Follower Invitational *Video Submission is Closed*
Register by September 18th, midnight and submit your video audition
We choose the Muses for the Follower Invitational from those who have registered for the event and submitted a one minute audition video. You must register by September 18th in order to be considered for the Follower Invitational. If you have questions please email email@example.com
Open Mix and Match
Pay to Participate by October 18th, midnight
Register for the M&M by the end of Friday's Main Dance, $5 to participate
Followers' Invitational Competition
The Followers Invitational has long been a highlight of Blues Muse. Year after year, the competition has showcased the depth and breadth of the great followers in the national Blues dance scene, utilizing a unique partnered and solo finals format. While the competition is remaining a cornerstone of Blues Muse, we are changing the selection process this year. Instead of considering every registered Follow, we will be asking those interested to submit two one-minute long audition videos via Airtable after registering. Audition videos are due no later than September 18th, 2019 and followers invited into the competition will be notified of their acceptance no later than October 1st, 2019.
Guidelines for submission of the videos:
You must be registered with either a Full Weekend Pass or a Dance Only pass to submit.
You will need to submit one partnered video approximately one minute in length and one solo video approximately one minute in length. Videos of any other length will not be accepted.
The videos should be well lit and the competitor’s entire body must be visible for the entire length of the videos.
The videos must have been recorded in either 2018 or 2019.
The video submissions must be blues dancing to blues music.
The Airtable form accepts video links or file uploads. If using YouTube or Google Photos ensure that the video is visible to those with the link.
To submit a video, please read our competition guidelines and fill out this airtable form (closed).
The finals for the Followers Invitational Competition will take place at the beginning of the Friday Late Night dance, around midnight. Competitors will receive one all-skate (partnered), will rotate and have one partnered spotlight, one solo dance spotlight, and one all-skate at the end (with a new partner). Follows will be judged individually on their partnered connection, musicality, movement, and contribution to the dance as well their solo musicality, movement, and composition.
The Followers Invitational is open to followers of all genders. Competitors selected to participate in the Followers Invitational will not be eligible to compete in the Open Mix and Match in either role.
Followers Invitational 2019
The full presence that comes from being wrapped up in a dance, the connection to my own body, the connection with other people, the ability to express myself through movement and be moved by music in the moment.
At last year's Blues Muse masters class, a fellow participant described my dancing as "fearless." I've never felt more seen as a dancer! I love to find movement that showcases trust and delight in my own body, drawing on the way blues musicians emphasize the same in their music and lives.
I first fell in love with Blues for the subtle partnered connection and freedom of expression I found within the Blues Idiom dances. As I dove deeper into the history and culture of Blues, I was drawn to the often dual nature of the music which can be simultaneously joyous and sorrowful. This inherent complexity and contradiction is at the core of my love for Blues music and dancing.
Blues is one of those things that reaches into the core of you and leaves it marks in ways you don't expect. It's vulnerability and expression and so much history and is a music that puts words and sounds to feelings that don't always have them. The sound, the heart, the passion is part of what inspires me to move, to share, to push myself both in my dance and in my own growth on and off the floor. As a dancer, I believe my identity has been centered around connection, strength, and honesty. My best dances come when my partner and I are genuine with each other, when we play and feel and trust to create something unique together in that moment. I have found my strength in dance, in movement and pushing my body, my body awareness, and control. I've found much of my found family in dance, even as we drift in and out of the event orbit. Each of these things makes up a piece of my identity as a blues dancer: a friend, an organizer, a competitor, a teacher. I love this dance, I love moving to this music and learning about the history and honoring the culture. It's why I keep coming back.
Mix and Match Competition
The Mix and Match competition is a chance for both leads and follows to showcase the skills that the blues dance community values, and especially those championed by Blues Muse. Dancers sign up individually then get paired up at random. Competitors will be judged not only on their individual skills, but on their abilities to work with and support their partner in an improvised setting.
The Prelims for the Mix and Match competition will take place Saturday afternoon, and the finals will take place Saturday night.
Format: The Mix and Match competition is open to any dancer not competing in the Followers' Invitational who has registered for the weekend. Preliminary rounds of competition will be held after the end of classes on Saturday, and will have a number of heats, as determined by the number of competitors. Each heat will consist of three songs, and competitors will rotate to a new partner between each song. Finalists will be posted as soon as the results have been tabulated.
Finals will take place at the Saturday Night Main Dance. In the finals, competitors will rotate to a new partner between each song. There will be three to four all-skates as determined by our judges. Follows will be judged on their connection, musicality, and movement, plus their contribution to the dance and overall collaborative partnering. Leads will be judged on their connection, musicality, and movement, as well as their receptivity and collaborative partnering. Cost of the competition is $5 per competitor.
Criteria for Partnered Competitions
These criteria are in order of importance as they will be weighted by our judges.
The best thing you can do in any of our competitions is dance blues. Our judges will be primarily looking for fundamentals of blues aesthetic such as athletic posture, grounded movement, pulse, and lag, along with ephebism, coolness/hotness, polyrhythms, polycentrism, and asymmetry. d
Blues Muse is an event dedicated to partnership, above all else. We want to see you engage in that partnership in every competition dance (and every dance, in general). We’re looking for clear and comfortable connection, responsive leading, expressive following, and the creation of a dance with your partner.
All of your dancing should come from the music. Whether this means picking a baseline pulse, texture, variation, or dancing in an idiom, our judges will be looking for your dynamic responses to the music. Our DJs have been asked to challenge you with their song choices, listen to what they are giving you, find your groove and move! We want to see not only what moves you decide to do but how you decide to do those moves. Let the music drive your movement.
Show us what you got! If you feel really solid in your blues aesthetic, your partnership, and your musicality, we want to see your personal flair. We want to see your innovative, creative, and personal stylings driven by the music and using solid technique. We want to see you dancing you with blues as your foundation and sharing yourself with your partner to create a unique and beautiful dance.