Let’s Talk About Blues Idioms

Hey, let’s talk about idioms for a moment…
Look, I get it. You may be nervous or worried about what seems like a pretty big wave sweeping over the community right now in competitions, classes, and event focus. That’s totally understandable and I figured why not go over a few of the questions I’ve gotten in emails or other spots to hopefully alleviate any fears…
Why are we focusing on idioms?
I would argue many in the community have been focused on this for a while and it’s just now caught on. It’s certainly how I was originally taught, but I’ll concede many didn’t know or emphasis it. Nothing to freak out over, but that’s why it’s really cool we get to dive into these now. Here at BluesGeek, we believe focusing back on the blues idioms will help sharpen your toolbox. Knowing which dance fits the right musical style can improve your social dancing and lead to stronger choices when you “freestyle”.
Why is that thing I learned a few years ago different now? Do I need throw everything out?
It’s entirely possible you learned the right thing with the wrong name or used the umbrella terms (Jookin’ or Ballroomin’) instead. Or maybe you actually learned something else that’s not blues. Don’t take it as an offense and no one is telling you to throw out everything you’ve learned. Just use this opportunity to challenge your dancing, see where you can grow, and take this step forward with us together.
What’s the purpose of having idiom specific comps? What were the comp we did before?
Idiom specific comps are aimed to reinforce the idea that these individual dances and not simply movements by themselves. The comps preceding this would be what we call “freestyle” or dancing in the aesthetic. We are not making a value judgment on either style. With Idiom specific, we can demonstrate a basic as historically accurate as possible while freestyle lets us add onto that framework. When we say your toolbox will be sharpened, it’s because we believe focusing on idioms will help you make better aesthetic choices when you do freestyle comps again.
Do you think the scene is ready for idiom comps this soon?
Ehh…there’s never going to be a perfect time. However, with that said, we have balanced what idioms you are expected to know. Right now, competitors are only throwing down on ones that have been danced in the scene at large, dependent on level (Novice, Open, Advanced).

Summer With Blues Dance Nashville!!

What’s happening this summer with BDN?

You may have noticed we’ve added a bunch of events to the BDN calendar. It’s all part of our commitment to get better connected with our Nashville community and spread our love of dancing. Can’t make every single thing? Don’t worry about it, there will be plenty of events for you get your blues on this summer!!

What Is Blues Dancing? Every Thursday this summer, join our instructors as we discuss “blues-idiom dance”, the movements and styles that make up the core of our dance. From June to July, we’ll cover a new style and technique in the beginner class and more concepts in the Intermediate class.

Summer Donation Drive– Starting in June, we’ll be pushing for our new donation forms and info. Look for the release of our fundraiser goals so you can see what we’ve done in the community so far and what we still want to accomplish.

Back Porch Blues– Our monthly dance keeps going with a great slate of artists throughout the summer!!

May 13th- Al Hill Band

June 3rd- Harlequin Jazz Band

July 8th- Devan Jones and the Uptown Stomp

August 12th- Devon Gilfillan

Southbound Blues Exchange 2017– At the end of August, join Blues Dance Nashville for our enormous blues party with all your favorite blues artists from St. Louis, Portland, Philadelphia, and our local Nashville favorites!!

Musician’s Corner– Nashville’s historic Centennial Park is your summer home for free music and we’ll be joining them for a few shows when some of your favorite blues and soul artists take the stage. Here are the acts we’re supporting so far (though everyone is awesome, so you should totally go to the other dates as well!!

Nights Out to Bourbon St.– Join us every first and third Tuesday in the month as we jam to the tunes of Whitey Johnson at BSB.

Secret Shows- We have some errr…really cool things we can’t talk about yet, but when they are ready to announce, you had best be ready to dance!! More details on these events as they get confirmed.

Join The Story Of The Blues!!


Join us every week for the story of the blues!!

At Thursday Night Blues, we now teach two lessons: Intermediate at 7PM and Beginner at 8PM. For only $10, you can get a class that dives into a new blues-idiom style or concept. $10 also gets you into our social dance for free.

Check us out every week at the GEC (Global Education Center)

Global Education Center: 4822 Charlotte Pike Nashville, TN 37209

Thursday Night Upgrade!!

Starting January 5th, we are giving our Thursday classes and social dances a little makeover!!


7PM- Intermediate Classes

If you enjoyed our Blues U series this past summer and our pop-up classes, we are launching weekly higher level classes so you can continue learning after the beginner series. Expect more content and special guest instructors throughout the year to create a awesome new slot of classes you will not want to miss!!


8PM- Beginner Classes

Our classic series of monthly classes organized by blues style or topic. In January, we will kick-off with our popular class, Intro To Blues, which will help you with the blues basics and forms. Each month will feature a new topic aimed at teaching a new fundamental style or concept.




9pm to 11pm- Social dancing

Finish the night out with our weekly social dance to music whipped up by the BDN DJs!! We have a way too much fun during these two hours and you can too!!


$5 Dance

$10 for one class (Free admission to the dance)

$15 for two classes (Free admission to the dance)

Join us each week at:

Global Education Center

4822 Charlotte Pike Nashville, TN 37209

Parking is available across the street and the main door is located in the back. Look for our lighted signs pointing you toward the back!!

Registration Open Today at 6PM CST


Mo’ Better Blues 2017 kicks off registration today with a flash sale. The first 20 people will get their passes to one of the biggest blues events in the Southeast for only $55 bucks!!

Registration is being hosted on Open Dance: Open today at 6PM CST!!!


Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from a talented and powerful group of instructors:

Mike Legenthal, Dan Legenthal, Krystal Wilkerson, Adam Wilkerson, Julie Brown, Tim O’Neill, Ross Blythe, Sarah Lokay, Shawn Hershey     Laura Chieko

blues-geek-logo-final-01Come experience 3 Track Levels: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, and the launch of BluesGeek, our new community driven initiative.

Some of the best musicians and DJs from the nation and the Southeast under one roof for your dancing pleasure.

BROTHER YUSEF, Al Holbrook Band
DJS: Brad nathanson, Dave warner, Emily nybo, chris spear, canada pennett


What’s Going On In October?


Jukin’ Blues begins this Thursday, Oct 6th!! Join Myriam and Kenneth for a new month long series based on this southern originating blues style. Make sure to stay afterwards for Thursday Night Blues, the best blues social night in TN. More details here


Brand new Back Porch Blues kicks off Oct 8th!! Harlequin Jazz Band helps us kick off our new monthly dance, Back Porch Blues. This weekend, we have a Mixer at 730PM, beginner lesson at 830PM, and the band gets going at 9PM. For more details, check our monthly event page.


Site update for Mo’ Better Blues 2017!! Our pages will get updated this Sunday.  You will be able to find all event details in one place and our Open Dance registration link. You can find the MBB17 main page here.


Get Grounded and Spooky at TNB: Hollow Blues!! It’s time to dress up in our best Halloween costumes and get down. The Dan Nash Band joins us from across the pond to give us their Delta Blues style. TNB will get started 30 mins earlier at 7PM and the band will go on at 8PM. We will be giving out a prize for the best costume at the second band break. For more details, check out the TNB page!!

FREE Class on September 1st!!

Our signature class “What Is Blues Dancing?” kicks off this Thursday!! Join us as head instructor Kenneth Shipp shares how the blues dance grew along side the music, why we are revived and reliving it today, and how you can get involved.


This class is completely FREE and so is our social dance afterwards!!

Class: 730PM Dance 830-1030PM

Global Education Center 4822 Charlotte Pike Nashville, TN 37209

We will have refreshments available and alcohol is permitted (BYOB, please drink responsibly)

If you want to register early as we are expecting a full house, feel free to sign up through our Event Brite page here:


Ruth and Mike This Weekend!!

Our workshop has finally arrived!! Ruth and Mike join us in Nashville to teach the blues once again. Take advantage of this incredibly cheap opportunity to learn from a phenomenally talented duo!!


Join us this Friday for a DJ dance starting at 10PM and jump into our classes this weekend!! $5 Admission (Free with the workshop cost)

If we’ve piqued your interest, you should know it’s only  $40 for the workshop. This will get you into all the dances and 4 classes!! Check out the registration link here.


Saturday Night, Juke Joint Revival returns to give us their unique country inspired blues. It’s only $10 (Free with the workshop cost)

We’ll see you Friday night!!

What Is Blues Dancing!! Find Out Sept 1st


We provide opportunities to learn about this amazing dance every week but we wanted to create a unique moment for the community to come experience our group and the history behind the dance. Join with us as we step back in time and explain how Blues Dancing came to be, how we dance it now and how you can get involved in this wonderful community!! We are throwing a FREE event for you so this a great chance to see what you’ve been missed and bring your friends to discover it too!!