Last night was “Blues Night” at Camp Herrang. A killer band from
Stockholm came in, the Family Carling band, playing live blues music.
They played some solid sets for the dancers that kept the floor packed
I did have a bit of a problem with how people were dancing to the
blues. The blues is slow, drawn out, laid back, sensuous music. Lots
of people were dancing in my opinion much too frenetically and with
little attention to the actual music being performed for them. How to
dance to the blues is a subject of some debate in the swing community,
as you can see on several threads on Yehoodi’s discussion boards.
I am not one of those that thinks of “Blues Dancing” as a defined
thing with a set of canonical movements. But dancing to the blues,
like dancing to any music, is about responding to what’s happening in
the song with your body. I saw a lot of dancers throwing in moves and
figures in very weird places, out of sync to the music. In general, I
saw people moving too much and too big.
For me, you can’t dance blues slow enough. I don’t dance it
particularly well, but I do try and feel where my partner’s body is at
and match her weight and rhythm. If she’s on top of the beat I try and
slow her down. If she’s dancing “up” and try and get her to dance
“down.” Nothing fancy, just smooth swaying mostly.
As Duke Ellington said, “don’t push it, just let it fall.”