BluesMuse Instructors

17 December 2013

Blues Muse 2017 Instructors

— Update 5/30/17 — We've updated this page with our Muses for 2017! We hope you're as excited about these teachers as we are!

Muses
Kelsy Stone
Oakland, CA, USA
Kelsy Stone

Kelsy brings her lifetime of dance training, a passion for vernacular dance, and a sharp eye for technique to the Blues dance world. She has brought her joy and knowledge of blues idiom dances to some of the most high-profile events in the US, including but not limited to: bluesSHOUT!, The Experiment, and Nocturne Blues--serving as faculty, mentor, competition coordinator, and judge.

Kelsy's critical eye and love of deep technique are tempered by her love of "dad jokes," getting lost in the music, and embracing of the ridiculous. She shows her appreciation of African American culture by speaking of the history of Blues idiom dance and taking her craft seriously, but never herself. She believes every mistake is an opportunity to learn, every class an opportunity to challenge, and every dance an opportunity to pay respect to those who came before.

Photo Credit: Ben Hejkal



Here is a video of Kelsy dancing!

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Philippe Wilson
San Francisco, CA, USA
Philippe Wilson

Recently referred to as Blues Dance’s “best kept secret lead”, Philippe is all about listening to the music and his partner, and interpreting both with exquisite flair. He combines precise leads with musical integrity, creating a dynamic dance that feels ooey-gooey in all the right ways. Although Philippe has rocked some competitions (1st place Blues Shout Pro-Am, 1st place Blues Muse J&J), his first and true love is social dancing. Philippe learned to dance and teach in Austin, TX, where you can dance to live music nearly 8 nights a week. He now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area where he’s designing very cool things for very cool mobile devices (i.e. he’s fluent in geek speak).



Here is a video of Philippe dancing!

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Mike Legenthal
Boston, MA, USA
Mike Legenthal

Mike is a passionate aficionado of jazz and blues dances, known all over the world for her friendliness, teaching skills, beautiful following, and expressive dancing. She brings both vibrant energy and technical precision to the classroom, and strives to make every social dance the best experience possible. Mike’s teaching history is extensive; having taught at a range of events from residencies to international workshops to private trainings, she brings preparation and flexibility to every class. A typical class could involve students morphing into robot penguins or seaweed, standing on one foot with their eyes closed, or analyzing chord changes- all in the pursuit of better dancing. Regardless of the material, her classes always include a mix of abstract and concrete topics, plenty of levity, and challenging homework to help students improve long after class has ended.

Photo Credit: Devon Rowland



Here is a video of Mike dancing!

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Dan Legenthal
Boston, MA, USA
Dan Legenthal

Dan Legenthal lives in Boston, MA, working on as many vernacular jazz and blues dances as he can. His passion extends to both the social floor and competition. When not competing, he teaches at events like Korea Blues Camp (South Korea), Hot Blues In Toulouse (France), and The Blues Experiment (USA).

Drawing from his degree in Classical Guitar, Dan has unique insight into how to practice and develop one’s skills, and uses that knowledge to create a dynamic and engaging learning environment. Since dance is experiential, Dan likes to prioritize doing, and treats learning like a sequence of experiments where you can learn as much from failures as from success. This philosophy is anchored on clear, precise language, and a belief that every student is capable of developing their own skill by patient, intentional practice.

Photo Credit: Devon Rowland



Here is a video of Dan dancing!

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Rachel Stirling
Portland, OR, USA
Rachel Stirling

It was Pittsburgh, 2003 when Rachel got her first taste of blues dancing, shortly after getting hooked on lindy hop. She fell in love with the intimate connection between your partner and the music and all that hip movement. As her blues dancing has grown, she continues to marvel at the unlimited possibilities of self-expression and movement. She delights in sharing that joy through teaching, djing, performing, and kicking so much ass in competitions.

When teaching dance, Rachel loves putting her Penn State degree in education to good use. Known for her incredible patience and ability to explain and demonstrate concepts in a variety of ways, she strives to get those "Aha!" moments. Rooted in strong fundamentals and clean technique, her lessons enjoy finding fun ways to sneak that focus into peoples' dancing. As a regional and national instructor, dj, and scene organizer, Rachel is spreading her love of Blues from coast to coast. For dance videos, pictures, and more info, check out http://www.redstirling.com.

Photo Credit: Devon Rowland



Here is a video of Rachel dancing!

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Tim O'Neill
Downey, CA, USA
Tim O'Neill

Tim O’Neill started dancing in 1997 and couldn’t stop! 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!

Photo Credit: Devon Rowland



Here is a video of Tim dancing!

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Jenny Sowden
New York City, NY, USA
Jenny Sowden

Jenny Sowden is an award winning, full-time, international dance instructor based in New York City where she is the managing director of Brooklyn Swings and nycBABBLE.com. Jenny has been training in dance for over twenty-five years and teaching for over twenty, with a BA in Dance and Theater from San Diego State University. She has studied 34 different styles of movement including Ballet, Tap, Hip Hop, West African, Capoeira, Aikido, Tango, Salsa, Lindy hop, Balboa, and Blues. Her background influences her teaching and general style through musicality, variety, expression and an understanding of body mechanics. Jenny believes the dance floor is a ‘World of Yes,’ where by constantly accepting and being inspired by what happens, creates an amazing place to be. We then take classes in a ‘World of Intention’ to expand our ‘World of Yes.’ Find out more at JennySowden.com.

Photo Credit: Allison Bishop



Here is a video of Jenny dancing!

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Dan Repsch
Montreal, QC, CA
Dan Repsch

Dan is immersed in the music and the movement. He constantly travels to continue learning, happily sharing his ideas along the way. In his teaching, Dan’s enthusiastic approach brings a focus on innovation, connection, and attention to your partner. Dan is also a veteran DJ, spinning for events across the continent and locally on a weekly basis, and has dabbled in organizing for events and local dances. In the end, Dan is most excited to push his dancing and to see his students break through their boundaries.

Photo Credit: Braden Nesin



Here is a video of Dan dancing!

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