partnered, solo, or transitioning between the two.
You have been studying Blues dancing for at least four to five years and are able to demonstrate and maintain all Level 1-4 skills in your Blues dancing. You can critically assess your own movement quality, and have developed a unique personal style. You likely compete, perform, and/or teach Blues dance on a local, regional, or national level. You can point out what elements in a non-Blues song still support the Blues aesthetic or which elements make a song unsuitable for Blues dancing. You are equally comfortable dancing to music of any Blues genre, at any speed, in a solo or partnered fashion. You are aware and have had practice in a number of blues idiom dances such as Piedmont Triple, Struttin', Savoy Walk, and Texas Shuffle.
These classes are designed to have something of value for everyone from the rank beginner to the seasoned expert. The content is layered so that beginners can pick up the most important elements, while advanced dancers can practice the more nuanced elements of the dance. All seminar or lecture classes will be All Levels.

About the Auditions

Auditions will occur on Saturday morning. You will be auditioning for placement in the level you requested during registration, and you will be evaluated by ~two instructors. You’ll be dancing with the instructors, and they will be evaluating you based on the descriptions of the class levels above. Please be familiar with the descriptions and be sure to aesthetic, musicality, and technique you need to demonstrate that you possess the skills described for that level. If you miss auditions, the highest level you can be placed in is level 2, regardless of what level you requested.


Topic Descriptions

(I) Idiom

These classes go into great detail about how to do specific blues dances correctly. There will be a lot of explaining, but also time to practice. Classes may move slowly so that you can be sure to get things right.

(A) Aesthetic

These classes will be diverse, but will all focus on creating movement in direct response to the music. 

(C) Culture

These classes will discuss the social, political, historical, and cultural aspects of The Blues.

(T) Artistry

These classes will focus on helping you to express your own personality, story, perspective, or reaction to the music through movement.

(L) Lecture and Seminar Classes

These classes are meant to bring variety and depth to your dance education. We highly encourage you to branch out from your usual partnered class experience and learn something out of the box!