Blues Dancing in Canada – February 2013

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Blues dancing information and events at a glance for February 2013 in Montreal and Toronto! For a complete list (including the other cities), check out the blues calendar on: http://hamfats.ca/bluesdance . I do the Facebook searching so you don’t have to!

Montreal

  • Damon Stone workshop at Cats Corner February 16th and 17th!
  • Les Lundi Blues on February 11th and 25th. Remember that it’s held at Petite Medley now, not at Gainzbar. Hint: it’s across the street from one another!
  • Cats Corner late night February 1st and 15th.
    • Also, I believe there will be a drop-in lesson on February 15th at Cats for blues for the very first time. Genial!
  • Pub Brouhaha on Sunday February 17th.
  • L’artere Blues Friday February 22nd.

Toronto

  • Workshops with John Lozano on February 9th and 10th. 
  • The Dance Annex on February 8th.
  • anddd Dovercourt Basement on February 14th. Valentine’s day massacre blues?

Other Canadian Cities

There are other Canadian cities? Har I’m a kidder. Check out the calendar blues dance fans.

Blues Dancing in Montreal (Early 2013)

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Blues dancing in Montreal 2013

When I first moved to Montreal, Javiera ran a once a month blues dance at Pub Brouhahahahahaahha. Now a year and half later, there are a shit-ton of blues related shenanigans going on in the city. So if you are thinking about making the trek up here (out of town) or if you already are winter-proofed (locals), here is a quick overview of what’s happening. For a complete calendar of blues dancing events in Montreal (and other Canadian cities) check out the bluespage of Hamfats.ca .

Weekly Socials and Events

  • Live Blues at Petit Medley, second and fourth Mondays of the month. Previously it was a once a month gig at Gainzbar, Elizabeth is going buck wild and doubling the fun. Gainzbar was a bit… “cozy”… so the venue has now been changed to long time dance venue staple Le Petit Medley just across the street. UPDATE: For January it’s on during January 7th and 28th, then it will be second and fourth. Or so says Elizabeth.
  • Brouhahahahahaahaha, usually twice a month on Sundays just before live blues on Mondays. It sometimes changes in terms of weeks so check on the calendar for confirmed dates.
  • Cats Corner Late Night, second and fourth fridays of the month. Usually starting around midnight at Cats Corner, it’s a smaller blues “late night after the lindy hop dance” event.
  • L’Artere Blues, live blues with one of our local bands. This is a new event so I’m not exactly sure if this will be a regular event but the first one is on the last friday of the month.

Regular Classes

  • Cats Corner Blues Troupe, we have auditions coming up on January 8th for the winter semester and after that there are regular troupe classes every Tuesday 7:00-8:30pm.
  • Studio 88 Blues 2 – blues classes starting on January 29th at the world famous Studio 88 taught by Martin Fortin and Catherine Vourlessis

Special Workshops

  • Damon Stone Workshop, February 16th-17th. Run by Javiera! You should probably go to this workshop.
  • Montreal Bagels and Blues, April 26th-28th. You already know and are going to this event… so I don’t even know why I wrote this ;-)

Tired of trying to find the blues dance events in Montreal on Facebook? I know I am haha. So for a short-cut, just check out the bluespage of Hamfats.ca where I do all the facebook diggin’ for you!


Here’s a youtube clip to put on the background while you re-organize your calendar around:

Randy

BluesShout 2012 Roundup

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This is my BluesShout roundup post! Wahoo! The first half of the post really is just all the vids that I shot while there. Everyone loves watching dance videos right? I’m sure most of you blues fanatics have already seen my BluesShout videos on Facebook but here they all are just in case. I would really appreciate if you guys/gals are able to post the names of the performers and competitors (and what order) so I can appropriately tag them.

The second half of this post are some notes and musings about my blues dance process for the past year in regards to “training” in blues dancing. A lot of people I know in the dance community are real naturals for getting things in a dance context. Sadly, I’m not one of those naturals. My way of offsetting my cumbersome self is to take lots and lots of notes (even though most of it usually is incompressible). Fun times.

Videos

Links: Strictly Slow – https://vimeo.com/44703513 || Strictly Fast – https://vimeo.com/44837774 || Performance 1 – https://vimeo.com/45007643 || Performance 2 – https://vimeo.com/45021947 || Performance 3 – https://vimeo.com/45023260 || Open Jack and Jill – https://vimeo.com/45034699 || Pro/Am (Lead) – https://vimeo.com/45208230 || Pro/Am (Follow) – https://vimeo.com/45205350

Read More…

Post-SHOUT Quickie

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Quickie post. Just got back from Minneapolis this evening from the awesome Shout party. Wish you guys/gals had been there (you know who you are, boOoOOO!!1). The first dance on Thursday night was on a paddleboat from St.Paul and it was by far one of the coolest experience I have ever had in the blues dancing universe. Should’a been there!

I was going to go through the vids I shot but forgot how many there were until I downloaded them to my laptop. Saw the number of files in LightRoom and promptly got lazy. The file size limitation of video DSLR needs to be solved asap by Canon or Nikon because having dozens of one gig videos numbered DSC_xxx sucks big time. I did manage to piece together the strictly slow competition before deciding that eating and watching The Netflix would be a better way to finish off the day after being stuck at airports. Check out it below:

BluesSHOUT 2012 – Strictly Slow from Hamfats.ca on Vimeo.

Edit: Also now the strictly fast:

BluesSHOUT 2012 – Strictly Fast from Hamfats.ca on Vimeo.

The weekend was fairly productive for me: 1st place in Jack&Jill with Jenny, 1st in Pro/Am with Joy, 2nd in Champions division (sayyyy whaaatttthefak) with Ruby Red, and finalist for solo hip thrusting. Next year I believe that I won’t sign up for so many competitions. While it’s fun and better than sitting around watching, I barely had time to eat dinner during the weekend and was constantly rushing from one venue to the next. Most of the competitions started on time during the first band break which meant that you had about two hours from the end of the workshop to the dance to drive back, change, re-pack for the evening, and eat. Oh well, small price to pay to get on The Youtubes right (note: *sarcasm*).

Great event though and certainly the most organized one I have ever been to. It’s kind of heart-warming to think that my first real blues event was four years ago in Chicago.

More to come about BluesShout on an undetermined date ;-).

- Randy

That was a hot night

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At our dance venue on Yonge & Bloor, people mess around with the temperature of the studio all the time. To combat this, Kevin Sue installed a case-lock around the studio thermostat so that you would need a key to open the case to be able to have access to the studio heating system. Great idea in practicality, except when the key is no where to be found. So if you went to the drop-in lesson and live blues dance last night (and why wouldn’t you have gone?) and were sweating buckets, there was a greater force at work :-)

But yah what a night eh? Brian Cober and Aslan Gotov, for their first time playing for us blues dancers in Toronto, were great great great. Everybody was walking up to me throughout the night and asking where I found them. Well, actually, my israeli friend Kim found them but they have been playing in venues all around Toronto for a while now (ie. Grossmans Tavern). If you know more great blues musicians, remember to refer them to me!

I Found My Thrill (On Blueberry Hill)

Patrick playing at Yonge & Bloor Blues. Jan. 14, 2010

Patrick playing at Yonge & Bloor Blues. Jan. 14, 2010

The first blues dance in Toronto went pretty well, thanks to our good ol’buddy Patrick Tevlin playing some sweet sweet tunes for us. For the dance, we brought in a live band to play the equivalent of one DJ set (1 hour’ish) just to mix things up. The responses from the community have been pretty positive so far and we’ll definitely be integrating Toronto’s great blues musicians into the scene as much as possible :)

Patrick Tevlin – Toronto Blues Dance – Blueberry Hill from Hamfats.ca on Vimeo.

Patrick Tevlin, Suitcase Sam, Robin Hatch
January 14, 2010