Randy and Joy Ottawa Workshop

Shorties teaching dance!

Shorties teaching dance!

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…

Jazz Me If You Can


Myriam and I will be teaching in Saguenay for a jazz/lindy hop workshop in November! I’m pretty stoked about it ~ In related news, that’s me above in posterized form!!!

Saguenay Swing présente: Jazz me if you can II

JMIYC est un évènement de danse dédié au lindy hop et charleston. C’est à travers la musique Jazz que Randy Panté et Myriam Baril vous feront évoluer en danse solo et couple.

Détails et inscription à venir sur: www.saguenayswing.com

Teaching Quick Notes from MezzJelly Toronto 2013


Sitting here on the train back to Montreal after a great weekend at MezzJelly at my old stomping grounds of Toronto and pondering the meaning of life, love, and dance.

Haha, just joking… but whenever I’m on the train, I seem to always be contemplating whether I should be productive and write or just chill and play Football Manager for six hours straight. Today I think I will be productive…

four days later…

Okay so I wasn’t very productive at all but teaching at MezzJelly was a special experience for me because the last MezzJelly event in Canada was also my first ever blues event. Circle of life or something like that eh?

For the event, I was hired to teach two solo dance classes – a “guys routine” and a fun “urban/hip hop” routine.

For the “urban” dance routine (hehe), I choreographed it to Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines”, which is charting at #1 in most billboards around the country right now. I chose that song mainly for the cheesy but infectious rhythm and mind numbing hook. Since the song itself is pretty party-time silly, I figured it would work well for MezzJelly. If you know the song, you might be thinking to yourself, “hey, that’s not a blues song at all”. Why yes you are right. That’s why the class title was called “urban dance” class. Whatever that means. Lawlsies. Anyhoo, the class was right after lunch so students were a bit slow coming in but as soon as the warm-up was over, the class was pretty packed. I don’t really remember much of the class besides getting everyone to do body rolls but I do remember leaving the class very happy that most people had a bumping time.

The second class I taught was a “dude’s routine” to a soul song (Temptations’ “Papa Was A Rolling Stone”) which focused a lot more on grooving and body movement. What was interesting for me as a teacher for this class was that there were multiple people just filming the entire class. At the time I thought it was a bit sketch as I can’t imagine filming an entire class being a kosher thing to do during a workshop but someone did put together this video of various runs we did:

There were a few things I could have probably done a bit better for the second class such as having a bit more time for practicing for the moves and going a bit more in-depth on the techniques. Admittedly I still have some teaching methodologies to work on when completely mixed group of dancers and I do have a tendency to just assume that most dancers are fairly experienced in solo dancing. Will work on it, promise.

All in all, I was pretty happy to be part of the event and also see so many of my friends come together for a great party. It was also awesome to be paid to just do my thanggg. See you guys at the next Toronto event :)