Instructors

 

Main Instructors

Julie Brown & Dan Repsch

Krystal Wilkerson & Adam Wilkerson

Grace Jones-Taylor & Nick DeWitt

Guest Stars

Jenny Sowden

Forrest Rogers-Marcovitz & Laura Chieko


Julie Brown

Julie’s expressive dancing and joyful, playful connection are known throughout the country. With a background in performance and solo dance, she is best known for her solo blues, artistic choreography, and seamlessly integrating following with expression.

As a teacher, Julie presents material with a caring and light-hearted tone. She carefully crafts her classes and continuously tailors her material to fit the crowd at hand. Julie teaches regularly in her hometown of Boston, and has taught workshops everywhere from California to London.

A hard-working competitor, Julie has also won many national competitions, including bluesSHOUT 2014 All Star Jack & Jill, Steel City Blues 2014 Open Jack & Jill, Enter the Blues 2014 Strictly & Choreography Competition, and many more.

http://dancewithjulie.wordpress.com/


Dan Repsch

Dan is immersed in the music and the movement. He constantly travels to continue learning, happily sharing his ideas along the way. In his teaching, Dan’s enthusiastic approach brings a focus on innovation, connection, and attention to your partner. Dan is also a veteran DJ, spinning for events across the continent and locally on a weekly basis, and has dabbled in organizing for events and local dances. In the end, Dan is most excited to push his dancing and to see his students break through their boundaries.

 

 


Grace Jones-Taylor

Grace’s rhythmic, playful movement took the blues scene by storm. Entering the scene in 2011 with a movement background in dressage and bareback riding, she fell in love with the blues, began her intensive and ongoing training, and burst into national finals and organizing regularly by 2013. Known for her innovative exploration within the blues idiom and contrast between jank and elegance, Grace seems to live within the music.

 

 


Nick DeWitt

Nick’s dancing is simple but musical, understated but empowering to his follow, chill with an edge of humor…..and a constant foundational grounding in the blues idiom. He teaches blues dance as a vernacular style with historical context peppered throughout and a sizable side of humor. His classes tend to focus on blues elements including idiom dances and variants (especially struttin’), musicality, improvisation, and conversational dance.

Nick enjoys competing at blues events to keep his skills sharp and demonstrate his vision of the dance; his successes in 2016 alone include 1st place at the Strictly competitions of Nocturne and North Star Blues, and 2nd place at the North Star JnJ and the Mile High Blues Strictly.


Krystal Wilkerson

Krystal loves living in Huntsville, Alabama, although she is originally from southern Ohio. She has an uncanny energy and enthusiasm for blues music and dancing, and can often be seen at events all over the southeast and the US, closing down late nights, frequently dancing until dawn. She’s been partner dancing various styles since 2007; Blues stole her heart, however, in 2010, and has never let go. She has taught all over the US, ranging from small community -focused events all the way up to national events such as Blues Geek and the Blues Experiment. She’s a fierce competitor, frequently making finals at national blues dance contests, and brings her fervor for connection into all of her dancing and instruction. Her love of the dance is contagious, and she believes in injecting fun into all of her classes.


Adam Wilkerson

Adam is proud to call Huntsville, Alabama home, but he’s originally from Mississippi. He’s been partner dancing since 2004, starting in Ballroom, Latin street dances, and Lindy Hop, but he followed Krystal into blues in 2010, and it’s been his primary focus ever since. He’s passionate about social dancing and blues music, and loves to explore all different blues styles in his instruction and setlists. He strongly believes in teaching the context and history of the music and the dance, focusing on research in his spare time. His analytical approach to connection and value for intuition in dance provides a unique classroom environment that promotes self-awareness and improvement beyond the classroom. He believes in learning through experience and experimentation, so expect a LOT of getting up and dancing in his classes.


Guest Stars


Jenny Sowden


“You are truth in motion when you dance, Ms S.” – Jason

Jenny Sowden is an award winning, full-time, international dance instructor based in New York City where she is the managing director of Brooklyn Swings and nycBABBLE.com. Jenny has been training in dance for over twenty-five years and teaching for over twenty, with a BA in Dance and Theater from San Diego State University. She has studied 34 different styles of movement including Ballet, Tap, Hip Hop, West African, Capoeira, Aikido, Tango, Salsa, Lindy hop, Balboa, and Blues. Her background influences her teaching and general style through musicality, variety, expression and an understanding of body mechanics. Jenny believes the dance floor is a ‘World of Yes,’ where by constantly accepting and being inspired by what happens, creates an amazing place to be. We then take classes in a ‘World of Intention’ to expand our ‘World of Yes.’ Find out more at JennySowden.com.

To book her or schedule a private lesson please Contact Jenny


Forrest Rogers-Marcovitz

Forrest Rogers-Marcovitz is known for his SnakeHips and other unique individual dance stylings. In addition to dancing Swing and Blues for over a decade, Forrest studied ballet for eleven years, starting at age four. Along the way he has also dabbled in jazz, tap, tango, hip hop, West African dance, and capoeira. Based in Boston, Forrest spends his time working on robots and was the head organizer for the Steel City Blues Festival in Pittsburgh from 2011 until 2016. Outside of Boston, Forrest has traipsed across 6 continents, taught in 5 countries, won competitions at blues events around the world, including in Berlin, London, and Tel Aviv, and twice won the BluesShout All-Star Jack n’ Jill championship. A lively instructor, Forrest focuses on each student developing their own unique dance aesthetic.


Laura Chieko

Laura Chieko loves to dance, even more than she loves shoes. Since 2006, Laura has trained in Lindy hop, balboa, and blues, and dabbled in a myriad of other dance styles. She is known for her grace, enchanting performance, and effortless following. Her musical training informs her intricate musicality and opinions on how clarinets should sound. Laura loves blues for its emphasis on connection and the rich diversity in its music which she seeks to celebrate on and off the dance floor. On that dance floor, she is best known for her poise, ability to rock the color orange, and occasionally winning things.

An educator in dance halls and traditional classrooms, Laura is known for her sunny disposition, student engagement, and captivating exploration of tiny details. She pulls from her wide cross training from balboa to human anatomy to create classes accessible to a broad range of students.

Laura is also a tireless organizer. She obsesses over spreadsheets and her drug of choice is caffeine. She helps run Blues Dance New York in NYC and curates the Organizer Blues blog.