Mezz Class Schedule

Every class is preceded by a teacher demo so you can pick-and-choose your favorites from 4 unique Workshop Tracks, from more than 18 professional Instructors, to build the perfect weekend from these adventurous options:

Historic Blues classes

Historic Blues

Be inspired by Blues roots to create your own memorable style!

Snake Hips

with Forrest

Forrest will teach one of his signature styles. The eccentric dance style called Snake Hips was made popular by Earl ‘Snakehips’ Tucker. Tucker was often times called the “Human Boa Constrictor” and the “Gelatinous Dancer.” His act contorted, twisted, and shook his hips and back to the extremes. Students should have a basic solo blues movement vocabulary and be ready to stretch their movement limits. Watch Forrest’s copy of Tucker’s routine here.

Gutbucket Blues

with Julie

Gutbucket is a style of solo dancing, where we roll, twist, and move a lot in the waist. In this class, we’ll get inspiration & learn movements from original dancers like Sandra Gibson, Al Minns, & James Berry, then find our own variations & style within this type of solo movement.

Struttin’: The Deep Dive

with Damon

This class is meant to take you from 0-60 in this popular idiom dance. We’ll examine the style of music that gave rise to struttin’ and look at the dance in its earliest form and progress with it to the style that was danced at its height of popularity in Memphis, TN. While the class does not require any familiarity with struttin’ it does require confidence and ability to dance to a wide variety of tempos in close embrace, weight sharing, and good turn technique.

Expression & Humor

with Julie

Earl “Snakehips” Tucker, Sandra Gibson, Al Minns, & James Berry – all these dancers have a very present character & personality when they perform, often using humor about the way they’re moving. In this class, we’ll look at the methods and attitude these original dancers displayed, and explore adding humor & personality to our dancing and performing of solo blues.

Understanding Rhythm from a Cultural Viewpoint

with Cierra

Have you ever seen a dancer dancing so far IN the music and yet you couldn’t hear what they were dancing to? Did you leap into African American diaspora dances like a-fish-to-water and never knew why? Maybe both of these situations are related to childhood and cultural backgrounds. Come review the impact your culture/background might have had on your dancing today, plus we’ll break down invisible trains, see what you picked up from osmosis and more.

Solo Technique and the Art of Dancing Yourself

with Shawn

In this class we’ll work on exploring moving our bodies using grounding, polycentrism, polyrhythm, and texture. These skills lead to nuanced beautiful solo movement as well as deeper connection to your partner and blues music.

Buck and Wing Dances

with Forrest

Buck dancing is a pre-tap flat-foot style danced by Minstrel and Vaudeville performers. Wing dancing later grew from buck dancers shaking their foot in the air like a pigeon wing. We’ll explore the history and basic mechanics of the two dance styles along with how they evolved into Blues idiom dances such as Piedmont Triple Step Blues and Snakehips. Students should have a basic solo blues movement vocabulary.

Skills Technique classes

Skills & Technique

Level up your Blues idiom dance with challenging skills!

Rhythmical Requisites

with Brooke & John

In the words of the great Sanka Coffee: “Feel the Rhythm! Feel the Rhyme! Get on up, it’s Bluesin’ time!” Take a rhythmical ramble as we recognize, replicate, reverse, and resource ourselves into rhythmical rhapsody with radical requisites.

So You Want to Dance Fast…

with Laura & Ross

When the tempo speeds up, do you leave the floor? When out dancing to live music, do half the songs seem really fast? Come learn our favorite strategies to dance lazily — I mean efficiently, to fast blues music. This class will focus primarily on fast blues that falls outside the range of Struttin’ to keep you feeling and moving confidently. Spotify sample playlist of fast tunes.

1 Leader, 1 Follower…
but above all – 2 Active Dancers!

with Cédric & Caro

In this class we’ll dive deep into what it means to be Leading, what it means to be Following, but more importantly what it means to be a dancer. In Blues, both partners have the ability to express themselves and inspire each other. What techniques help us do that? Let’s find out!

Crazy, Sexy, Cool

with Damon

This class will work on the styling elements and attitudes that make blues idiom dances carefree, sensual, and laid back and work on making our movement match the emotional tenor of the songs we dance to.

The Art and Science of Lead/Follow in Blues Idiom Dance

with Damon

This class breaks down what exactly is going on between the roles of in blues dancing, discussing the both the physics and cultural elements at work. We’ll cover how each partner contributes both artistically and structurally to the dances.

Tension & Release

with Cédric & Caro

Blues expressions are all about tension, release … and breath! Discover the cool moves possible when we exercise improved control, timing, and partnership by letting the dance breath. Explore how to utilize this in every single dance you have!

Anything You Can Do, We Can Do Better…

with Brooke & John

‘We Can Make Everything Better For You!’ No, you can’t. Yes, we can… STOP this madness. Bring what you got and we’ll level up your technique, no matter the style, genre, or tempo, to make EVERY dance just a little (or a whole lot) more enjoyable. Guaranteed. But no money back.

Live Music classes

Live Music

Interact with Musicians + Dance Teachers, every single class!

Synesthetic Blues

with Julie & Shawn

How do you translate sound into movement? In this class, we’ll learn a sampling of ideas for moving in ways that “sound” like different instruments and sounds in blues, so we can embody the music more fully. Learn how to embody things like a trumpet growl, staccato hits, and vibrato.

Musical Structure vs Dance Structure

with Cédric & Caro

French is a Blues & Swing guitarist and bandleader for several groups, and they’ll both demonstrate how music is build and how we can construct our dance around that. Leads and Follows will leave feeling more confident when drawing inspiration from the music!

Tain’t What You Do, It’s the Way That You Do It

with Flouer & Joshua

As dancers, we sometimes make the mistake of thinking that crazy moves are a necessary component to being musical. We forget that we can take any piece of vocabulary and alter it to fit the musical landscape. In this class we will delve deeper into songs we commonly dance to, and point out some things you may be missing. Along the way, we will learn some new vocabulary and work on the physical skills of lead/follow technique, control, and balance.

When we’re through with you, we’ll still be able to tell what you’re dancing to even when we put our earmuffs on!

Stop, Collaborate & Listen

with Flouer & Joshua

When Vanilla Ice dropped “Ice Ice Baby” on us, he probably didn’t realize that he was dropping musicality truth bombs. In this class, we honor his irony by focusing on two crucial skills: collaborating, and listening. When Flouer and Joshua started collaborating on this class about collaborating (how meta of us), we found that we used many of the same tools to communicate with musicians as we did with dancers. In this class we will share some of these tools with you and collaborate with each other on our collaboration skills.

While the Guitar Gently Weeps … or Barks!

with Cédric & Caro

Guitar is so important in Blues — Explore a variety of rhythms we often hear from Blues guitarist, and how your body can match those subtle differences to become even more musical!

Super Secret Class

with a Surprise Teacher

It could be anything — and at MezzJelly, it often is! Stay alert for this one!

Tour the Mississippi Delta

with Dan & Jered

Explore musical styling and movements born in and around the Mississippi Delta! Dan is a Blues guitarist who’s made a documentary on the history of blues, interviewing blues legends David ‘Honeyboy’ Edwards, Henry Gray, Hubert Sumlin, as well as members of Robert Johnson’ and Muddy Waters’ families. Paired with Jered, an instructor and historian, they’ll play and dance through the great artists of this classic Blues region!

Expanded Talents classes

Expanded Talents

Bust out of your comfort zone and into something new!

Chicago Steppin’

with Marty

Steppin’ is an African American partner dance that originated in Chicago. It’s graceful styling and partnership, danced to modern R&B, Hip Hop, and other smooth beats (just like this slick jam) has made “Chicago-Style Stepping” popular in urban centers such as Detroit, Cleveland, Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

Blues to Tango (and Back Again)

with Brooke & Heriberto

“In tango, first you have to walk”… In this unique approach, we’ll introduce tango elements and flourishes with a focus on identifying similarities and differences to Blues. Kick start your understanding of the characteristic look and feel of BOTH dances!

Dance Geek 101 – Blues Edition

with Fenella

In this class we’ll look at movement research and analysis, from reconstructing notated moves (and notating your own), pulling dance from video, and analysing your own movement to level up and share. If you’ve ever struggled with the word “authentic,” wondered what “gushy” actually means, or asked “what makes that move look so frickin awesome???!!!” This class will open the toolbox for answering those questions.

From Balboa, with Love

with Laura & Ross

Balboa is a fast-paced and upright where dancers glide across the floor. Blues covers a range of tempos and grounds through the floor. While at first glance they may seem like polar opposites, both dances use an intimate close embrace connection and a pay close attention to how they interact with the floor. Join us to explore some of our favorite balboa moves and how we can transform them to fit within a blues context.

MezzJelly Schedule for Blues Parties

Are You In?

You’d be missing out on a once-only event!

http://www.mezzjellyblues.com/wp-content/themes/salient/css/fonts/svg/basic_lightbulb.svg

Workshop Overview

Scroll down for descriptions

Click for LARGE
Full Schedule
Venues

Workshops

We’re constantly adding more Blues excitement to the schedule, meaning it’s subject to change. Get into this ball of fun!