BLAM! What a workshop weekend with Steven Mitchell and Virginie Jensen out here in Toronto. To put it lightly, it was a killer weekend, but oh so worth every moment.
Prior to the workshops, I was acquainted to Steven and Virginie’s style of dance from their DVDs ‘Dancing the Blues’ and ‘Goin’ to Church with Steven’ thus I was super stoked to take their classes and take photos all weekend long.
The workshops started Friday evening with a blues class and helped set the tone for the rest of the workshops, with lots of body and hip movements and a lot of fun times. A DJ’ed social was put on preceding the class by folks from Swing and Tap and Mike Thibault from Rochester.
Early Saturday morning Virginie worked everyone’s hips and body with solo movements with Jazz movements and techniques. It blows my mind how graceful and sensual she moves, without being over the top like how I find Salsa to be. For the rest of the day, she was joined with Steven and it was Lindy hop moves for the rest of the day.
The Saturday night dance was a lot of fun with all the regulars from Dovercourt showing up, the inclusion of all the people out of town and those taking the workshops. The band that night was one of my favorite, the Rainbow Gardens Quintet who was joined by Alisha Russ for 1-2 songs. As a surprise treat, for their encore, Steven Mitchell joined them for Lady Be Good.
Steven Mitchell kicked off Sunday day with Vernacular Jazz followed by more lindy hop, but focused more on techniques and musicality. There was a focus on swingouts and variations as well as changing things up with 6 count moves. What set apart Sunday was one of the most unique ideas i have seen thus far for a workshop. They had brought in a trio to play live, Tyler Yarema, to help with teaching musicality and rhythm. This was a fantastic end to a great workshop weekend.
If you haven’t had a chance to see this previous post here are two special videos with Steven and Virginie to hopefully inspire you and keep you lindy hopping.
Special Video by Virginie Jensen!
Steven Mitchell lays out for Toronto to keep going,