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Photo by Shane Karns There is an age old debate in social dance scenes. When, if ever, is teaching okay on the dance floor? Ask a dozen different dancers and you’ll probably get a dozen different replies. Some people forbid it outright, some people feel like it’s their duty. Most people fall somewhere in between. Here we’ll discuss the merits of both ends, as well as the most common solutions to the issue.   On the Dance Floor In many dance scenes, any kind of teaching on the dance floor is considered rude. Especially if there are lessons before the dance, many blues scenes try to keep a clear line between class time and dance time. In...

  Rose City Blues Mojo Aristocracy Performance Rose City 2013 Solo Finals: All Skate 1 Spotlight 1   Spotlight and All Skate 2 Winners First: Jenny Sowden Second: Alfredo & Nicole   Rose City Blues 2013 Jack and Jill Finals : All Skate 1 Spotlight 1 Spotlight and All Skate 2 Winners First: Amos & Nicole Second: Dennis & Jenny Third:  Alfredo & Kayce   Rose City Blues 2013 Strictly Finals: All Skate 1   Spotlight 1   Spotlight and All Skate 2  Winners First: Daniel...

Fusion, as a partner dance concept, is a very new thing. It's so new that we are still debating what the word means. This debate is complicated by the fact that many people do not even realize that there are multiple definitions being used. By my count, there are three distinct camps in the Great Fusion Debate. Fusion-As-Philosophy Andrew Sutton, one of the first people to discuss fusion and an early promoter, instructor and organizer of the Fusion Exchange, defines fusion as "fusing your movement to your partners movement to the music". This is the philosophical definition. It does not define a dance, but a way of dancing. (Or, more specifically, a way of conceptualizing partner dance.) In this definition, fusion is a way of...

“How long have you been dancing?” I’ve been asked that question hundreds of times while dancing with a new lead. It’s always stymied me why that would matter. A much better question to ask a newly met lead/follow would be, “When was the last time you took a class? What did you learn?” Years of dancing frequently equate to better dancing, but that is not always the case. Once the first rush of passion for this new hobby (or new style of dance) passes, many people stop attending classes, stop improving, and reach a plateau of dance quality. Often, it’s scary and difficult to learn new things, and without the excitement and interest generated by the freshness of a new...

Jack & Jill Finals Jack & Jill finalists (in spotlight order): Michael Marnane & Ellen Murray Gabriel Hout & Vitalia Brukhanska (3rd Place) Taras Melnyk & Whitton Frank (1st Place) Forrest Rogers-Marcovitz & Annette Kühnle (2nd Place) Vivien Nivesse & Noy Bieber     Strictly Blues Finals - Spotlights Strictly Blues Finals - All-Skate Strictly Blues finalists (in spotlight order): Forrest Rogers - Markovitz & Whitton Frank (1st Place) Joe Buckett & Earanee Niedzwiecki Vivien Nivesse & Noy Bieber Gabriel Hout & Annette Kühnle Michael Marnane & Toyin Adelasoya (3rd Place) Taras Melnyk & Vitalia Brukhanska (2nd Place) Solo Blues Finals Solo Blues finalists (in spotlight order): Amani Said (1st Place) Forrest Rogers - Markovitz (2nd Place) Natalya Davydova (3rd Place)   Showcase - Ghost...

Connection and self-improvement. That’s it. These two things are the driving forces behind a person’s transformation from casual dancer into lifer. When blues, or any activity, continually provides people with opportunities to feel connected and feel that they are improving themselves, those people (provided they are not getting more of these things from other sources) will be hooked. Great, but what actual actions do we take, what areas do we build up, to continually reinforce these feelings for ourselves and for others?   Community Social dance venues are places where people gather together at least once a week. (Think: church or writing group or community center.) Everyone has people they hope to see whenever they go out dancing, people they have wonderful,...