John has been dancing for over 20 years, starting with hip-hop and R&B. Self-taught, he could be found dancing several nights a week to many types of music, including hip-hop, R&B, Blues, electronica, EBM, industrial, goth, and many others. John discovered his love for social partner dancing about 10 years ago when he got a taste for Salsa, Bachata, Merengue, Cha Cha Cha, and other Latin dancing.
Six years ago he discovered social Blues dancing by accident at a local Lindy Exchange. His passion for Blues music and his recent discover for social Blues dancing led him to rigorously study Blues dancing around the country by attending countless number of Blues workshops and exchanges. In addition to attending these workshops at the highest level, John has also received private instruction under top international Blues instructors such as Damon Stone, Dexter Santos, Heidi Fite, Campbell Miller, Barry “The Man” Douglas, Brenda Russell, and Tim O’Neill.
John shortly started teaching in New Mexico after meeting with a prominent international instructor, Tim O’Neill, in Los Angeles back in 2011. Unsure if he was ready, Tim promptly told John “If people are asking you to teach, then teach!”
Since then, John has taught several workshops in New Mexico, hundreds of weekly classes in Albuquerque, and a few places around the country, including New York recently. John runs a fun, lighthearted classroom, and enjoys working with beginner dancers, instructors, and everyone else in-between.
He provides a fun, comfortable, safe environment to learn in. His classes will also challenge you to develop new dance technique, improve your body awareness, and gain new insight on how to move your body.
Blues Dances and DJ’ing
John currently runs the Blues dance scene in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and is proud to have the opportunity to build this community. He’s got a great team to help run things and spread the love of Blues dancing around the state of New Mexico. Our team can be found at the local weekly Blues dance in Albuquerque, various live music venues around town, other local dances (Swing, Salsa, Tango), and even other dance events around the country.
In addition to DJ’ing Blues music locally, John has also DJ’d R&B, Soul, and Blues at several Fusion Exchange dance events (Boston Fusion Exchange, San Francisco Fusion Exchange, Las Vegas Fusion Exchange, Denver Fusion Exchange), Atomic Blues Fusion, Rain City Blues and various other events. John is proud and eager to share his joy and passion of Blues dancing with this wonderful community, whether it is through teaching, DJ’ing, or organizing events.
Blues Dance Competitions
Although John finds Blues dance competitions nerve wracking , he enjoys the challenge and has competed at a few events in the past couple of years. Recently, he placed 2nd with Erin Kelly in the Open Strictly Competition at Chicago bluesShout! 2014.
Awards and Placement
- 2nd place- Social Jack and Jill Austin Blues Party
- Finals- Strictly Competition Austin Blues Party
- 1st place- Open Jack and Jill North Star Blues with Kara Fabina
- 2nd place- Open Strictly North Star Blues with Anna Washenko
- 2nd place – Open Strictly Chicago bluesShout! with Erin Kelly
- Finals – Open Jack and Jill Chicago bluesSHOUT!
- Finals – Social Jack and Jill Austin Blues Party
- 2nd place – ProAm Lead St Louis bluesSHOUT! with Julie Brown
- 4th place – Strictly Mile High Blues with Flouer Evelyn
- 1st place – Secret Jack and Jill Mile High Blues with Tian Yu Yen
- 3rd place – Strictly Portland Blues Experience (PBEx) with Emunah Selah
- Finals – Novice Jack and Jill Minnesota bluesSHOUT!
- Finals – Novice Jack and Jill Boston bluesSHOUT!
Yuliya has been taking dance classes and performing since she was 15. With a minor in Dance she was able to explore many different kinds of dancing, including Flamenco, hip-hop, tap, African dancing and folkloric. She tried ballroom dance and loved waltz, swing and salsa, and that’s where her passion to partner dancing began. She currently dances swing, Blues, and Salsa on a regular basis and has been for 6 years. Teaching Blues Dancing is a new passion in her life and she continues to improve her dancing every day.