This May I flew to Chicago for a popular blues event, Blues Shout. I met some really welcoming mid-western locals who were kind enough to truck me around for the weekend and got to dance with and gawk at some of the best blues dancers from the US. I ate an unhealthy amount of deep-dish pizza and received an intimate education of the Chicago Transit Authority (the venues were really spread throughout the city). I was having such a great time that I barely took any pictures.
I only ended up competing in one division for BluesShout, the solo cutting contest. It was a nerve-racking experience being in front of so many talented and dedicated blues dancers for the finals who are all expecting you to do something to amaze them.
I ended up placing first for the cutting contest (audience judged). Admittedly I was a bit embarrassed after the competition when people were coming up to congratulate me because I did not expect to win at all. I have a pretty goofy dance personality that does not produce the best dance aesthetics (damn you “lines”!) and I’m pretty sure I fell down a couple of times. I’ll have to watch the video to see what actually happened.
However, watching the other competitions renewed my sense of commitment to learning the fundamentals and technique of blues dancing. There are so many possibilities of movement in blues dancing that I have not even began to explore yet. The Ballroomin’ and Juke Joint finals were amazing to watch due to the variety of moves and styles that were presented. I caught myself thinking multiple times, “aww yah, gotta steal that move”.
“Hey Fellas Go Get Em”
Here’s something a little bit different…
The ladies wait for the cue from the band to woo the guys in the audience.