Workshop Schedule By Room

Saturday Workshops: Kresge A

Drag me! ↔ I'm best in landscape (Turn your phone.)
10:30am – 11:30am
The Fast and the Curious 1 of 2
Chris and Amanda
Choreo, All Levels

Always wanted to choreograph a piece, but never felt like you had the time? Had an awesome idea for that one song, but couldn't put the moves to music? Amanda and Chris are here to take your choreo from 0 to 60 in 5 seconds flat! Okay, probably more than 5 seconds, but faster than you think. We'll start from song choice and leave you with a frame for the future. Though this is an All Levels class, we recommend that you've been dancing at least a few months, since blues technique will not be specifically covered.

Please note, this class is 2 class periods

The Fast and the Curious 1 of 2
with

Always wanted to choreograph a piece, but never felt like you had the time? Had an awesome idea for that one song, but couldn't put the moves to music? Amanda and Chris are here to take your choreo from 0 to 60 in 5 seconds flat! Okay, probably more than 5 seconds, but faster than you think. We'll start from song choice and leave you with a frame for the future. Though this is an All Levels class, we recommend that you've been dancing at least a few months, since blues technique will not be specifically covered.

Please note, this class is 2 class periods

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11:45am – 12:45pm
The Fast and the Curious 2 of 2
Chris and Amanda
Choreo, All Levels

The second half of The Fast and the Curious. See the previous block for a description.

The Fast and the Curious 2 of 2
with

The second half of The Fast and the Curious. See the previous block for a description.

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12:45pm – 1:15pm
Lunch Break
1:15pm – 2:15pm
None (Lecture in Room 491)
2:25pm – 3:25pm
Choreography Competition Prelims
-

Please see the competition page for further details

Choreography Competition Prelims
with
-

Please see the competition page for further details

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3:40pm – 4:40pm
Choreography Competition Prelims
-

Please see the competition page for further details

Choreography Competition Prelims
with
-

Please see the competition page for further details

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4:50pm – 5:50pm
None (M&M Prelims in Room 491)

Sunday Workshops: Kresge A

Drag me! ↔ I'm best in landscape (Turn your phone.)
10:30am – 11:30am
Drape and Drag
Ruth and Mike
Social, Hard, BYOP

Inspired by early slow jazz dancers, we'll add some melt, shape, and drape into your ballroomin' blues. Power into dramatic drags and add some burst to your turns. This style impresses partners and viewers alike.

Drape and Drag
with

Inspired by early slow jazz dancers, we'll add some melt, shape, and drape into your ballroomin' blues. Power into dramatic drags and add some burst to your turns. This style impresses partners and viewers alike.

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11:45am – 12:45pm
Dancing to Difficult Music
Laney
Social, Intermediate+

There’s a lot of blues music out there that was created as dance music, but is difficult for the current community to dance to - specifically piedmont, country, and delta blues. This class will explore mental and physical tools to address particular elements of difficulty in these genres.

Dancing to Difficult Music
with

There’s a lot of blues music out there that was created as dance music, but is difficult for the current community to dance to - specifically piedmont, country, and delta blues. This class will explore mental and physical tools to address particular elements of difficulty in these genres.

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12:45pm – 1:15pm
Lunch Break
1:15pm – 2:15pm
None (Lecture in Room 491)
2:25pm – 3:25pm
... Lag
Julie
Social, Hard

Lag is many things--an essential ingredient of blues dancing, a way we interact with the beat as dancers, and a way followers interact with leaders. In this class, we'll explore the technique and artistry behind partnered lag--the lag between leaders and followers--how & why followers can create it and use it in a dance, and ways leaders can react to it and use it to shape their side of the dance.

... Lag
with

Lag is many things--an essential ingredient of blues dancing, a way we interact with the beat as dancers, and a way followers interact with leaders. In this class, we'll explore the technique and artistry behind partnered lag--the lag between leaders and followers--how & why followers can create it and use it in a dance, and ways leaders can react to it and use it to shape their side of the dance.

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3:40pm – 4:40pm
Get Your Feet in the Sand
Mike and Dan
Social, Intermediate+

Sand isn’t a specific dance, but rather a way of moving legs and feet. It’s challenging, but also really damn cool. This class is all about the nitty-gritty technique and mechanics to make it look effortless, plus a few fancy footwork ideas to take home.

Get Your Feet in the Sand
with

Sand isn’t a specific dance, but rather a way of moving legs and feet. It’s challenging, but also really damn cool. This class is all about the nitty-gritty technique and mechanics to make it look effortless, plus a few fancy footwork ideas to take home.

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Saturday Workshops: Room 201

Drag me! ↔ I'm best in landscape (Turn your phone.)
10:30am – 11:30am
Harlem Slow Drag
Ruth and Mike
Social, Hard, BYOP

Combine fabulous spinal action with diagonal footwork patterns in this challenging and dynamic dance. Warning: this dance is highly addictive - you may find yourself wanting to sway the night away.

Harlem Slow Drag
with

Combine fabulous spinal action with diagonal footwork patterns in this challenging and dynamic dance. Warning: this dance is highly addictive - you may find yourself wanting to sway the night away.

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11:45am – 12:45pm
Stretch and Momentum
Mike and Dan
Social, Hard, BYOP

Stretch and momentum can easily be oversimplified, but truly advanced dancers know that the timing and precision of great mechanics can be overwhelming sometimes. We’re here to help!

Stretch and Momentum
with

Stretch and momentum can easily be oversimplified, but truly advanced dancers know that the timing and precision of great mechanics can be overwhelming sometimes. We’re here to help!

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12:45pm – 1:15pm
Lunch Break
1:15pm – 2:15pm
None (Lecture in Room 491)
2:25pm – 3:25pm
Strut and Stride
Ruth and Mike
Social, Hard, BYOP

Take your Ballroomin’ Blues game up a notch as we delve into Strut and Stride. These two idiom dances have distinct music and characters. For each dance, we will explore the movement technique, lead and follow dynamics, and personal expression.

Strut and Stride
with

Take your Ballroomin’ Blues game up a notch as we delve into Strut and Stride. These two idiom dances have distinct music and characters. For each dance, we will explore the movement technique, lead and follow dynamics, and personal expression.

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3:40pm – 4:40pm
The Devil's in the Details
Mike and Dan
Social, Hard, Solo

We’re going to give you a collection of solo moves, but we’re giving you super-specific (and hopefully super-cool) versions, to challenge you mentally and physically!

The Devil's in the Details
with

We’re going to give you a collection of solo moves, but we’re giving you super-specific (and hopefully super-cool) versions, to challenge you mentally and physically!

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4:50pm – 5:50pm
None (M&M Prelims in Room 491)

Sunday Workshops: Room 201

Drag me! ↔ I'm best in landscape (Turn your phone.)
10:30am – 11:30am
"Buck" Choreography
Nathaniel
Choreo, All Levels, Solo

This choreography will encourage us to embody the suave confidence that Nina expresses in her unapologetically sensual single "Buck".

"Buck" Choreography
with

This choreography will encourage us to embody the suave confidence that Nina expresses in her unapologetically sensual single "Buck".

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11:45am – 12:45pm
Authenticity in Performance
Ruth and Julie
Choreo, All Levels

How do you build and perform a character that is realistic and authentic? How do you act without seeming like you're "acting"? How can your character integrate with your dance, instead of taking away from it? This class will explore those questions, in a blues dance performance context.

Authenticity in Performance
with

How do you build and perform a character that is realistic and authentic? How do you act without seeming like you're "acting"? How can your character integrate with your dance, instead of taking away from it? This class will explore those questions, in a blues dance performance context.

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12:45pm – 1:15pm
Lunch Break
1:15pm – 2:15pm
None (Lecture in Room 491)
2:25pm – 3:25pm
Unison and Individuality in Choreography
Ruth and Mike
Choreo, Intermediate+

If you are choreographing for a group of dancers, how do you play to their strengths and their skill levels? How much do you strive for uniformity vs. differences? When creating a duet, either partnered or solo, how can you give each dancer their own distinct voice within the dance? How do you create polish while embracing individuality? We love this topic and will share our best thoughts and practices with you.

Unison and Individuality in Choreography
with

If you are choreographing for a group of dancers, how do you play to their strengths and their skill levels? How much do you strive for uniformity vs. differences? When creating a duet, either partnered or solo, how can you give each dancer their own distinct voice within the dance? How do you create polish while embracing individuality? We love this topic and will share our best thoughts and practices with you.

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3:40pm – 4:40pm
Soul Line Dance
Lady B
Choreo, All Levels, Solo

Line Dancing is no longer limited to Country Music but has evolved with dance and technology as a mainstream social dance in its own communities and in the Club scene. Lady B, from New England Soul Line Dance Network, will teach one or more line dances during this class.

Soul Line Dance
with

Line Dancing is no longer limited to Country Music but has evolved with dance and technology as a mainstream social dance in its own communities and in the Club scene. Lady B, from New England Soul Line Dance Network, will teach one or more line dances during this class.

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Saturday Workshops: Room 407

Drag me! ↔ I'm best in landscape (Turn your phone.)
10:30am – 11:30am
The Essence of Blues
Laney and Joey
Social, Beginner-Friendly

You may have wondered, what exactly is blues dance? Well, we’re going to boil it down for you. Expect to come away from this class with a solid understanding (or refresher) of what makes blues dance unique as an art form, and the ability to strip down your dancing to the essentials. We’re headed back to basics, y’all, because we all need more of them.

The Essence of Blues
with

You may have wondered, what exactly is blues dance? Well, we’re going to boil it down for you. Expect to come away from this class with a solid understanding (or refresher) of what makes blues dance unique as an art form, and the ability to strip down your dancing to the essentials. We’re headed back to basics, y’all, because we all need more of them.

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11:45am – 12:45pm
Close Embrace
Julie and Ruth
Social, Beginner-Friendly

Close embrace is an essential connection style for many blues dances, but can also be quite challenging. In this class, we’ll work on getting your close embrace feeling comfortable to you and your partner, leading & following clearly here, and exploring the variety that close embrace has to offer.

Close Embrace
with

Close embrace is an essential connection style for many blues dances, but can also be quite challenging. In this class, we’ll work on getting your close embrace feeling comfortable to you and your partner, leading & following clearly here, and exploring the variety that close embrace has to offer.

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12:45pm – 1:15pm
Lunch Break
1:15pm – 2:15pm
None (Lecture in Room 491)
2:25pm – 3:25pm
Putting the Social in Social Dance
Laney and Joey
Social, Beginner-Friendly

A whole weekend full of classes often gets us in our heads about the dancing - let’s get out of our heads and into the moment with our partner! We’ve got some surprising techniques to bring your social blues dancing up to level ten.

Putting the Social in Social Dance
with

A whole weekend full of classes often gets us in our heads about the dancing - let’s get out of our heads and into the moment with our partner! We’ve got some surprising techniques to bring your social blues dancing up to level ten.

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3:40pm – 4:40pm
Turn it Around
Julie
Social, Beginner-Friendly

This class covers different turns and techniques for leading & following turns in blues dancing. After this class, your turns will come out more clear, comfortable, and confident!

Turn it Around
with

This class covers different turns and techniques for leading & following turns in blues dancing. After this class, your turns will come out more clear, comfortable, and confident!

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4:50pm – 5:50pm
None (M&M Prelims in Room 491)

Sunday Workshops: Room 407

Drag me! ↔ I'm best in landscape (Turn your phone.)
10:30am – 11:30am
Social Dance Games
Julie and Mike L
Social, All Levels

Looking for inspiration? Need a way to narrow down your ideas? Do you do things in classes but never end up using them on the social floor? Mike and Julie will give you some fun and useful games to use while social dancing, to help you with all of these things.

Social Dance Games
with

Looking for inspiration? Need a way to narrow down your ideas? Do you do things in classes but never end up using them on the social floor? Mike and Julie will give you some fun and useful games to use while social dancing, to help you with all of these things.

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11:45am – 12:45pm
The Universe in a Single Step
Mike and Dan
Social, Beginner-Friendly

Are you really as precise as you could be in your leading/following of a step? Are you crafting it with all the attention you that you could be? Let’s zoom in and give this fundamental piece of dance the love it deserves!

The Universe in a Single Step
with

Are you really as precise as you could be in your leading/following of a step? Are you crafting it with all the attention you that you could be? Let’s zoom in and give this fundamental piece of dance the love it deserves!

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12:45pm – 1:15pm
Lunch Break
1:15pm – 2:15pm
None (Lecture in Room 491)
2:25pm – 3:25pm
Contrabody
Mike and Dan
Social, Intermediate+

You may have heard of contrabody, and think, “left leg forward, right shoulder forward.” You’re not wrong, but it’s so much more than that, too! Great contrabody movement is hard to achieve, but is both delightful and practical.

Contrabody
with

You may have heard of contrabody, and think, “left leg forward, right shoulder forward.” You’re not wrong, but it’s so much more than that, too! Great contrabody movement is hard to achieve, but is both delightful and practical.

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3:40pm – 4:40pm
Boxes are Back!
Chris and Amanda
Social, Intermediate+

The best dances happen when both partners are inspired together to do things they've never done before. Learn to boost your creativity by limiting yourself, and have fun by listening to the music and each other. Come for the laughs, stay for the new moves!

Boxes are Back!
with

The best dances happen when both partners are inspired together to do things they've never done before. Learn to boost your creativity by limiting yourself, and have fun by listening to the music and each other. Come for the laughs, stay for the new moves!

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Saturday Workshops: Room 491

Drag me! ↔ I'm best in landscape (Turn your phone.)
10:30am – 11:30am
Choreography from Oz!
Mike and Dan
Choreo, All Levels, Solo

Ok, so it’s not actually from Australia, but we did create it there. This is a solo choreography that showcases how we think about composition, musicality, and dynamism. Also, some cool transitions - because we can!

Choreography from Oz!
with

Ok, so it’s not actually from Australia, but we did create it there. This is a solo choreography that showcases how we think about composition, musicality, and dynamism. Also, some cool transitions - because we can!

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11:45am – 12:45pm
Gendered Movement Exploration
Laney, Joey, and Nathaniel
Social, All Levels, Solo

All genders welcome! We’ll be exploring gender expression through movement: what movements feel and look gendered *to you*? What movements feel most true to yourself? How does thinking about movement as gendered change when we’re in a blues context?

Gendered Movement Exploration
with

All genders welcome! We’ll be exploring gender expression through movement: what movements feel and look gendered *to you*? What movements feel most true to yourself? How does thinking about movement as gendered change when we’re in a blues context?

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12:45pm – 1:15pm
Lunch Break
1:15pm – 2:15pm
Appropriation is Giving Me the Blues (Room 491)
Breai
Lecture

In this hour, we will set ground rules for discussion, define appropriation, consider the origins of the Blues, share experiences of race in the Blues scene, and venture into the muddy waters of "right" and "wrong."

Homework, before attending:
- Read "Cultural Appropriation: when 'borrowing' becomes exploitation" (Olufunmilayo Arewa, The Conversation)
- Read "Why It's So Hard to Talk to White People About Racism" (The Good Men Project, Huffington Post)

Appropriation is Giving Me the Blues (Room 491)
with

In this hour, we will set ground rules for discussion, define appropriation, consider the origins of the Blues, share experiences of race in the Blues scene, and venture into the muddy waters of "right" and "wrong."

Homework, before attending:
- Read "Cultural Appropriation: when 'borrowing' becomes exploitation" (Olufunmilayo Arewa, The Conversation)
- Read "Why It's So Hard to Talk to White People About Racism" (The Good Men Project, Huffington Post)

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2:25pm – 3:25pm
The Great Debate
Breai
Lecture

This hour will focus on the ways the conversation about race in the Blues scene has taken to the internet. Prominent voices in the conversation, their main points, and our reflections on these views will be central to our conversation.

Homework, before attending:
- Watch Dancing White (Guardian Baltimore) from 19m05s to 24m07s (youtube mirror 1, mirror 2)
- Read "Appreciation versus Appropriation" (Damon Stone)

The Great Debate
with

This hour will focus on the ways the conversation about race in the Blues scene has taken to the internet. Prominent voices in the conversation, their main points, and our reflections on these views will be central to our conversation.

Homework, before attending:
- Watch Dancing White (Guardian Baltimore) from 19m05s to 24m07s (youtube mirror 1, mirror 2)
- Read "Appreciation versus Appropriation" (Damon Stone)

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3:40pm – 4:40pm
Tricks from Close Embrace OR Adventurous Slow Hugging!
Joey
Social, Intermediate+

After a long day of hugs, sometimes you just need even more hugs! We’ll get a little adventurous in this last class, with some tricks that can be performed from close embrace.

Tricks from Close Embrace OR Adventurous Slow Hugging!
with

After a long day of hugs, sometimes you just need even more hugs! We’ll get a little adventurous in this last class, with some tricks that can be performed from close embrace.

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4:50pm – 5:50pm
M&M Prelims

Sunday Workshops: Room 491

Drag me! ↔ I'm best in landscape (Turn your phone.)
10:30am – 11:30am
Mood, Character, and Artistry
Laney and Joey
Social, Intermediate+

Ever feel like your dancing takes on a predictable pattern? That you get “stuck” doing the same 3 movements over and over? Playing with character is a powerful way to break free of those ruts that we all get into. This class will probably push your comfort zone and is designed to challenge you to new heights of expression and artistry.

Mood, Character, and Artistry
with

Ever feel like your dancing takes on a predictable pattern? That you get “stuck” doing the same 3 movements over and over? Playing with character is a powerful way to break free of those ruts that we all get into. This class will probably push your comfort zone and is designed to challenge you to new heights of expression and artistry.

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11:45am – 12:45pm
How Do We Fix It? A Look at Case Studies
Breai
Lecture

Leave the Blues Scene? Have white people stop dancing? Create "Black Only" Blues communities? Intentionally invite Black teachers? In this hour, we will discuss what has been done to date in an effort to right the ship, and the results thereof.

Homework, before attending:
- Read "A Black Panther lawsuit is testing the cultural exchange between Africans and African-Americans" (Lynsey Chutel, Quartz)
- Read "Why I Stopped Blues Dancing" (Ellie Koepplinger)

How Do We Fix It? A Look at Case Studies
with

Leave the Blues Scene? Have white people stop dancing? Create "Black Only" Blues communities? Intentionally invite Black teachers? In this hour, we will discuss what has been done to date in an effort to right the ship, and the results thereof.

Homework, before attending:
- Read "A Black Panther lawsuit is testing the cultural exchange between Africans and African-Americans" (Lynsey Chutel, Quartz)
- Read "Why I Stopped Blues Dancing" (Ellie Koepplinger)

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12:45pm – 1:15pm
Lunch Break
1:15pm – 2:15pm
The Plan for Our Scene (Room 491)
Breai
Lecture

This final segment is dedicated to a plenary session. We will focus discuss and outline next steps for individual, local, and scene-wide initiatives.

Homework, before attending:
- Read "Cultural Appropriation and the Blues" (Yvonne Aburrow, Patheos)
- Read "The Question of Cultural Appropriation" (Briahna Joy Gray, Current Affairs) 

The Plan for Our Scene (Room 491)
with

This final segment is dedicated to a plenary session. We will focus discuss and outline next steps for individual, local, and scene-wide initiatives.

Homework, before attending:
- Read "Cultural Appropriation and the Blues" (Yvonne Aburrow, Patheos)
- Read "The Question of Cultural Appropriation" (Briahna Joy Gray, Current Affairs) 

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2:25pm – 3:25pm
Isolate that Bad Ass
Nathaniel
Social, All Levels, Solo

We will run through the mechanics of isolations, and drilling to make our isolations more efficient and less restricting so that we can dance with isolations as opposed to making the dance about isolations.

Isolate that Bad Ass
with

We will run through the mechanics of isolations, and drilling to make our isolations more efficient and less restricting so that we can dance with isolations as opposed to making the dance about isolations.

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3:40pm – 4:40pm
Be Real
Ruth and Mike
Social, All Levels

What makes you, you? Individuality is an important part of all of the blues dances. Bringing that individuality means being able to express yourself on the dance floor authentically. In this class we will explore ways to dance as yourself.

Be Real
with

What makes you, you? Individuality is an important part of all of the blues dances. Bringing that individuality means being able to express yourself on the dance floor authentically. In this class we will explore ways to dance as yourself.

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