What is blues dancing?

The first question people sometimes ask when I say I blues dance is “What’s booze dancing?” I’ve never been accused of slurring or having a thick accent, but apparently “blues dancing” is not something people’s ears are perked to hear.

After clarifying that there’s no alcohol involved, their question is corrected to “What’s blues dancing?”

Blues dancing is hard to describe. In its simplest form, it’s a type of partner dancing done to blues music.

My community views blues dancing as a collection of dances (such as Ballroomin’, Jukin’, and Drag Blues) that are done to a variety of music. The dance originates and evolved from vernacular African dances, rhythms, and movements. It values grounded body posture and improvisation between the dancers and the music. Blues music, and therefore blues dancing, varies from slow and sensual to fast and funky.

Check out these videos to get a sense of blues dancing:

  • Ballroomin’ blues – characterized as a slower, fluid, but highly rhythmic dance with expressive body movements.
  • Jukin’ blues – a more energetic style of blues dancing, characterized by a downward pulse and combining many solo blues/jazz steps.
  • Drag blues – a modern variation of Ballroomin’ and Slow Drag, this style is danced to the swinging rhythms found in Blues music.

The blues dance community, especially in the Pacific Northwest, is a great place to connect with wonderful humans. If blues music doesn’t drive your soul, try fusion. The fusion dance scene is growing by the minute. More on that later!

Try blues dancing; you just might find your passion.

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