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Blues Workshop with Mary Christensen

After Good Friday comes Better Saturday, with a line-up of blues workshops from founder

Mary Christensen


$15 ($13 student) for one class, $26 ($22) for two, $33 ($27) for three, $40 ($32) for all four.

Register online at

12:30-1:30pm: Take a Walk! Trad Jazz in Blues Styling

This class will take traditional jazz footwork and show you how to fit it into common blues patterns. One of the best things about blues dancing is the total freedom to make any shape, any rhythm, any footwork you feel coming from the music. But all that freedom can also be overwhelming! Learning the quirky, unexpected patterns of old school jazz moves gives you a vocabulary and source of inspiration to work from.

1:40-2:40pm: Break it Up! Frame Breaks and Role Swaps

Learning great frame in blues dancing is like learning grammar rules in school--the best part of knowing how to do it is then deciding when to break the rules! Frame breaks, the disconnection of the core from your connection to your partner, are a super fun way to surprise your partner and can be used for really dramatic musicality. Combine them with passing your partner the lead or the follow, and your dances will never be boring!

2:50-3:50pm: Close the Gap! Subtle, Comfortable Close Embrace

One option in blues dancing is to completely close the space between our upper bodies, turning closed position into a close embrace. It's a fascinating set of connection points that advanced dancers use all the time. But how do you get into close embrace? How do you know if your partner is comfortable there? And what can you do in close embrace that you can't do in other positions? Come to class to find out!

4-5pm: Take it Low! Sharing Weight to Drop the Level

How low can you go? Once you learn great technique for counterbalance, you might just surprise yourself! We'll end the day with the form and safety tips you need to do some really cool level changes, from closed and open positions, and work them into the phrases of your dancing. And if we get everything else done, we might just add the blues limbo. ;-)

Mary has been blues dancing since 2001 and was the founder of the ambidancetrous blues community at Yale University. She lives and works in New York City, and has danced and taught all over the world. A professional academic teacher and teacher trainer, Mary focuses on energy and interactivity in the dance classroom. She loves sharing blues dancing with her students as an experience in pure connection and creativity that brings people closer to each other and to the present moment.

Other notes:

* No partner needed

* On-street parking is available; meters run until 9pm

* Yale Swing & Blues is an LGBTQAI safe space

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  • Erich G.
    Hard-working Volunteer, Assistant Organizer,
    Event Host

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