Class Descriptions

L.A. Blues 2018 is excited to offer nine hours of classes from Grace and Nick. These all level classes will focus on styling and technique training as well as dive into a few Blues "Idiom" Dances. Each will be crafted to challenge EVERY dancer.

  • Friday, February 23, 2018
  • Saturday, February 24, 2018
  • Sunday, February 25, 2018
8:00PM-9:00PM Beginner Class
Whether it's your first time blues dancing or your looking to practice the blues dancing basics (pulse, grounding, connection, etc), this class is a perfect way to kick start the weekend. 
1:00PM-2:00PM Fundamentals of the Blues Aesthetic
As a highly improvisational style that spans many different idiom dances, blues can be difficult to define. However, there are a number of common elements that tie these idioms together. In this class, we’ll take a look at blues fundamentals, including *four* different pulses, as we explore what makes them unique and how to embody the blues aesthetic in our dancing.
2:15PM-3:15PM The Savoy Walk
Developed in and named for the most famous ballroom in New York City, the Savoy Walk was danced to slower blues songs played by jazz bands as breaks from their faster numbers. The Savoy Walk is a blues idiom dance that alternates between a simple traveling two-step basic and showier turns and tricks. In this class we’ll develop a strong foundation with a focus on connection, traveling, rhythm, and maybe even a turn or two, in preparation for flashier movements on day two.
3:45PM-4:45PM Struttin’ Technique and Aesthetic
Struttin’ is a relaxed one-step blues dance originating in Memphis clubs. Especially useful in dancing to live music at dive blues bars, this dance can be done in very little space, but still lends itself to creativity in footwork and shaping. In this class we’ll be honing in on technique-driven details such as lean-to close embrace connection, down-and-out pulse, and transitions, followed by fancy footwork and patterns for both leads and follows.
5:00PM-6:00PM Modulating Follow Voice
Grace has a reputation as an assertive and creative follow, while Nick is known as an attentive and facilitative lead. These are skills we’re highly invested in passing on to the scene at large. In this class the leads will learn how to listen and actively create opportunities, while the follows will explore how to speak up and seize the moment.
1:00PM-2:00PM Stress Testing Your Connection
Put your connection to the test! With a focus on some unusual connection points and rarely taught linear momentum based movements, we’ll help you zero in on where your connection may need some additional love.
2:15PM-3:15PM Turns for Struttin & the Savoy Walk
Struttin’ and the Savoy Walk, while danced with very different techniques and to different music, have a surprising amount in common when it comes to turns. In this class we’ll explore several momentum-based turns, the common techniques and physics behind them, and how they change when adapted to each idiom dance. Making these turns work requires good technique and teamwork from both partners and we’ll get you there!
3:45PM-4:45PM Live Music Rhythms
Dancing to live music is an incredibly rewarding experience, but it can also be challenging. In this class we’ll be exploring two rhythms you're likely to find while out at your favorite blues bar: cha cha and waltz. As a bonus, we'll be providing tunes by some of our favorite local Texas bands. With these ideas, as well as Slow Drag and a little Struttin', you'll be able to dance to entire live sets without a break!
5:00PM-6:00PM Stylin’ at the Savoy
Savoy Ballroom dancers developed impressive moves in their spare time before bringing them to the dance floor to show off. In this class we’ll give you a leg up by breaking down a few of our favorite weight sharing lunges, slides, and dips - perfect for practicing at home, adapting to other blues dances, and impressing your friends.