Julie Brown- Boston
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
Ruth Evelyn skipped into her first dance class more than 25 years ago, and has since been dancing as many styles as she can get her feet on.
Ruth’s 15+ years as a dance instructor have taken her on teaching adventures across the US, Canada, Europe and Southeast Asia. She has continually developed both her teaching and her dancing skills. Ruth is known for her ability to craft explanations that fit students’ learning styles. She brings a vibrant mixture of deep technical knowledge, passion for movement, and silly fun that students can’t help but connect with.
In addition to training in blues, lindy, Argentine tango, modern, ballet and many other dance forms, Ruth is certified in Franklin Method, an increasingly popular body somatics method. She has a long-standing love affair with close-embrace connection, has sneakily swung out in the Louvre, and is curating a fine collection of fishtail variations.
Heidi Fite- San Francisco
Heidi began dancing and teaching Blues dances in St. Louis in 1999. She has been dancing, teaching and performing ever since. An early promoter of Blues dancing, she founded the first national Blues dance workshop (Cheap Thrills), which has since transformed into the nation's largest Blues dance workshop and competition weekend (bluesSHOUT!).
Now busy with family, Heidi no longer runs bluesSHOUT!, but she continues to travel the world teaching Blues dance as a living tradition, with a rich history and an exciting future. From local classes to international workshops to historical research and documentation of the dance, she is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Blues dancing.
Her classes are inspiring and challenging, but Heidi's focus on the underlying principles and fundamentals of the dance allows her to break down the most difficult concepts and moves, making them easy to understand and incorporate. Heidi is able to communicate and instill in her students a love of dance and a dedication to the learning process. Most importantly, her classes will put some serious 'boom boom boom' and 'aw haw haw haw' in your dancing.
Mike Grosser- Boston
Mike Grosser is one of the most recognized names in the Blues dance community. Mike is a top level instructor, dancer, choreographer, performer, and mentor. He has not only won respected blues competitions but also thrown down hard in unofficial late night dance-offs. Mike is a founding member and choreographer of the B Sides, which is the first and currently only ongoing professional blues performance group. Students across continents rave about Mike’s insights, personality, and breadth and depth of knowledge. In addition to teaching movement and dance in person, Mike has published a popular online dance course.*
As an instructor, Mike strives to put himself in his students’ shoes so that he can relate 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 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.
Dan Legenthal- Boston
Dan Legenthal lives in Boston, MA, working on as many vernacular jazz and blues dances as he can. His passion extends to both the social floor and competition. When not competing, he teaches at events like Korea Blues Camp (South Korea), Hot Blues In Toulouse (France), and The Blues Experiment (USA).
Drawing from his degree in Classical Guitar, Dan has unique insight into how to practice and develop one’s skills, and uses that knowledge to create a dynamic and engaging learning environment. Since dance is experiential, Dan likes to prioritize doing, and treats learning like a sequence of experiments where you can learn as much from failures as from success. This philosophy is anchored on clear, precise language, and a belief that every student is capable of developing their own skill by patient, intentional practice.
photo credit Devon Rowland Photography
Mike Legenthal- Boston
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.
Damon Stone- Oakland
Damon has been dancing his entire life, starting with vernacular Jazz/Blues first taught to him at the tender age of six by his grandmother. After nearly a decade of learning at the heels of his elders, he went on and eventually studied a score of different dance forms until coming full circle in 1995 to focus primarily on the history and styles of Swing and Blues as his family danced them with a special focus on the Southern styles from the Mississippi Delta region. He has studied the development of vernacular Jazz/Blues dance across the United States learning from a number of the original dancers. He is largely regarded as one of the foremost authorities on Blues idiom dance, a long time board member of the Northern California Lindy Society, member of the California Historical Jazz Dance Foundation, and has been interviewed as a dance historian in documentary and for radio. Damon has been a featured instructor at camps, festivals, and workshops across five continents.
Kelsy Stone- Oakland
Chelsea June Adams- Henderson, NV
Currently a PhD candidate in English at UNLV, Chelsea Adams focuses her studies on African American literature, blues and jazz music, and black vernacular dance. She regularly writes about minority culture representation in literature, with a special focus of representation of black musicians, dancers, and the art forms they produce. She also runs the Blues and Jazz Dance Book Club, an international online book club project, to offer easy and open access to the public about the history of blues, jazz, and black vernacular dance. You can learn more about Chelsea and her work at cjuneadams.com.
Christi Jay Wells- Tempe, AZ
Christi Jay has been dancing and teaching for fifteen years.They turned this passion into a full time career in academia as a historian of jazz music and popular dance. They hold a PhD in musicology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and his doctoral dissertation on Savoy Ballroom house bandleader Chick Webb has received multiple awards. They conduct research on a range of jazz music and jazz dance history topics and regularly presents his work at national and international academic conferences. As a member of the musicology faculty at Arizona State University, Christi Jay teaches a range of courses on jazz and popular music, dance and embodiment, and how issues of race impact practices of sound and movement. They love working with other dancers and has taught numerous workshops on blues music's technical intricacies, history, politics, and culture at national events including Tobacco Road Blues, Nocturne Blues, Sweet Molasses Blues, Emerald City Blues, and BluesShout!