The ‘SHOUT! Heard ‘Round the World
For those of you who don’t know, bluesSHOUT! is the single largest blues event in the world. It is a traveling event, and this year it was held in Boston, MA. Attendance hits around 300 dancers, all there to dance, learn, cheer on their friends in the competitionss, and generally have a good time. …And next year it will be in Minneapolis!!! AAAAH!
Had to get that out of my system. That ridiculously amazing announcement aside, ‘Shout this year was awesome. I do believe there were about seven of us there from the TC, a decent showing. The Midwest was representing hardcore in the competitions, with Chicago in particular raking in the medals. (And me! Third in the Novice Jack & Jill, yaaay!) Sit down, then watch these. Find results here: http://www.bluesshout.com/2011/.
I had yet another great hosting experience, with a few of my favorite TC follows. The main dance venue was the old Arlington Town Hall, which was absolutely gorgeous, and the late night venue was a nice contrast in a super-modern building with seriously awesome A/C.
Music was top-notch as well, with our very own Susan Olson in the DJ lineup along with Steven Watkins, Jerry Warwick (he’ll be at North Star Blues!!!), Julie Brown (whom some of you know), and a slew of other awesome people. Bands were also excellent, with Shawn Hershey and the Blues Bananas particularly killing it Saturday night. Seriously. So good.
Classes were also excellent, and particularly varied this year, which I enjoyed. Instructor pairings were all mixed up from usual, which made for some very interesting and enjoyable classes. Not only were there your usual partner dance classes (like Swingin’ Texas Blues, Moments of Hesitation, Rotational Moves and Dynamics, and Musicality that will Make Your Partner Cry with Joy), but also solo dance, lecture, competition, and DJ classes. Clinics (critique classes) and private lessons were also available. To name a few, I went to the solo cuttin’ class, which was awesome, two DJ classes, and a follower’s class with Heidi and Kathy (two of the coolest ladies you will ever meet, not to mention amazing dancers). My head is so full of blues info!
And you know what the best part of all of this is? You (and yes, I mean YOU) will have no excuse not to go to this amazing event next year, because it is IN. OUR. CITY.