When Myriam and I set out to choreograph to this song, we didn’t expect any real kind of reception and were just more than happy just to work on our dancing. So I’m super grateful that so many of my peers are sharing our work and giving us so much love because I really feel that this routine really represents us – not only as dancers but as human beings as well.
Last Saturday I taught a blues workshop in our nation’s capital of Ottawa with none other than the illustrious Joy Arico. Teaching with Joy is actually (pardon the pun) joyous because she just has such an infectious love of the blues that when you are around her when she is talking about the techniques/aesthetics/history of the dance, you can’t help but feel invigorated.
Teaching in Ottawa is like coming home for me because that is where I won my first real blues competition and that is where I started learning how to do partner connection for realsies (Ottawa Blues Blast represent). I always tell people if it wasn’t for those early events that I went to in Ottawa, I probably would not have gotten into blues dancing (as there weren’t any venues in Toronto to dance it at that time) and I probably wouldn’t have moved to Montréal to start my soon to be awesome jass café (hee hee). Read More…
This is a fun little class I had the good opportunity to help in titled, “The Jungle Blues”. I truly heart solo dancing so I was pretty amped when I found out that I would be doing the advanced track of the solo portion of the weekend. While I do enjoy teaching solo dancing for beginners, I know that what really motivates me is when I’m really pushing myself as a teacher and showing what can be possible movement wise in such a short amount of class time. There’s a lot of curating going on for solo classes – what to teach (and what to spend time working details on), what to just show and move on, and ultimately, what to cut altogether.
In terms of choreography and inspiration, I wanted to have one foot in the past and one foot in the present in terms of what types of movement I would be showing. I focused a lot on hips/arm movements that I thought that majority of the dancers could walk away from the class being a little better at while at the same time really being mindful of fundamental vernacular blues movements like fishtails, mooches, boogies, low downs and pivot steps.
Oh et juste pour rire, I threw in a hip thrust in there for good measure. Traditions are hard to break.
Overall I was really happy that most of the participants were able to get the choreography in the 45 or so minutes that I had with them and hope to have more opportunities to do these kinds of mini projects at blues events. I mean, I do this all the time in Montréal… but not everyone can be in my city all the time. Or can they? (see what I did there?).
Special thanks to Rebecca and Melanie for filming. :)
Woot, last night’s performance at Cats Corner. First performance expectations are always hard to live up to but I’m super proud of my team and what we were able to accomplish in just two months. My troupe was also pretty cute in that they made me a nice card with some emo comments. Too bad I’m the tin man equivalent of a dance choreographer…
Jokesieesss I heart my team.
Check us out at our next performance at Petite Medley on Monday August 9th.
Lots of blues action happening this month in Montreal:
- Tuesdays Blues 1 starts on March 5th at Cats Corner for six weeks. It’s a pretty small class right now so there definitely spots open for next week and onwards. See Cats Corner website (http://catscorner.ca/blues) for more details.
- Brouhaha Pub was on last Sunday (March 3rd) and will be back on again March 17th. The drop-in instructors for the March 17th dance will be Éric and Catherine. https://www.facebook.com/events/167466130072790/
- Les Lundi Live Blues at Le Petit Medley is on the 11th and 25th of the month. The band for the March 11th dance will is ‘Sabenita’. https://www.facebook.com/events/161813880642986
- This Friday March 8th is L’artere Blues with Rick L. Blues – https://www.facebook.com/events/469677216419199/
- Cats Corner blues room is on three times in March – March 1st, 15th, and 29th.
- Randy and Genevieve are teaching a two hour workshop on open position blues for those who want to add a little bit more dance repertoire when not in close embrace. It’s on March 24th at Cats Corner. Check it out at: https://www.facebook.com/events/395773837185511
As always, a calendar view of events can be found on this site by clicking on “blues dancing” on the top menu.
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!
- 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!
- Derek Falls Trio on February 11th.
- 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.
- 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.
The first live blues event of the year happened old time dance favourite venue Le Petit Medley last week and it a pretty big success. Major props to Elizabeth, Genevieve and crew for putting on a great night and of course the band for being awesome as usual. They even brought in a new keyboard guy which made the sound that just rich for dancing.
Mmm jass-blues… can’t ever get enough.
PS – the next lundi blues should be on January 28th.