Blues Dance Question

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by Spitfire, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. Spitfire

    Spitfire Well-Known Member

    I'm hearing a lot about Blues Dancing lately, but afraid I'm not sure just what is meant; dancing to blues music or kind of a genre in itself?
  2. suburbaknght

    suburbaknght Well-Known Member

    It's a dance style traditionally done to music of the same name though exceedingly adaptable. Though I don't do it myself, from what I've been able to gather from friends who do blues focuses on improvisation, lead and follow via body actions, musicality, and sensuality.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28WR4V2NUas
  3. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    And who cares of this tradition? Is it taught by swing or BR teachers? Or is there an indipendant Blues crowd?
  4. mjnemeth

    mjnemeth Member

  5. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

  6. suburbaknght

    suburbaknght Well-Known Member

    It's its own community much like Argentine tango, west coast swing, and salsa are their own commnuities, though in the areas I've lived there's usually more crossover from those dance communities with the ballroom community than there is between blues and ballroom. I'm also used to seeing the blues community closely tied to or even integrated with the Lindy hop community; Philadelphia has the Lindy and Blues group, NYC hosts BABBLE, etc.
  7. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    This is from the Wikipedia article. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blues_dance

    "There are ongoing debates within blues dancing and swing dancing culture today about what constitutes 'authentic' or 'part of the tradition of' blues dancing. Some hold the position that a blues dance that does not possess the stylistic, aesthetic and rhythmic qualities of Africanist dance cannot qualify as blues dance. Others argue that a blues dance which has had very little creative contribution from black dancers or draw from the base of movement they created, does not qualify either. Yet a third position might hold that a blues dance is simply dancing to blues music, regardless of the steps performed or whether they involved partnered or solo steps, or whether the steps and movement are aesthetically tied. There are dancers, moving to music which is not blues, performing steps which have no Africanist features or historical tradition who call what they do 'blues dancing'. There are many variations and positions on these debates about what is and is not blues dancing within the tradition of the original dances among the contemporary dancers."

    Rather than "swing dance" teachers, I think it would be more accurate to say, former Lindy Hoppers who moved into other forms of swing and now teach more than one style of swing.

    Be sure to look at the Talk Page of the wikipedia article, if you really want to get into it. There are even some links to discussions by practitioners from "earlier times" (like last decade).
  8. JustAnotherDancer

    JustAnotherDancer New Member

  9. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    How funny! Did you know that Damon used to participate here? What a hoot that you should pick video of him.
  10. JustAnotherDancer

    JustAnotherDancer New Member

    :D That's because we took a bunch of private lessons in blues with him before he moved on from our area ... we think highly of him.

    I picked Barry Douglas because his teaching is topnotch- different style, different approach, but quality.
  11. tsb

    tsb Well-Known Member

    since i see you are in europe, i will comment that blues music is largely an american phenomenon though it was embraced and imitated by british musicians over the years, and has slowly traveled to other countries.

    in blues circles, it is commonly said: "you have to pay your dues to earn the right to play the blues." and it's very uncommon for someone respected as a blues musician to be under 40 years of age. an example of that would be someone like kirk fletcher, a local guitarist (southern california) who is still currently in his mid 30's. i would further submit that not only does it take a certain amount of life experience to prepare to play blues, it takes a certain amount of life experience to appreciate blues music.

    as such, in answering your question, young kids in the scene tend not to. i dance blues, i also like to listen to live blues whether there is dancing or not, and I DJ blues weekly in between live blue sets at one venue. the blues musicians generally comment favorably on my music selections - the point being that they confirm that i do know what blues music is supposed to be. however, it's not uncommon to see people playing non-blues music for a blues crowd (often described as playing "turquoise"). some have even formed their own sub genres such as alt.blues, etc.


    there are some teachers who come originally from the lindy crowd. i personally wouldn't bother taking a blues lesson from someone who's primarily a ballroom teacher.

    there is, there are some who dance blues only, and there are some instructors who teach blues exclusively.
  12. tsb

    tsb Well-Known Member

    he posted as d'nice or something like that, didn't he?
  13. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member


    Yup.
  14. tsb

    tsb Well-Known Member

    damon & heidi have come down to LA to teach, and truthfully, i'm not all that impressed by heidi technique-wise. maybe i caught her on a bad weekend.
  15. tsb

    tsb Well-Known Member

    he's very well respected in the blues community nationally, though he doesn't seem to make much allowance for differing opinions in certain areas.
  16. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member


    I suspect he's okay with that. :wink:
  17. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Oh my god! I want to learn to dance THAT!!! from HIM!

    It's like AT mixed with WCS, without the requisite stick up your butt of AT, and with my favorite sort of music for WCS.
  18. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    I'm not surprised. It seemed like this dance would be right up your alley. :cool:
  19. mjnemeth

    mjnemeth Member

    Actually there is a swango blues fusion , see:
    http://www.swangoblues.com/
  20. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member


    Never underestimate the capacity of dancers in any discipline to get sticks up their respective behinds. :rolleyes: :lol:

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