MEET OUR INSTRUCTORS
Julie Brown (any/all pronouns) is a Boston-based blues dance teacher, DJ, choreographer, competitor, organizer, and enthusiastic student. She has been participating in blues dance since 2004 and has since gone on to teach blues dancing around the globe and won many national competitions.
As a teacher, Julie aims to help students connect with and understand blues dance’s deep roots, find their own voice, and connect to themselves & others authentically, joyfully, and respectfully. Julie has taught blues dancing in Austin, Boston, San Francisco, Seoul, London, Chicago, Zurich, and many places in between. They are grateful to have won or placed in many solo & partnered blues competitions, including at bluesSHOUT!, Blues Muse, Mile High Blues, Steel City Blues, Northstar Blues, and more.
During the past year, Julie has been reconnecting to their love of solo blues dancing, continuing to work on Chicago-style Stepping, leading blues, & headstands, as well as continuing to learn about blues history and its connections to later and present-day Black social dances & music.
For dance videos, pictures, and more info, check out https://dancewithjulie.wordpress.com.
Kenneth Shipp hails from St. Louis, MO as an instructor who grew up dancing hip-hop and DJing breaking comps before jumping into blues. He has spent the past few years passionately studying the family of blues idioms, incorporating his nerdy personality along the way. Kenneth’s life experiences inform his dancing and teaching style so that students walk away with a better historical and contextual understanding. With every class and practice, he'll encourage you to approach social dancing with coolness, relaxation, or in other words “Chill The F$%& Out.” When he’s not dancing, you can likely find him ranting about the latest blockbuster movie, game, or nerd convention, or desperately trying to dismantle toxic institutions.
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 important and high-profile events in the US and abroad, including but not limited to: bluesSHOUT!, The Experiment, Muse, Hearken the Blues, and BluesGeek--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.
Damon has been dancing his entire life, starting with vernacular Jazz/Blues first taught to him at the tender age of six by his grandmother. After nearly a decade of learning at the heels of his elders, he went on and eventually studied a numerous dance forms until coming full circle in 1995 to focus primarily on the history and styles of Swing and Blues as his family danced them with a special focus on the Southern styles from the Mississippi Delta region. He has studied the development of vernacular Jazz/Blues dance across the United States learning from a number of the original dancers.
He is largely regarded as one of the foremost authorities on Blues idiom dance and has been interviewed as a dance historian in documentary, radio, and newspaper. Damon has been a featured instructor at camps, festivals, and workshops across five continents.
Mike'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.
Dan Legenthal is a blues idiom, vernacular jazz, and swing dancer currently living in Boston, MA. He specializes in early-to-mid 1900’s era African-American improvised partner dances done to blues and jazz-blues music. Since 2012 Dan has taught, DJed, and performed around the world at events like Lindy Focus (USA), Korea Blues Camp (South Korea), and Swingin’ the Blues (Australia).
If you are passionate about African-American dances please consider giving you support by donating to a charitable organization such as the Ujima Foundation (https://ujimablues.org/) or the International Association of Blacks in Dance (https://www.iabdassociation.org/).
Dan is immersed in the music and the movement. As a teacher, his enthusiastic approach brings a focus on innovation, connection, and attention to your partner. As a veteran DJ, he's played for events across 4 continents, DJing everything from international events to local dances. He’s also organized both locally and for international events, including a Head DJ role in BluesSHOUT! and The Balboa/Blues Experiment. In the end, Dan is most excited to work hard at improving the dance and to see people break through their boundaries.
Katrina Rogers is an International Blues Dance Instructor with a strong musicality and quality of movement who has been helping students find their groove for over 8 years.. She flows with a sense of grace and playfulness. Music and dancing are food for Katrina’s soul. She feels the music on a very deep level and her body simply responds. Dancing has always been and will continue to be a place for Katrina to explore and express who she is, and she encourages everyone to do the same.
Katrina has been instructing various forms of movement; from personal fitness to track and field to dancing for over 17 years. While she is a technician; she wants her students to find how they can come alive through dancing. To learn how to make each movement their own and groove with confidence.