One of my passions is Blues dancing.
Blues is a style of dance that originated from African American slave communities where traditional African dancing styles were combine with elements of European partner dancing.
In the 1980s and 1990s, Blues dance was rediscovered by dance communities around the world, and has now grown to a very popular movement with ‘scenes’ in cities across the world.
A way in which Blues dancing differs from other partner dances styles is that there is not exactly a strict set of moves which Blues dancing is built around as there is with Latin or Swing dance styles. The main element of Blues dancing is the ‘pulse’, which, simply put, means stepping or ‘pulsing’ from foot to foot rhythmically. Everything else you do in Blues dance is built upon that all important pulse. This means that it is a great dance to start if you have no prior experience as there is no need to remember complicated moves at first.
Another important thing about Blues dancing is the relaxed nature of the relationship between the lead and the follow in most ‘scenes’. A lead can be either male or female, as can a follow – women can lead men, men can follow women, men can dance with men and women can dance with women. An experienced lead should be able to feed off the energy of the follow and take inspiration from their dancing so that the dance becomes more of a conversation between the two partners, and less of a series of instructions from the lead.
These two elements, the simple main footwork and the communication between partners, means that every dance you have can vary between being intimate, funky, soulful, graceful etc.
Modern day Blues dance has moved away from it’s roots in traditional Blues music and is now danced to anything and everything!
Below are a few example of music that Blues can be danced to.
Traditional Blues –
Country Blues –
Ballroom Blues –
Modern Blues –
Basically, I would say that if a song makes you feel like moving, then you can Blues dance to it.
One final thing I will mention, is to explain this word I keep using – ‘scene’. A scene is basically just a name for groups of people who dance in different cities. There are Blues scenes all around the UK, Europe and across the rest of the world. You should be able to find your local scene here. People dance in slightly different styles in different scenes and may have different ideas with regards to leading/following, but you should find everywhere that Blues dancers are very friendly, open and suppporitvre people
So, to sum up, find your local Blues dance scene, go to a class and fall in love!