Workshops

Intensives are designed to let you dig into concepts with more depth and care.  Instructors have 2.5 hours with students to delve into material and take break(s) to work with the material and where students are at.

All of the classes will be held at Glen Echo Park, which is located at 7300 MacArthur Blvd, Glen Echo, MD 20812. The rooms are at the top of each column, and the check-in table will be in the ballroom. Classes are $15 each a la carte and intensives count as 2 classes, so are $30.

(descriptions are at the bottom of the page)

Saturday Afternoon
Time Ballroom Back Room Arcade 302/303
12:00-1:15p Close Embrace (Beg) – with Laura & Clyde Call & Response (All) – with Kara & John
 1:30-2:45p Texas Shuffle (All) – with Laura & Clyde Comfort Blues (All) – with Rachel & Niko Developing the Juke – with Jenny & Dan
2:45-3:45p  LUNCH
3:45-5:00p Finishing Moves (All) –
with Laura & John
Situational Conversation (Int. Intensive) –
with Jenny & Dan
Emperor’s New Groove (Adv. Intensive) –
with Rachel & Niko
5:pm-6:15p Piedmont Triple (All) –
with Laura & Clyde

 

Sunday Afternoon
Time Ballroom Bumper Car Pavilion arcade 302/303
12:00-1:15p Embrace Across Styles (All) – with Jenny & Dan Blues Rhythms (Int/Adv) – with Kara & John Practice Space
1:30-2:45p Lagging & Lollygagging (All) – with Rachel & Niko Weight Sharing w/ Momentum (Int/Adv) – with Kara & Clyde
2:45-3:45p LUNCH
3:45-5:00p Be the Music (Int/Adv) – with Rachel & Niko Transitions – with Jenny & Dan Really Slow Blues (All) – with Kara & John
5:15-6:15p Acknowledging Pain & Joy in Blues (All) –
with Rachel & Kara
Jazz in Small Spaces – with Jenny & Dan Practice Space


Descriptions:

Acknowledging Pain & Joy in Blues Blues was born out of the oppression and hardship facing African Americans. They took their suffering and processed it through music and movement to express those feelings and seek relief. Many of us struggle to hold space for both the pain and suffering as well as the joy of the dance, but only through fully acknowledging pain can we truly experience joy. In this class we’ll work to deeply connect with the journey of grief in blues music and how to find catharsis through dance.
Be the Music (Rachel & Niko) Your partner isn’t the only point of connection in Blues dancing; you also connect to the music. We’ll tune into specific elements in a broad spectrum of songs and use different qualities of movement to express what is happening in the music, which is particularly useful for competing. Be sure to bring a keen ear and get ready to dance outside the box, on the box, and with the box.
Blues Rhythms (Kara & John) OMG, there are so many rhythms we can use and play with in blues music-triples, shuffles, Latin, etc. We’ll try out as many as we can and apply variables of shape, orientation, and direction for more interesting dances.
Call & Response (Kara & John) Turns out in blues dancing, you and your partner don’t have to be doing the same thing at the same time. This class will take you through a series of games designed to unlock your creativity and turn your dancing into more of a conversation with your partner.
Close Embrace (Laura & Clyde) Close embrace is a cozy position that is fundamental to most blues dances. It’s great for all styles of blues music, join us to hone your close embrace technique to a variety of music!
Comfort Blues (Rachel & Niko) The simple things are often the easiest to forget or overlook. Relax. Internalized expectations to perform, or to give your partner the best dance possible can lead us to tense up during a dance, often without realizing it. The best dances are comfortable; they just feel good, and don’t need to be flashy, big, or complex. This is a class with a focus on social dancing, in which we will work on relaxing into your movements, while maintaining a clear connection with your partner. Comfort, connection, whiskey (optional?).
Developing the Juke (Jenny & Dan) Repetition, as a key element to Jukin’ music, creates exciting opportunities for dancers! In this class we’ll start with a basic, then find the ways to morph it, flip it, and get witty with it while still keeping the groove for a long time. Let’s develop the juke.
Embrace Across Styles (Jenny & Dan) We’ll start with creating a great embrace connection, and how to pass effortlessly between Embrace and Closed positions. Then we’ll show how we can use Embrace differently between Jazzy and Jukin music. We’ll offer vocabulary and connection ideas so that each song can feel different.
Emperor’s New Groove (Intensive w/ Rachel & Niko) We’ve all reached a point in our dancing where we want to do more than just the basics, often showing off and adding flash to hit all the accents and details in a song. It’s easy to lose perspective and let the accents and flash become the most prominent part of the dance, while the groove of the song is lost. We’ll take you back to the core of the dance to show you how to impress with the groove, then we’ll take it a step further and explore how to hit the accents without forsaking the essence of the song.
Finishing Moves (Laura & John) How do you end a dance? Join John and Laura for all of their favorite moves and strategies to make the most of the end of a dance.
Jazz in Small Spaces (Jenny & Dan) The Jazz is playing but you have no space, now what? This class! We will cover a number of classy movements that work well in tight spaces while maintaining the mode of the song.
Lagging & Lollygagging (Rachel & Niko) Lag is one of our favorite things to play with and it’s a key component of what makes blues *blues*. You can use it for interesting rhythmic and timing syncopations, to create stretch and compression in the partnership, and to encourage play. We’ll look at how to create more lag in your own body, as well as between partners, to make your dancing look and feel more dynamic.
Piedmont Triple (Laura & Clyde) Piedmont music, from the Appalachia region in Virginia, can be some of the most difficult music to dance to and its footwork basics are quite different from other Blues Idiom Dances, but quite fun once you unlock their secrets. Join us to master the sliding Piedmont triple step!
Really Slow Blues (Kara & John) “Y’all need to slow down.” This class is going to explore the mechanics of really slow dancing from how and when you shift your weight to how you connect with your partner. We’ll then find that pocket in the music and see how deep it can go.
Situational Conversation (Intensive w/ Jenny & Dan) It’s an intensive, so we have the time to develop an actual conversation! Based around offering ideas, responding, and reacting, this class will focus on various situations that can cause different types of conversation. We all talk differently, now let’s see how we listen and harmonize.
Texas Shuffle (Laura & Clyde Texas Shuffle is a fun blues idiom dance, developed to West Coast Blues (a descendant of Texas Blues) in California around the 1940s, that incorporates individual styling and footwork with a lot of interesting partnered shapes. Come learn the basics to add this to your dance repertoire!
Transitions (Jenny & Dan) Let’s look between the moves! Through Juke and Jazzy examples, we’ll offer a collection of ways to move from one step to another. Sometimes the transitions are the best part in the dance.
Weight Sharing with Momentum (Kara & Clyde) Weight Sharing with Momentum (Int/Adv)- Sometimes your partner puts their weight in unexpected places, and sometimes you react to that decision in ways you never imagined, creating new and interesting shaping and directions to take the dance. Join us in exploring how to communicate where we put our weight, how to properly react to your partner’s weight decisions, how to take your dance collaboration to a new level, and how to make you and your partner say, “wheeeeee!”