Instructors

Staff Instructors

Amanda Mayer
Instructor
Amanda has been dancing since age five, and has learned everything from tap dancing to tango. She has been dancing, choreographing, and competing in blues dance since 2000, and teaching blues dance nationally since 2003, so she is CRAZY old school! Amanda has taught at most national events and workshops, including BluesSHOUT!, Austin Blues Party, Sweet Molasses Blues, Mile High Blues, Fallin' In Blues, the long gone *sniff* Emerald City Blues Festival, and many others that are too old for anyone to remember. Her style of blues dance combines strong connection, partnered improvisation, and elements from many of the different dance styles she has studied. This has given her a national reputation as an incredibly versatile and inspiring blues dancer and teacher.

Chris Mayer
Instructor

Chris is known in the Blues and Swing dance community for his musicality, creativity, and fun-loving spirit. A self-proclaimed Lindy Hop addict until he found Blues in 2006, Chris was drawn into dancing by its unique freedom of expression.  

Chris loves the challenge and camaraderie of national Blues and Swing scene — give him any song and any partner, and he's going to have fun. He is adored by students everywhere from Hawaii to Heidelberg, and his teaching and dancing can be summed up best by this quote: "Technique? Check. Fun moves? Check. Playful attitude? Check!


Dan Legenthal
Instructor

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.


Mike Legenthal
Instructor

Mike's true loves in life are teaching, dancing, following, and music. There's no order, because for her, these things are intrinsically linked. In addition to national events like Lindy Focus and Enter the Blues, Mike has taught at countless regional events in Lindy, Blues, and Balboa, as well as traveling all over the country to teach and perform. She performed in an all-girls Charleston troupe at Camp Jitterbug's Jump Session Show in 2007, and in the all-girl blues troupe, the Hoodoo Ladies, at events from DC to BluesShout in St. Louis. Additionally, she has taught at events ranging from one-month artists residencies to international training camps.

Mike combines an intuitive understanding of connection with an analytical speaking style to give her students technique, but also strives to challenge and inspire her students to push themselves further into the music. She aims to help leaders create artistic compositions that are clearly led; she wants follows to have the ability to be a completely literal follow, and the inspiration and freedom to be an imaginative and dynamic contributor. In the classroom or on the social floor, she seeks a connection that involves active communication from both partners, to make a dance together.


Ruth Evelyn
Instructor

Ruth 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.


Mike Grosser
Instructor

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.
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.


Julie Brown
Instructor

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.


Joey Shelley
Instructor

Joey Science has been dancing since they were a small child, partner dancing since 2005, and zooming way, way in on Blues dancing since moving to Chicago in 2009. Their formal education in the learning sciences sneaks up in class formats that emphasize personal exploration and incorporation of the material, and a "try first, questions later" approach.


Laney Barhaugh
Instructor

Laney is a blues dance instructor, organizer, and DJ. She has been dancing Lindy Hop and blues for over 10 years, with some dabbling in tango and hip hop. She also loves lifting heavy things – it has given her confidence, better quality of movement, and has completely changed her dancing. She loves shaking her booty to any genre of music that encourages it. As a teacher, her goals are to integrate a little history and a little musicality into every lesson.

Awards:

1st place – Open JnJ at bluesSHOUT! 2015, JnJ at Blues Muse 2015, Strictly at Winter Blues 2014

Finals – JnJ & solo comp at Enter the Blues, Jill & JnJ at Blues Muse, JnJ at Winter Blues, Solo Comp at Nocturne Blues 2014


Nathaniel Abrea
Instructor
Nathaniel is a nationally acclaimed blues dancer who loves to social dance, compete, and teach as much as he sleeps. He is known for having precise musicality, playful movements, and expressive body shaping as a lead, follow, and solo dancer.
 
Nathaniel first explored dancing through a catchy choreography on YouTube in his bedroom, and continues to do so to this day. Coming from a non-technical background, he is highly attuned to his intuition for body mechanics and musicality. His intuition-first approach allows him to craft intellectually accessible and relatable lessons that reward students with new techniques to challenge themselves on their own time. He also executes each lesson with as much patience as he has excitement, and hopes to empower his students to start navigating their own personal expression within Blues. 
 
Nathaniel has worked with dedication in the past several years, and competed and placed at many national events such as: BluesSHOUT!, Austin Blues Party, Rose City Blues, and more. He has won competitions as a Lead, Follow, and Solo dancer, and is proudly recognized as the first to officially qualify in the Blues All Star division as both a Follow and a Lead. 
 
Nathaniel continually strives for new ways to grow, and for more things to learn, in hopes that he can share his newfound knowledge and experiences with his students.

Featured Instructors

Breai Mason-Campbell
Discussion Leader/Lecturer

Breai Mason-Campbell is a Baltimore native, community activist, teacher, dancer, and cultural counselor.  A Harvard graduate, Breai’s Master’s Thesis explored the role of Hip-Hop as a religious and moral touchstone for African American youth.  Since 2001, she has conducted research into the connection between mental health in young women and exposure to the norms espoused by popular culture. With these findings, Breai has written numerous Arts-Integration, kinetic curricula. Her work has been supported by grants from Teaching Tolerance and the Frankie Manning Foundation, which named her a Cultural Ambassador in 2014. Her dance company, Guardian, is committed to practicing, performing and passing on culture. In the confirmation of its’ vision, Guardian trained students who won 2nd place in the International Lindy Hop Juniors Division in 2013, and performed for the opening of the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in 2016.  She is a wife, and the mother of three.


James Agena Georges
Guest Instructor

Most people describe James Agena as a sweet and friendly Chocolate Bear (you’ll understand once you meet him). James was born and raised on the tropical island of Puerto Rico and has been dancing Swing and Blues for the past 8 years. He is currently based out NYC and, during his spare time, travels across the country to teach blues and DJ smooth tunes. James loves sharing his joy for dance and inspiring people to experience the amazing world of blues. He is known for his infectious smile, creative dance style, and awe-inspiring ability to make everyone he jams out with feel like greatest dancer in the room.


Lady B
Guest Instructor