Damon has been dancing his entire life, starting with vernacular Jazz/Blues first taught to him at the tender age of six by his grandmother. After nearly a decade of learning at the heels of his elders, he went on and eventually studied a score of different dance forms until coming full circle in 1995 to focus primarily on the history and styles of Swing and Blues as his family danced them with a special focus on the Southern styles from the Mississippi Delta region. He has studied the development of vernacular Jazz/Blues dance across the United States learning from a number of the original dancers. He is largely regarded as one of the foremost authorities on Blues idiom dance and has been interviewed as a dance historian in documentary and for radio. Damon has been a featured instructor at camps, festivals, and workshops across four continents.
San Francisco, CA
Heidi began dancing and teaching the Blues dancing in St. Louis in 1999 and has been dancing, teaching and performing ever since. An early promoter of Blues dancing, she founded the first national Blues dance workshop (Cheap Thrills), which has since transformed into the nation’s largest Blues dance workshop and competition weekend (bluesSHOUT!).
Heidi now lives in San Francisco and she travels the world teaching Blues dancing as a living tradition, with a rich history and an exciting future. From private lessons and local classes to international workshops and historical research and documentation of the dance, she is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Blues dancing.
Her classes are inspiring and challenging, but her focus on the underlying principles and fundamentals allows her to break down the most difficult concepts and moves so they are easy to understand and incorporate. Heidi is able to communicate and instill in her students a love of dance and a dedication to the learning process. More important, her classes will put some serious “boom boom boom” and “aw haw haw haw” in your dancing.
Jerry and Kathy Warwick
Jerry and Kathy have been laughing, dancing and teaching together for over a decade. Sometimes a bit wacky, sometimes a bit serious, always loads of fun. They will drill you with technique, blues movement and moves, make you sweat, make you think, and teach you ways to stretch yourself as a dancer. Blues Dancers all over the USA are begging for more.
Who are they? Jerry and Kathy have been a big part of the Dallas Blues and Swing dance scene since 2001. Hmmmm… National Blues events? Let’s just toss out a few places they have taught … Blues Shout, BamBLOOZled, Down Home Blues, Can’t Stop the Blues, Can’t Fool The Blues, Mile High Blues, Enter the Blues, Emerald City Blues, Frankie 95, Dirt Cheap Blues, Austin Blues Party, Cheap Thrills, Blues Boot Camp, Mezzjelly Blues, Houston Fusion, Lone Star Championships, various regional events throughout the USA and their own Red White and Blues.
Joe DeMers is a champion Blues and Lindy Hop instructor based in Denver, CO. He has toured the world teaching and performing from South Korea to France, Canada and all over the US. He loves to dance and is proud to be a dancer, performer, competitor, and instructor. He is a proponent of Frame Matching and the creator of ΔpTed, a framework for analyzing and teaching partner-dance connection. Joe is the owner of Overstreet Dance Gallery in Littleton, CO; a club for the arts, music and dance. He also runs a 6-day, Blues dance instructor training in Denver, CO. Additionally, Joe enjoys sushi, anime, long walks on the beach, and dancing with Mike Legett. For more information on Joe, or Frame Matching and ΔpTed, check out his website at joeandnelle.com and bluesdanceteacher.com.
Watching Joy Arico dance is like seeing music out on the floor. Joy dances like she has a gallon of moxy in her quart sized container and she knows just how to serve it.
In 25 years of dancing Joy has loved cheerleading, West Coast Swing, Country Two-Step, Lindy Hop, as well as Balboa and Blues. Her exuberant love of dance is matched only by her attentiveness to technique and detail. Her number one goal in teaching is to share the LOVE of dance. Music should be the ultimate driving force of dance and she is focused on sharing ways to enhance the natural body response to music.
Joy moved back to Rochester from New York City 2 years ago where she was heavily involved with Jook Joint Shimmy Blues and Blues Blaze. She currently Co-directs Lady Luck Blues with Steve Losh. Lady Luck Blues offers a weekly dance party every Monday Night at Tango Cafe, and weekly instruction at Dance Biz Studios.
She has danced, competed and taught in virtually every major dance city in the United States. She has been honored to teach with such incredible partners as Damon Stone, Barry Douglas, Tim O’Neill, Bryan Spellman, Davis Thurber, Dan Repsch, Justin Hileman, and Steve Losh.
She holds Six first place titles, Four second place titles, Four 3rd place titles and is a consistent finalist in Blues competitions all over the USA.
Julie has been teaching, DJing, and competing in blues since 2006. With a background in performance and solo dance, she is known for her energy, musicality, and style. Julie teaches regularly in Boston, and has also taught nationally at events such as bluesSHOUT, Down Home Blues, Blues Muse, and Austin Blues Party. She has won many national competitions, including Mile High Blues 2012 Jack & Jill, Enter the Blues 2012 Strictly and Choreography Comp, Emerald City Blues 2011 Strictly and Solo Cuttin, Bambloozled 2011 Solo Riffin, Bambloozled 2010 Showcase, BluesSHOUT 2009 Juke Joint, and more.
Los Angeles, CA
Tim O’Neill started dancing in 1997 and couldn’t stop! He now tries to bring as much Blues to the world as possible through workshops, private lessons, event consultation, and teacher’s trainings. He has studied and taught Blues, Lindy, Ballroom, and Argentine Tango and even wrote two theses for an MA in Sociology on social dynamics and body language observed in dance venues. Since 2009 he has trained or taught at over fifty events and has thirteen Blues competition titles to his name from the biggest events in the US. Tim believes the best way to dance is to have fun, and learning dance enhances that ability. When taking Tim’s classes expect to laugh, have fun, be entertained, and learn—a lot. And be sure to ask him to dance!
Brenda is fulfilling her childhood dream as a professional dancer and instructor. She studies African American street dances from the turn of the century to the present. Brenda travels around the world teaching and training with various coaches and historians. Her strength is breaking down the dances in a way that is accessible for anyone, even if they don’t have a dance background. She strives to help her students find the dancer with-in themselves, taking inspiration from dancers of the past. Brenda is working with the Blues dance community during this time of growth to develop curriculum and events that raise the community’s level of dancing. Her hope is to provide structure for duplicable material, while keeping the inherent character and nature of the dance.
-topher Howard’s first memory of dance is in his grandmother’s kitchen. His love for movement and expression launched him into Lindy Hop and Blues in 2000, and teaching in 2001. He studied modern dance at Middlebury College, performing often, and founded the Middlebury Swing Club. As an organizer, teacher and DJ -topher has been serving the local dancers in Seattle since 2004. Guided by an uncompromising commitment to true mastery, he is known for his passion as both a teacher and a dancer.
Shane McIntyre and Keri McLean
Shane McIntyre, a native Australian, & Keri McLean, hailing from the States, have an outstanding passion for dance and travel both nationally and internationally to share their knowledge. They instruct, perform, coach & judge all ages & ability levels. With their diverse experience they appeal to a wealth of students who enjoy what Keri, Shane, and their company Gravity Dance Productions has to offer. Crowd favorite instructors, Shane & Keri create an incredible draw when they teach in Europe, South America & Austalaia and were the first ever instructors to introduce West Coast Swing to Italy! They are proud to have placed in the Top 5 for the last two years at the U.S. Open (the largest international WCS comp) and have ranked in the Top 10 for three years. Keri & Shane are known for their exciting fusion dance classes which are the rage all over the world. Transforming the face of dance, Shane & Keri are technicians on the cutting edge, morphing body mechanics with revolutionary style.
John Miller & Jesica Cutler
John and Jesica combine a mastery of technique, excellent body mechanics, and a fun, straightforward approach to Tango to provide classes that give students a deep understanding of the dance and which allow them to make rapid progress. John began dancing at the age of 18, never suspecting that Tango would eventually take over his entire life. When that realization struck, he decided to pursue Tango as a career and has been teaching full time since 2009. Jesica is a trained massage therapist, and she employs her extensive anatomical knowledge and superb body awareness to analyze movement and to help her students better understand the mechanics of their own bodies. John is regularly invited to DJ and teach at numerous dance events across North America, including Denver’s Natural Tango Festival, Burning Tango in McCloud, CA, the Albuquerque Tango Festival, Mala Leche in New York City, and the Toronto Tango Experience. Jesica has taught at Atomic Blues Fusion in Albuquerque, the Canadian Swing Championships (CSC), and she is a member of the renowned Lindy Hop performance team 23 Skidoo.