Dr. Christi Jay Wells
Christi Jay Wells has been dancing and teaching blues and jazz dance since 2003. They’ve turned this passion into a full time career in academia as a historian of jazz music and popular dance, having earned a PhD in musicology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2014. They conduct research on a range of jazz music and dance history topics, regularly present their work at national and international academic conferences and at major universities, and have received multiple prestigious national awards including the Wiley Housewright Dissertation and Irving Lowens Article Awards from the Society for American Music. As a member of the musicology faculty at Arizona State University, Dr. Wells teaches a range of courses on jazz and popular music, dance and embodiment, and how issues of race impact practices of sound and movement. An active social dancer, teacher, and competitor in the blues dancing scene, they love working with other dancers and have taught numerous workshops on blues music's technical intricacies, history, politics, and culture at national blues dance events including BluesGeek, Sweet Molasses Blues, Mile High Blues, Backwater Blues, Tobacco Road Blues, Nocturne Blues, Emerald City Blues, and BluesShout!