BluesMuse Instructors

17 December 2013

Blues Muse 2016 Instructors

— Update 6/14/16 — Our Muses for Blues Muse 2016 are confirmed below! We're also looking to bring in a variety of Guest Instructors for discussions and special classes. We'll update those as we confirm them and add them to the schedule.

Muses
Mike Legenthal
Boston, MA, USA
Mike LegenthalMike's true loves in life are teaching, dancing, following, and music. There's no order, because for her, these things are intrinsically linked. In addition to national events like Lindy Focus and Enter the Blues, Mike has taught at countless regional events in Lindy, Blues, and Balboa, as well as traveling all over the country to teach and perform. She performed in an all-girls Charleston troupe at Camp Jitterbug's Jump Session Show in 2007, and in the all-girl blues troupe, the Hoodoo Ladies, at events from DC to BluesShout in St. Louis. Additionally, she has taught at events ranging from one-month artists residencies to international training camps.

Mike combines an intuitive understanding of connection with an analytical speaking style to give her students technique, but also strives to challenge and inspire her students to push themselves further into the music. She aims to help leaders create artistic compositions that are clearly led; she wants follows to have the ability to be a completely literal follow, and the inspiration and freedom to be an imaginative and dynamic contributor. In the classroom or on the social floor, she seeks a connection that involves active communication from both partners, to make a dance together.

Here is a video of Mike dancing!

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Dan Legenthal
Boston, MA, USA
Dan LegenthalDan Legenthal lives in Boston, where he is pursuing an MBA and an MS in Information Systems at Boston University. In his "spare" time, he runs New School Swing, a local swing dance studio, and travels to teach, compete, and work on his dancing. His passion for dance extends to all swing and blues dances.

Dan routinely teaches at events like Blues Muse, BluesSHOUT!, Hot Blues In Toulouse, and Berlin Blues Explosion. In a typical class, you can expect Dan to encourage students to take an active role in learning by improving their visual learning skills. He preaches that movement comes first, and by refining it one can develop excellent technique, partnership, and musicality. Drawing from his degree in Classical Guitar, Dan has unique insight into how to practice and develop skills, and uses that knowledge to create a dynamic, engaging learning environment.

Here is a video of Dan dancing!

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Julie Brown
Boston, MA, USA
Julie BrownJulie's expressive dancing and joyful, playful connection are known throughout the blues dancing world. With a background in theatre, improv comedy, and solo dance, she is best known for her solo movement, artistic choreography, and killer follower expression.

A hard-working competitor, Julie has won many national competitions, including bluesSHOUT 2014 All Star Jack & Jill, Steel City Blues 2014 Open Jack & Jill, Enter the Blues 2014 Strictly & Choreography Competition, and many more.

As a teacher, Julie is clear, thoughtful, and varying degrees of goofy. From in-depth analyses of arm movement, to beginner-friendly intros to lead-follow conversation, Julie carefully crafts her classes and continuously tailors her material to fit the crowd at hand. Julie has taught blues in San Francisco, Seoul, Austin, Boston, London, Chicago, Zurich, and many places in between. She also teaches regularly in her home-base of Boston. For dance videos, pictures, and more info, check out https://dancewithjulie.wordpress.com.

Here is a video of Julie dancing!

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Shawn Hershey
New York City, NY, USA
Shawn HersheyShawn Hershey came from an extensive music background, studying classical trumpet performance at the Eastman School of Music, so when he started lindy hopping in 1999 with the Lindybaby studio, he quickly got hooked! He has studied extensively at camps and workshops with nationally renowned instructors, and in 2002, started teaching swing and lindy hop in Boston around with various partners. Shawn also began teaching and performing lindy hop internationally with his sister, Betina Hershey.

Shawn's style is a blend of traditional blues, lindy hop, and tango. He strives for technical perfection, but values musicality and fun above all else! Shawn has won or placed in dozens of blues competitions throughout the years, most notably Enter the Blues, Mile High Blues, Emerald City Blues, Cheap Thrills, and BluesSHOUT! He started teaching blues in 2005, and has since traveled and taught at workshops and events around the US and Europe, including Blues Muse, Austin Blues Party, Down Home Blues, the Fusion Exchange, and BluesSHOUT! Shawn teaches nationally and internationally with Amanda Gruhl, Julie Brown, and Natalya Alissa. He has also taught with Mike Legett, Heidi Fite, Joy Arico, and Kathy Warwick.

Before moving to NYC, Shawn taught with a collective of Boston dance instructors at New School Swing in Charlestown, MA. Along with Josh Fialkoff, he runs a successful swing and blues bands, The Fried Bananas.

Here is a video of Shawn dancing!

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Jenny Sowden
New York, NY, USA
Jenny SowdenJenny Sowden is an award winning, full-time, international dance instructor based in New York City where she is the managing director ofBrooklyn Swings and nycBABBLE.com. Jenny has been training in dance for over twenty years and teaching for over fifteen, 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.

"You are truth in motion when you dance, Ms S." - Jason

Take a look at Jenny and Dan ripping it up as the first couple in the video below!

Here is a video of Jenny dancing!

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Dan Repsch
Dan RepschDan 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.

Here is a video of Dan dancing!

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Vicci Moore
LondonUK
Vicci MooreVicci is a professional dancer, specialising in blues and swing dance. There is nothing she loves more in the world than dancing! She has a broad knowledge of dance and the body, training initially as a solo dancer and gaining a 1st class honours degree in Contemporary Dance and Choreography, and a diploma in Anatomy and Physiology. Her background in a variety of solo dances has been invaluable in her partner dancing, and she is known for approaching her blues dancing with grace, fluidity and intense body awareness.

As a teacher, Vicci is known for her warm and friendly approach, presenting technique focused classes in an understandable and accessible way. In her teaching and dancing she focusses on quality of movement, connection (with your own body and your partner), fluid motion and body awareness; tools which enable creativity and personal expression in your dancing. She believes in giving people the tools to become their own dancer and encourages all her students to find their own blues voice.

Vicci has quickly become one of the best-known and loved dancers and teachers in the UK and around Europe and is dedicated to developing the blues scene locally, nationally and internationally. Based in London, Vicci and her partner, Adamo, run weekly classes and monthly blues parties in addition to travelling the world to teach, dance and spread their love for blues.

Here is a video of Vicci dancing!

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Adamo Ciarallo
LondonUK
Adamo CiaralloAdamo is dedicated to nurturing, developing, and promoting the blues scene in London and Europe. Adamo also spreads his love for blues dancing and helps to develop strong blues communities in other local scenes in Europe and beyond. He is the co-founder and organizer of Espanish Blues Festival, Spain's first ever blues dance festival.

Adamo has a professional qualification in teaching adults and he sees his role as teacher to facilitate the classroom in response to learner's needs, enabling all students to achieve to their potential. His classes focus on highlighting the relationship between the dancers and the music and the importance of personal expression and creativity.

He loves social dancing, teaching, competing, and listening to music, and spends his 'spare' time reading and learning about the history of the dance forms he loves so much. But what makes Adamo's dancing life worthwhile is the commitment, enthusiasm, and energy of his students and everybody else around in what he describes as "this beautiful community of dancers".

Here is a video of Adamo dancing!

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Special Guest Teachers
Jesse Metcalf-Burton and Zach Williams
Jesse Metcalf-Burton and Zach WilliamsJesse and Zach started organizing events together in the fall of 2008 when they put together a weekend workshop with one track and 30 students. From there, they served on the KissME committee in various capacities from 2009-2013 and have been co-captains of Pirate Swing since its inception in 2010. In addition to organizing events, they can be found DJing, teaching, and sometimes even dancing.

Jesse and Zach seek inspiration from their favorite events and organizers. They are particularly grateful to Michael and Jaya of Lindy Focus for their guidance and support over the years. Jesse and Zach are honored to be consulted by both new and seasoned organizers.

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Dawa Jung
Korea
Dawa Jung

Dawa has been dancing blues since 2010 in Korea. She started to teach blues with Youngdon since 2012 and attended blues events in U.S. to explore and get more inspiration. At Bluesweet 2013, she was the instructor with the world best instructors Damon Stone, Heide Fite, and Dexter Santos. She is not only teaching blues but organizing blues dance events with Youngdon. She loves to travel and spread blues dance and its culture in Asia too. She has also competed at several Blues dance events in the States and got placed at Bluesshout 2014 and Blues Muse 2015.



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Youngdon Kwon
Korea
Youngdon Kwon

Youngdon has been teaching blues since 2008. He is also known as the organizer of Bluesweet(The first blues workshop in Asia which was started from 2010) & Korea Blues Camp(The biggest blues dance event in Asia). He started his dancing life with lindyhop background in 2005. But when he first experienced blues dancing in U.S.(2007), he immediately fell in love with the blues music, dance and its culture. He visits U.S. every year to get inspiration and work hard to spread Blues dance in Asia. He was a finalist of many blues events in U.S. and got First Placed in Open Jack and Jill 2014 at BluesShout.



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Laney Barhaugh
Minneapolis, MN, USA
Laney Barhaugh

Laney is a blues dance instructor, organizer, and DJ. She has been dancing Lindy Hop and blues for 10 (!) years, with some dabbling in tango and hip hop. She also loves lifting heavy things - it has given her a confidence and a quality of movement that has completely changed her dancing. She loves shaking her booty to any genre of music that encourages it. As a teacher, her goals are to integrate a little history and a little musicality into every lesson.



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Joey Science
Boston, MA, USA
Joey Science

Joey Science started swing dancing in 2005, and still can't wrap their head around where the time has gone. Since 2005, Joey has fallen madly in love with both lindy hop and blues dancing, and recently launched headfirst into learning Saint Louis Shag. Joey is actively training in both lead and follow roles, and finds that each role is important and exciting in its own way. They bring a feminist perspective to their dancing and teaching.



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Red LaBonte
Red LaBonteSarah 'Red' LaBonte is once again gracing Blues Muse with her talent for taking care of bodies! She'll be teaching you how to take care of yourself so that you can dance all night long- and for many years!

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Dan Nash
London, UK
Dan NashDan has performed extensively in the USA, both with contemporary blues players and as a solo act. He gravitated towards the deep South in early 2007 whilst making a documentary on the history of blues and has since spent 16 weeks playing around the Mississippi Delta and surrounding areas. During his travels, he met and interviewed blues legends David 'Honeyboy' Edwards, Henry Gray and Hubert Sumlin as well as members of both Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters' family. Learn more about him at his website, www.DanNashBlues.com

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Nicole Trissel
Nicole TrisselWith more than 20 years of dance training and over 9 years of teaching under her belt, Nicole is a movement and communication professional with a mission.

Nicole enjoys enabling dancers to use their body in the most healthy way possible and her ability to diagnose and change movement issues is only exceeded by her love for cultivating dance as an art form. Whether you want to add technical excellence to your dance or experience music in a whole new, visceral way, Nicole has got you covered. Dance has been one of the most important forces for growth in Nicole's life and she is excited to share her joy of dance with you.

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