I am a Dancer, an Instructor, a DJ, a Performer, a Competitor, an Organizer, an Enthusiast, and so much more. Blues dancing was first introduced to me in January of 2011, shortly after I started swing dancing in the Fall of 2010. It didn’t take long after I found this scene filled with music, expression, and connection that was so drastically different that anything I had experienced, to get me hooked for life.
Philadelphia is my home, Lindy and Blues (LaB) is the organization I help run, and Powerhouse Blues (PhB) is my home blues scene. I help run and organize PhB as it’s Committee Ringleader and as a LaBtech with the larger organization Lindy and Blues (LaB) that support Swing and Blues dancing in the Philadelphia area. In line with those roles, I often teach, DJ, and compete as a way of giving back to the community that gave me the life that I have now and continue to hone my skills as a dancer and expand my understanding of blues as a dance and a way of life.
I am available and looking for opportunities to teach blues idiom dancing and DJ blues music, as well as other activities that help contribute to the various communities that surround blues idiom dance and blues music. Please get in touch with me if you’d like to schedule a Private Lesson, have me teach at your local dance or workshop, DJ a blues dancing event, or anything else that relates to what i’m striving to contribute. I would love to work with you!
Competition gives us an opportunity to promote and celebrate those members of our community to devote time and energy to being better dancers, not just for skill, but contributing to what we all know as blues idiom dance. These dancers are often scene leaders, teachers, and musicians who bring music, learning, and dancing to various areas of the world. We root for them, shout out their city when they make finals, cheer them on when they dance in finals, and they help build pride in our individual scenes and our dance as a whole.
These competitions are often hard to make finals in as well. Out of a few hundred people, maybe up to a hundred compete in some way, and only three to seven couples or individuals make it to the finals of any given competition. Also, due to the nature of social dancing, we’re not perfect every time we compete as we may dance with partners we’ve never experienced, danced to a song we’ve never heard of before, or just had an off day. Competition is a constant challenge and test to be ready and adaptable to each new situation, while still connecting with each partner and song, and being there to have a really awesome time!
Those are the goals and ideals I hold myself to, and here is what i’ve been able to accomplish with that mindset!
|Berlin Blues Explosion 2016||Jack and Jill||1st, with Novikova Darya||–|
|Berlin Blues Explosion 2016||Strictly||Finals, with Jess Louise||–|
|Nocturne Blues 2016||Open Jack and Jill||Finals, with Laura Chieko||Link|
|Nocturne Blues 2016||Challenge Strictly||Finals, with Shoshi Krieger-Joven||Link|
|Austin Blues Party 2016||Big Damn Social Jack and Jill||Finals||Link|
|Austin Blues Party 2016||Newcomer Jack and Jill||2nd, as a Follow, with Chelsea Adams||Link|
|Steel City Blues 2016||Open Jack and Jill||1st, with Shoshi Krieger-Joven||Link|
|Snowbound Blues 2015||Social Jack and Jill||2nd, with Shira Hoffman||–|
|Snowbound Blues 2015||Novice/Expert Jack and Jill||2nd, with Caren Jensen||–|
|Snowbound Blues 2015||Solo Comp||Finals||–|
|Berlin Blues Explosion 2015||Jack and Jill||2nd, with Philippa Svensson||Link|
|Berlin Blues Explosion 2015||Strictly||3rd, with Annette Kuhnle||Link|
|North Star Blues 2015||Strictly||Finals, with Andi Hansen||–|
|Sweet Molasses Blues 2015||Advanced Jack and Jill||3rd, with Elizabeth Tuazon||Link|
|Nocturne Blues 2015||Switch! Jack and Jill||2nd, with Grace Jones-Taylor||Link|
|Nocturne Blues 2015||Challenge Strictly||Finals, with Shoshi Krieger Joven||Link|
|Nocturne Blues 2015||Solo Team Competition||Finals||–|
|Austin Blues Party 2015||Big Damn Social Jack and Jill||Finals||Link|
|Austin Blues Party 2015||Strictly||3rd, with Laney Barhaugh||Link|
While Weekly Classes and Workshops are, in my opinion, the best way to involve yourself in a new dance and the community around it, there are certain points in your dancing career where you will feel stuck, plateaued, sore, or that something doesn’t look or feel quite right. This is where Private Lessons come into play. Private Lessons provide 1-on-1, partnered, or small group sessions designed to pin-point material and areas of improvement that suit you and what you’re working on.
I have taken many private lessons, and enjoy experiencing them from a variety of teachers, to continue my learning and understanding of various facets of blues dancing and how they can be applied or show up in my dancing. With that experience, and my thirst for knowledge and growth, I offer private lessons where I travel to and in my home city of Philadelphia to spread the knowledge I have, help others grow in their dancing, and to learn how to be a better teacher and master the techniques i’ve learned and developed.
As with most things, being available for a private lesson is dependent on my schedule, but if you’re interested in getting a private lesson with me, i’ll do my best to nail a time-frame down that works for us both. Just scroll down to my Contact Form and send me as much information as you can about why you’re interested in a private lesson, what time you have available, and what you think I could provide for you or help you grow in!
Web Development, particularly working on and building systems, is another passion of mine. One that often pays the bills a little more and provides incredible beauty, utility, and ease to those I work to support. With only an Associates Degree (so far) in Computer Information Systems, most of my work and learning has taken place “on the job” learning technologies, techniques, and the pitfalls associated with those as I go along. This gives me a unique edge in this area of life as i’m accustomed to looking for solutions in a variety of places, testing them for usability and efficiency, as well as pulling from an extensive history for creative applications to suit the needs of my clients.
I provide a simple interface for existing clients to acquire and manage hosting as well as a myriad of website design and development services. If you have an interest or a need for those, shoot me an e-mail through the contact form, I would love to work with you!