I've just learned how to blues dance

#21
I can point to some good videos on youtube wear you can see the posture and how it works with movement, if the ascii doesn't help.
hey d nice, I was just thinking about that...definitely post some video links. You've been telling me that my lesson was not a true exposure to blues dance, but I have nothing to compare it to. I'd love to see some good examples, so I can see the differences and learn more. Thanks! :)
 
#22
I said Fusion is not a good example of Blues dancing, and questioned how much of what was identified as Blues was authentic blues, which is to say directly related to the numerous historical dances, versus something which has no connection to it.

There is a small subset of lindy-hoppers that term any slow dancing as Blues, regardless of the movement or music. They tend to be the ones who are evangelizing fusion which is why the amount of blues at ay given lesson/event focusing on fusion is questionable.

Check out http://www.youtube.com/motorthings pretty much all the videos there are good examples of either Blues, dances that gave rise to blues dances, or use blues movement within the context of other dances.

You can also check out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNVpNbZrcX8 which goes through several styles of blues dance. It is humbly speaking, one of the best examples of authentic blues you'll find online. There are spots in there, where things aren't perfect, things that need to be worked on but it is also 3 years old, I like to think we've improved since then. I know there is a piece floating around of Brenda CK and an LA dancer named Shaheed which is also an excellent example of blues, but a very different dance than what you'll see in the video of Heidi and myself.

Which in and of itself is something important to note... Blues is a genre of dance, analogous to Swing dancing, a large number of dances that have a shared history a shared body of movement, and an aesthetic that obviously ties them together, yet allows for enough variety that separating them into individual dances is simple.

Any teach that speaks of blues as a singular dance should be somewhat suspect, and further questioning should follow.
 
#24
I found the clip of Shaheed Qaasim and Brenda CK, it is a performance piece from BluesSHOUT. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSH0wJmycIs

That's an awesome performance, I really enjoyed it.
And I also really enjoyed the one with you and Heidi. Actually I had come across it before, but I didn't know it was you.

Basically I want to get across that by praising one particular instructor, I am in no way discounting what anyone else is doing. My post was simply an account of one experience, which as I earlier said, was primarily an exploration of how to incorporate certain blues-style elements into tango. I would love to learn straight-up blues dance as well. It's still in the formative stages here on the East Coast, so the learning options are limited for me right now.
 

Spitfire

Well-Known Member
#27
The monthly WCS dance held downtown here is now a dual WCS/Blues and it's done a lot to increase attendance (now have to park further away, lol!).
 
#28
There have been various attempts in my area to start blues dancing. So far they have all flopped. The main reason is that the dance is just too sexy and intimate for social dancing. Giving group lessons becomes a problem because once the ladies know what it is they don't show up. It's icky to imagine guys practicing this stuff together.

Blues dancing borrows from WCS and ARTango, both of which have strong followings in my area. These people in these separate groups aren't particularly interested in practicing a dance that isn't done anywhere and they don't want to mingle with each other.

Another basic problem is that very few people listen to slow blues anymore, so the venues to do this dance are non-existent.
 

j_alexandra

Well-Known Member
#29
There have been various attempts in my area to start blues dancing. So far they have all flopped. The main reason is that the dance is just too sexy and intimate for social dancing. Giving group lessons becomes a problem because once the ladies know what it is they don't show up. It's icky to imagine guys practicing this stuff together.

Blues dancing borrows from WCS and ARTango, both of which have strong followings in my area. These people in these separate groups aren't particularly interested in practicing a dance that isn't done anywhere and they don't want to mingle with each other.

Another basic problem is that very few people listen to slow blues anymore, so the venues to do this dance are non-existent.
Try starting with house parties, maybe? Where do you live?
 

Siggav

Active Member
#30
Blues is pretty much my favourite dance and I do have fairly strong feelings on it, but what the hell? Icky watching guys practicing blues together, really, really?

In my scene most of us are working on both lead and follow, so there are male follows and female leaders. We've had classes taught by two women, we've had classes taught by just the one male teacher who swapped into rotation as a follow when it was relevant because of numbers.

Blues can be sexy but it doesn't have to be. It can be intimate but you can also dance whole dances all out in open having fun if you don't want to do close embrace.

Yes it can be weird in particular dancing blues with people who are very new at it and think that it's all sleazy and grindy but lessons will usually quickly sort that out. My personal choice when dealing with people like that is to suggest that I lead and they follow because then I can control how close we dance and can try to stay within a blues aesthetic when it comes to the pulse and general feel of the dance. If the leads don't want to swap over I will usually refuse the dance or be in severe defensive dancing for the duration.

But yeah I just have to iterate again, blues is not too sexy and intimate for social dancing and there's nothing wrong with same gender dancing when it comes to blues. In fact I see by far the most of people swapping roles and trying out the other role at blues vs other dances I've done (lindy hop and balboa mostly) and there will be women social dancing with women and men social dancing with men at least a bit at pretty much every social I've been to and it has nothing to do with the sexual orientation of the dancers.
 

j_alexandra

Well-Known Member
#31
^
This.

Some of the best blues leads I've had are women. And one of the highlights of last Friday's evening was watching two guys, both of whom were wonderful dancers -- and then dancing with the "follow-guy" in the next dance -- he's a great lead, too.

Yes, lots of new people, and people unfamiliar with blues, think it's all about the grinding. Not so much. It's all about lead and follow. <swoon>
 

j_alexandra

Well-Known Member
#32
Pity; the link to the motorthings youtube no longer has videos. Alas. I have seen the one with d nice before; nice to have a person to put with the screen name. if you're still around, d, can we dance? that was exactly the kind of blues I love.
 
#33
There have been various attempts in my area to start blues dancing. So far they have all flopped. The main reason is that the dance is just too sexy and intimate for social dancing. Giving group lessons becomes a problem because once the ladies know what it is they don't show up. It's icky to imagine guys practicing this stuff together.

Blues dancing borrows from WCS and ARTango, both of which have strong followings in my area. These people in these separate groups aren't particularly interested in practicing a dance that isn't done anywhere and they don't want to mingle with each other.

Another basic problem is that very few people listen to slow blues anymore, so the venues to do this dance are non-existent.
Actually...blues dancing, as it is known today, came out of the Lindy Hop community. You would have a lot more luck trying to appeal to the lindy scene (assuming there is one in your area), as those two dances compliment each other and there are many events/late night social dances where they have a "Lindy" room and a "Blues" room at the same event.
 

Hedwaite

Well-Known Member
#35
We had a visiting 'expert blues dance teacher' visit our class once and told us it was like nightclub twostep. When she danced it, it looked like bad jitterbug.
 

ralf

Active Member
#36
You would have a lot more luck trying to appeal to the lindy scene .... there are many events/late night social dances where they have a "Lindy" room and a "Blues" room at the same event.
Yep, lots of lindy exchanges have dual rooms at their late-night dances. I just did the Cleveland Lindy Exchange last weekend which had dual rooms for both Friday and Saturday late-nights. DCLX has sometimes had bands in both rooms, and PittStop for the past two years has had blues in the main room with the band for its late-nights due to the popularity of the blues room.

So, to the OP: in addition to looking into the local lindy scene, check listings at places like lindycalendar.com for an exchange near you.
 
#37
Yep, lots of lindy exchanges have dual rooms at their late-night dances. I just did the Cleveland Lindy Exchange last weekend which had dual rooms for both Friday and Saturday late-nights. DCLX has sometimes had bands in both rooms, and PittStop for the past two years has had blues in the main room with the band for its late-nights due to the popularity of the blues room.

So, to the OP: in addition to looking into the local lindy scene, check listings at places like lindycalendar.com for an exchange near you.
I went to both the DCLX and PittStop exchanges last year! I wonder if we have met... :)
 
#39
At both events? I would have to look through over 500 pictures! lol! Do you go to any other lindy or blues exchanges on the East Coast? Bambloozled is coming up...
 

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