MEET OUR INSTRUCTORS
Julie Brown 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 voices in the art form, and connect to themselves & others authentically, joyfully, and respectfully. She has taught blues dancing in San Francisco, Seoul, Austin, Boston, London, Chicago, Zurich, and many places in between, including her home-base of Boston.
An avid competitor, Julie has won or placed in many national competitions, including bluesSHOUT! All Star Strictly (6 placements/wins 2014-2019), bluesSHOUT! All Star Mix & Match (4 placements/wins 2014-2017), Blues Muse Follower Invitational (win in 2017), Mile High Blues Idiom Solo Riffin’ (win 2018), and more.
In recent years, Julie has been reconnecting to her love of solo blues dancing, working on leading & headstands, as well as continuing to learn about blues history, blues' connections to later and present-day Black social dances & music, as well as U.S. history and present-day social movements.
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.
Krystal loves living in Huntsville, Alabama, although she is originally from southern Ohio. She has an uncanny energy and enthusiasm for blues music and dancing, and can often be seen at events all over. She’s been partner dancing various styles since 2007; Blues stole her heart, however, in 2010, and has never let go. She has taught all over the world, ranging from small community-focused events all the way up to Large-Scale International events including Korea Blues Camp, Blues Geek, and the Blues Experiment. She has a fervor for both competing and judging and enjoys geeking out on strategies for both. She brings her passion for connection into all of her dancing and instruction. Her love of the dance is contagious, and she believes in injecting fun into all of her classes.
Adam is proud to call Huntsville, Alabama home, but he's originally from Mississippi. He’s been partner dancing since 2004, starting in Ballroom, Latin street dances, and Lindy Hop, but he followed Krystal into blues in 2010, and it’s been his primary focus ever since. He’s passionate about social dancing and blues music, and loves to explore all different blues styles in his instruction and setlists. He strongly believes in teaching the context and history of the music and the dance, focusing on research in the Mississippi Delta in his spare time. His analytical approach to connection and value for intuition in dance provides a unique classroom environment that promotes self-awareness and improvement beyond the classroom. He believes in learning through experience and experimentation, so expect a LOT of getting up and dancing in his classes.
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/).
Grey found blues dancing long ago when dancing with his grandfather as a child. At university, he found others doing a dance similar to what he knew, and clung to the familiar music. Grey is internationally known for innovative classes, deep cultural context, and an intuitive learning style. Leaving students with a lingering feeling they have been changed beyond just dance. He loves to challenge students physically but also intellectually and emotionally, with his experience-based teaching.
As a male follow who often leads, Grey strives to teach partnership in a way that accounts for various experiences. He also loves to give students the tools to develop a style in their dancing that gives them euphoria, about themselves, their ideas, and their unique qualities. He is available for private lessons one on one, partnered and small groups, so reach out if you are interested!
Outside of class, you can find Grey at your local coffee shop or park writing for his various projects and his site Obsidiantea.com.