About Blues Dance
What is blues dancing?
In its simplest terms, blues dancing involves dancing to traditional blues music. Blues music originated among African-Americans in the American south and spread throughout the US and the world. Blues dancing started in small juke joints and grand ballrooms during the late 19th and early 20th century.
Blues dancing has no ‘basic’ step, but includes several vintage dance genres such as slow drag, fishtails, struttin’, mooche, ballroomin’, and funky butt. (See Damon Stone and Heidi Fite’s demos at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwXbXhv0aeY and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNVpNbZrcX8
Damon Stone, arguably the foremost authority on blues dancing, describes blues dancing as a grounded dance involving asymmetry in the body, rhythmic movement through the body, improvisation between partners, and a lazy drawing of the beats. Learn more about Damon’s philosophy and approach at http://damonstone.dance/articles/
Some examples of the bluesSHOUT! competitions are shown below.
‘Blues dancing is a family of historical dances that developed alongside and were danced to blues music, or the contemporary dances that are danced in that aesthetic.’
‘Like Swing dance, Blues dance originated and evolved from African rhythms and movements. However, Blues dancing was never widely practiced as a "social" or performance dance in the United States outside of the Black communities; so it developed and thrived in smoky juke joints and at Blues house parties and rent parties, giving it a more intimate feel.’