What is blues dancing?

 
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Blues dancing has existed for almost as long as there has been Blues music, though it most likely looked different from what we see on the dance floor today. Blues dancing is a term used to describe a family of dances that have developed throughout the history of Blues music, as well as contemporary dances that are danced in a similar aesthetic. 


In the 1990’s, when the Lindy Hop revival started, there began to be Lindy exchanges throughout the United States, at which there were often “Blues Rooms” where dancers could dance slowly to Blues and other mellow music. Blues soon started to become a scene in and of itself, with communities all over the United States and elsewhere in the world. 


Blues offers a unique kind of partner dance. It allows for improvised steps within a set of standard techniques, including a strong connection, tension and compression, turns, traveling, etc. While Blues dancing can be a slow, intimate affair, it can also be a fast paced rush around the floor. 


It can be danced to Blues music, and often is, and can also be danced to many other kinds of music (often referred to as “alternative Blues”). 


It also lends itself to be fused with almost any other kind of partner dance. 


~Crossroads Blues Fusion

 

 

Blues Dance comes in Different Styles

  • Cake Walk

  • Slow Drag

  • Black Bottom

  • Jookin’

  • Struttin’

  • Ballroomin’

  • Drag Blues

Everyone used to call it Slow Drag; however, after being educated on the histories of Blues styles, it definitely was not. We don’t want to claim to be the first to do Drag Blues, because many dancers danced similarly to us, but I would say that we are important proponents of the dance. We often see other instructors teaching a dance similar to Drag Blues, but we wouldn’t consider it as such. They often blend Slow Drag with Struttin’ or Ballroomin’, when Drag Blues is a hybrid with Swing.
— Joe DeMers
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“As with most things in life, all it takes is a willingness to learn (and make mistakes), while focusing on having fun, and dancing like no one else is watching! Because—they aren't!—they're dancing too! :-)”

M. C. (student)