1. What is do Something Blue?
do Something Blue is a blues dance held in Los Angeles (well technically Pasadena). There is a lesson (included in the cover) and four hours of social dancing. See the list of dance dates on the Home Page or Calendar. The music is often DJ'd but sometimes there is a live band. do Something Blues also hosts a workshop weekend, L.A. Blues.
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2. What is blues dancing?
"Like blues music, blues dancing finds its origins in African rhythm and movement." -Wikipedia
Using the powerful beat originating from African Chants/Calls, blues dancing is about connecting to the earth and your partner. In fact, the best description of blues dancing is that it is a conversation. Because a large part of what makes blues dancing appealing is the physical interpretation of the music, it is open to intimacy and creativity between the dancers that is arguably unlike any other social dance.
This is not to say that blues dancing must be intimate and sensual. On the contrary, blues music "is a sharing of human conditions that everyone can access on some level, and a blues dance can include the entire spectrum of human emotions", which does not mean that it has to look or feel sexy or sensual to those dancing.
Based on these emotions, there are several different styles of blues dancing. "The Gut-Bucket," "The Fish Tail," "Struttin'" and "The Slow Drag" are all different ways to interpret blues music.
If you'd like to see some videos of blues dancing, visit our YouTube Channel at https://www.youtube.com/c/dosomethingblue-itsjustadance
3. I'm new to blues dancing. What should I know about preparing for and attending my first dance?
"Dance is the hidden language of the soul of the body." -Martha Graham
These are some suggestions we compiled. Whether your first blues dance is do Something Blue or another venue or event, we hope it helps!
PREPARING FOR THE DANCE
AT THE DANCE
*This is in the circumstance(s) you say no because you need to go to the bathroom, get water, fresh air, etc. If you are saying "No" because that person makes you uncomfortable, unsafe, etc this does not apply. Most venues have a code of conduct in place, so, in the best way you feel comfortable, you should share your concerns.
DANCE ETIQUETTE & SAFETY
4. What is the history of blues music?
The evolution of the blues provides insight into the changes that took place in the lives of African Americans after slavery ended. " Jessica McElrath, African-American History.
Before blues music, solo music in the Black culture was irregular. Black music revolved around chants, call-and-response, and work calls. However, with the end of slavery and the discovery of the individual, Black music was free to explore" the personalized form of the song." For instance, now instead of calling out to others, the singer responded to him/herself as they told the harsh realities of life.
In 1895, George W. Johnson created the first blues recording, "Laughing Song". By 1920, blues was in its hayday, and Mamie Smith's recording of "Crazy Blues" and "Its Right Here For You" sold 75,000 copies in its first month of release- the price was $1 a record.
The market continued to be mostly African American throughout the 1930's and new artists continued to emerge including: Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, Alberta Hunter, and Ethel Waters.
Blues would go on to influence other musical styles jazz, bluegrass, and rock and roll to name a few. By the 1960's, there were several fusions of these styles, as well as artists from every race, country, and gender. And, with the Civil Rights & Free Speech movements, as well as other never-ending political battles, each generation has been inspired to find the blues as a way to express themselves through song.