Thank You Nashville

Good evening Nashville!!

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It has been a wild first year for me as your president. When I took over in January of this year,  I was still super new to blues and really had no idea how to run a scene. It took awhile to get going and with the support of my officers, instructors, DJs and most importantly our dancers, we had a very successful year. I’ve enjoyed every single dance, every moment to teach, even the candid moments off the floor getting to know everyone better. I couldn’t have been more proud representing Nashville in the other scenes I’ve traveled to this year. It’s cool to talk about our scene, where we have been and where we were. With that in mind, let’s chat about a few things…

In 2016, we have a bunch to be excited about: The first Second Saturday of the year will begin like 2015 ended. Kirabelle Frabotta will be back on stage fresh from her amazing sets at the Winter Formal in December. Our two year anniversary comes up in February, the same weekend as the Mo Better Blues workshop weekend. New classes start January 7th with Intro To Blues and kicks off a whole slew of awesome instruction throughout the year. Nashville’s first blues exchange, Southbound Blues Exchange (named in honor of our summer dances in the park) will happen in May with awesome bands, DJs, and visiting dancers headed to the Music City.

Let’s also reflect on what happened this year: Since May of this year, we’ve had live bands every Second Saturday, starting with Eli Cook and followed by Kirabelle Frabotta, Kat Starr, Spoonful, Ragtime River Rats, and ending with Juke Joint Revival. We’ve had various DJs and visitors come through town and our occasional foray to a house party or Bourbon St Blues. Classes went strong (Did you know the first one was hosted in Jordan Grindell’s house?) throughout the year along with 3 workshops, Mo Better Blues taught between Megan Adair, Paul Fryer and myself. The final two taught by myself and Velody, our favorite friend from the UK.  We even ended the year learning Dexter Santos’ Hound Dog routine to much success (A video is forthcoming!!)

Additionally, let’s thank everyone who made an amazing impact this year to make sure the lights were cut on, music was pumping, and the events went off without a hitch (or as few as possible):

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Officers:  Heather Adkins (Vice-President), Kenneth Shipp (President), Andrea Wilson (Treasurer)

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Instructors: Chad Wyre, Paul Fryer, Kenneth Shipp, Megan Adair, Camille Maynard, Heather Adkins, Andrea Wilson (Not pictured: Lenny Sharlet, Lauren Faithful, Melanie Jobe, Laura Pinell)

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DJs: Paul Fryer, Heather Adkins, Kenneth Shipp, Megan Adair, Nick Buttler, Andrea Wilson (Not pictured: Drew Zinder, Tonia Davis, Melanie Jobe, Michelle Smith, James Roquemore, guest DJ- Jim Barry)

Additional Shoutouts (Pictured or not pictured):

Amy Bond She did so much work behind the scenes you don’t even know…like seriously, most of the dances the last part of this year wouldn’t have happened without her…give her hugs and kisses when you see her next. Along with the officers, she kept my sanity intact!!

Mary Yang Devoted a ridiculous amount of work into Second Saturday Blues and the Southbound dances in the park. Without her work, there would be no blues in Nashville, period!

Amy Nelson (Pictured in the staircase photo) Amy has designed most of the graphics you see on FB and website, and super cool blue tinted pictures woven into our banners. She also continues to create the logos and banner for our future events, like Mo Better or Southbound. She’s been invaluable giving us amazing designs that have certainly set our group apart.

Everyone listed above and in the photos have worked tirelessly to make Blues Dance Nashville what it is today. I could certainly add a ton more names onto this list, but then we’d need a book. Suffice it to say, I cherish everyone’s commitment and excellent attitudes through everything. I’m really excited for 2016 and I think you should be too. See you on the dance floor!!

Kenneth Shipp-  President, BDN

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