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Devil's Club, visiting dance instructors kick off Blues Dance Weekend

Posted: March 6, 2014 - 1:06am

This weekend, Juneau dancers have the chance to take advantage of a convergence of talent: a visit from well-known blues guitarist Sammy Burrous, who will be playing with his band Devils Club, and a visit from blues dancers and instructors Ruth & Mike. These guests will help kick off an entire weekend of blues dancing, geared toward dancers of all levels of ability, organized by Daniel Martin and presented by JuneauFusion and UAS.

The action starts Friday night with a live music dance party and lesson at the UAS Rec Center.  The rest of the weekend, events are at the Hangar Ballroom downtown, and include dance lessons on Saturday and Sunday and a dance party on Saturday evening. 

Based on improvisational dance styles of the 1920s and 1930s, blues dancing isn’t a technique as much as an approach, organizer Martin said in an Empire interview last fall; the style puts an emphasis on communicating with your partner and an awareness of your body.

“Blues dancing is a form of social dancing that is much more intuitive and less driven by specific steps and specific footwork,” Martin said.

Those unfamiliar with the concept of blues dancing can also check out a video of Ruth & Mike here: www.youtube.com/ruthandmikedance.

Here’s a look at the complete schedule.

• First Friday Blues Dance with Devil’s Club: Friday, March 7, at the UAS Rec Center. A free dance lesson with Ruth & Mike starts at 8:30 p.m., and a dance party with live music by Devil’s Club begins at 10 p.m.

• Blues Dance Workshop: Saturday, March 8, and Sunday, March 9, at The Hangar Ballroom from noon to 5 p.m. Drop in lessons with Ruth & Mike will be offered both days. Drop-in lessons are $15 each, or $10 for students. A weekend pass is also available for $90 ($70 for students) and includes classes and dance parties; it must be purchased before March 7. Call 907-209-4837 for details.

• Blues Dance Party, with DJs Ruth & Mike: At 9 p.m. Saturday at the Hangar Ballroom, there will be a dance party featuring DJ music by Ruth & Mike. Admission is $5 or free for students.

• After party at the Alaskan Bar: And on Sunday night, the Alaskan Hotel & Bar will host an after party beginning at 8 p.m.

To buy a weekend pass, visit http://juneaufusion.salesvu.com.

For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/1405657019682776.

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