September Series: Role Reversal with Marshall & Heather

Greetings everyone! We’re going to fall into Autumn with a great series from Marshall and Heather on Role Reversal.

When you learn both roles of a partnered dance style, you get a balanced sense of what the dance is like as a whole, you improve your conversational skills in dancing, and you expand your creative options. Come practice your non-dominant role and learn how to switch between both roles in subtle and flashy ways. All levels welcome. No partner required. Tuition includes free admission into Blues dance immediately following the class from 9-11:30pm.

Pre-register online at Glen Echo!

$20 — drop-in.
$48 — series (plus $13 registration fee)
Thursdays, September 8th – 29th, 8pm – 9pm

The Spanish Ballroom at Glen Echo
7300 MacArthur Blvd, Glen Echo, MD 20812

Red Hot Blues & BBQ 2016 is right around the corner

Red hot

We at Capital Blues are readying ourselves to throw down some seriously awesome dancing and sizzlin’ hot grilling for Red Hot Blues & BBQ 2016. Memorial Day weekend will sneak up on you if you let it—it’s only five weeks away! And we have some updates to whet your appetite…

Remember to Register!
Our lowest tier has already completely sold out. However, we still have two more tiers available, at $110 and $130. What are you waiting for? Register today! Please pick the tier that suits your budgetary needs, and save a lower tier for people who need to pay a little less. If you were counting on that lowest tier to help making the pricing work, never fear: you can sign up to volunteer to make up the difference.

Do your community and your wallet a favor. If you want to volunteer to help make this delectable event run smoothly, please e-mail our volunteer coordinator at We reimburse you for each hour you work, and we’d love to have your help.

Dance to Amazing Music!
4 fabulous bands and 5 great DJs are all putting together the music that will make this year extra-special. We are very excited to bring you live blues music from: Bushmaster Blues featuring Gary Brown on Friday night; Corey Harris Blues Band at the Saturday main dance; Miss Freddye’s Blues Band at the Saturday late night dance; and Anna Cecilia and the Big Time to close it out on Sunday night. Head on over to our bands page to learn more about each of these great bands and get a taste of their musical talent.

And let’s not forget the DJs who will keep the party going when the band stops.We have Boris Glebov, Dan Repsch, Laney Barhaugh, Ben Long, and Julie Brown to bring it with their fantastic, irresistible sets during band breaks and at the late-night and afternoon dances.

9 Stellar Venues!
We have a confirmed line-up of nine (!) magical venues for eating and dancing all weekend long. Both our Saturday night venues are special and new, and the rest of our venues are favorites from past exchanges. What’s more, this year most of our venues are accessible by public transit, making it easier to get around if you don’t have a car or you’re from faraway lands. Our shiny Venues page details each and every venue, complete with photos, maps, and advice on how to get there. Star them as favorites on Google Maps now for an easier weekend.

Throw Down Your Best BBQ!
Do you have a succulent BBQ recipe you would love to grill up? A tasty vegetarian BBQ technique to prove tofu is equal to bacon? Come show it off in our food competitions! While our brand-new dessert competition is already booked up solid, the classic meat & veggie BBQ competitions on Sunday still have open slots! Full competition rules and judging criteria are here. We currently have TWO meat BBQ slots and ONE veggie BBQ slot open—register for the glory now, before you lose your chance! Sign up as part of registration on the food tab (if you’re already registered, you can go back to edit your registration to add a comp).

What Are Your Food Needs?
As if those competitions weren’t enough, we’ll have full meals at the late-night dances, and a catered BBQ prior to the dessert comp on Saturdayall included in your registration! See the menu here, and it’s a good idea to invest in some stretchy pants now. Capital Blues is committed to providing vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free options whenever possible and accounting for food allergies. But a quarter of those who have registered already forgot to fill out the food tab on registration! So please be sure to declare your food preferences, restrictions and/or allergies when you register. Help us help you eat happily and safely.

Tl;dr: Please register! Volunteer! Live performances! Superb DJs! All the food! Sunshine! Friends! Get pumped, and we’ll see you in May!

Happy dancing,
Capital Blues

Come expand your dancing at our first Blues Lab

Save the date for Emergence’s first-ever Blues Lab, a place where you can experiment with your dancing and push it to the next level with personalized feedback from your dancer friends! Practice giving and receiving feedback, learn new things about your dancing (and old habits to tweak), and do it all in the warm, bluesy community of dedicated Emergence dancers and teachers. The first blues lab will be led by Marshall Douglas and Heather Lynn Brady.

When? Wednesday, March 30, 2016 at 8 p.m.!
Where? Emergence Community Arts Collective at 733 Euclid Street NW (right off Georgia Ave, next to Howard University)
How much? Suggested donation of $2-5 (cash only, please)

Other facts:
– You don’t need to bring a partner.
– After class, there’s a great dance called Jukebox Blues & Fusion at Angles bar in Adams Morgan, so you can practice all your sweet moves and make some new friends. It’s a good community.

March Day of Workshops + The Downtown Shimmy Plays Glen Echo

Oh boy do we have a good Saturday for you on March 19, 2016! First off, we have a Day of Classes taught by Laney Barhaugh, our fabulous blues dance friend from the Midwest! We’re flying her in to teach you all sorts of exciting things — this workshop day is going to be a musicality deep dive. See class descriptions below!

That night, we’re bringing you the fabulous musical stylings of the Downtown Shimmy for your dancing pleasure. After possibly making a guest appearance earlier that day in Laney Barhaugh’s workshop series, Josh Fialkoff will head to the Spanish Ballroom stage with the bandmates who rocked our socks so hard this past fall. They’re back for another night of awesome music and blues dancing. See you on the floor, and save us a dance!

Workshops: 11:30am – 5:30pm (with lunch break)
Price: $15 per class, $45 for the whole thing (four classes total)

Dance: 9:00pm to Midnight
There is a drop-in beginner lesson from 8 to 9 p.m. before the dance starts, included in the price of the evening.
Price: $18

Also, Tango and Zouk/Kizomba are happening simultaneously at Glen Echo and there’s a sweetheart deal for entrance to all three!!!

Class Descriptions & Schedule below:

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Red Hot Blues & BBQ 2016 Registration Now Open!

It’s official! Registration is now open for this event! Please remember to pick the tier that most accurately reflects what you can afford to pay, and save the lower tier for people who really need to pay a little less in order to go to this event. Also: volunteering is a great way to bring the cost of the event down, since we reimburse you for each hour you work!

Let us know if you want to compete in the brand new Dessert Competition (yeah, we went there this year) or go for glory in the BBQ Competition. Both comps have a cap on the number of participants, so sign up early.

Come get your super awesome, super tasty blues dance and BBQ passes here. Can’t wait to see you in our nation’s capital in warm, sunny, delicious May!


February Blues Dance Workshop Series: Blues Dance History

What is blues dance? Let’s trace the roots of how today’s scene came to be, take time for education, and pay homage to the blues musicians, dancers and communities that came before us.  Because knowing where blues dance comes from and how it was made is just as important as knowing how to do it. 

All month in February, Alissa Perman – joined by guest instructor Aimee Eddins for class #1 only! – will be teaching a survey course on blues history. She’ll give you the skills to identify several key styles of blues music and to dance the styles of blues dance that go with them. You’ll also come away with a general perspective on how and where blues has evolved over the last 100+ years, some key players in history, qualities that tie all blues together, and how those factors lend context to our current scene. Considering this series’ special historical focus, classes will be about 60% dance instruction and 40% participatory conversation.

Dates: Thursdays, February 4, 11, 18, and 25
Time: 8 p.m.

Glen Echo Park, Arcade Building, Room 301
7200 MacArthur Blvd, Glen Echo, MD 20812

Cost & Registration: $48 for the whole series, or drop in for $15 per class. Includes free admission into the blues dance in the Back Room afterwards. Click this link to register in advance for the whole series.

All Levels Welcome. Read on for class descriptions

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Join us on the first Thursday, February 4th with a great local live band. We’re welcoming Full Power Blues, who rocked it at Red Hot Blues ‘n BBQ last year, for a full night of blues dancing to live music.

The Band has played many yearly Festivals in the Washington Metropolitan area such the Silver Spring Blues Festival, the College Park Blues Festival and most notably the Annual D.C. Blues Society Festival at Federal facility Carter-Baron Amphitheater. The band was honored in December 2014 to play on the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

Cost: $12
Beginner Lesson: 8:15pm – 9:00pm
Live Music: 9:00pm – 12:00am

January Blues Dance Workshop Series: Fast Blues!


You know when a song comes on and you want to dance, but that beat just seems so fast? Want to dance to *every* song that a blues band plays, not just the slower ones, and still have energy left over afterwards? We’re here to help!

Marshall Douglas and Heather Lynn Brady are teaming up to teach a series on fast blues! Learn how to keep your posture even when things speed up, how to pull ideas from historic genres of fast blues, and how to dance all night while you do it.

Level: All levels welcome.

Dates: Thursdays, January 7, 14, 21, and 28

Time: 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Cost: $48 for the whole series, or drop in for $15 per class. Includes free admission into the blues dance in the Back Room afterwards.

Glen Echo Park, Arcade Building, Room 301
7200 MacArthur Blvd, Glen Echo, MD 20812

Register on Glen Echo’s Website Here

RSVP on Facebook to tell your friends you are going (this does not replace registration)

Read on for class descriptions…

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Competition Results!


Newcomer Pro-Am (results listed Newcomer & Instructor):
1st ~ Brian Le & Megan Taylor Morrison
2nd ~ Jillian Carnrick & Ruby Red
3rd ~ Elizabeth Essex & Ted Maddry

Strictly Blues:
1st ~ Aaron Brown & Katie Belsky
2nd ~ Brian Richards & Laura Chieko
3rd ~ Andrew Smith & Flouer Evelyn

Mixed Open+Invitational Jack and Jill (results listed Open & Invitational):
1st ~ Kate Feldman & Brian Richards
2nd ~ Mary Ingram & Chris Carey
3rd ~ Jeff Segal & Joy Arico

Solo Riffin':
1st ~ Elizabeth Tuazon
2nd ~ Shoshi Krieger

Winners receive Prize Passes from the following events:
bluesSHOUT! (Chicago, IL) ~ April 14-16, 2016
North Star Blues (Minneapolis, MN) ~ Sept 16-18, 2016
Steel City Blues (Pittsburgh PA) ~ March 4-6, 2016
Nocturne Blues (New York, NY) ~ July 2016
Mile High Blues (Denver, CO) ~ June 24-26, 2016
Winter Blues (Greenville, SC) ~ Jan 29-31, 2016
Sweet Molasses (Boston, MA) ~ July 2016
Rose City Blues (Portland, OR) ~ Nov 6-8, 2016
Blues Yourself (Boston, MA) ~ Sept 9-11 2016
Snowbound (Rochester, NY) ~ Dec 4-6, 2015
Red Hot Blues ‘n BBQ (Washington, DC) ~ May 2016