Welcome to Fair City Blues 2016!

‘In Dublin’s fair city’, we are buzzing with the Blues, with weekly classes and social dances! We can’t wait for you to come and dance with us.

Between 18th and 20th March, we will provide you with two full days of inspiring classes with 5 renowned international blues dance teachers, three nights of parties with incredible DJs and amazing live music, fun times in one of the world's friendliest cities, and an oxford comma.

And we will be updating this webpage with more information as we get it!

Ethos

Fair City Blues is run by a group of local dancers who are passionate about blues dancing. We’ve been involved in local dance events and have travelled widely to get our blues fix. Now we are drawing on our experiences to create something special for both local dancers and visitors from further afield.

We stand for:

  • Fair play and friendliness. We’ll be providing a warm welcome and chilled out classes and social dancing. This means we won’t be running dance competitions (we’re not going to judge you ;)) and while classes will be split by level, everyone will have the same wristband so there’s no stress, like.
  • A fairly relaxing event. We like dance weekends to be eeeasy. Dublin is a small city but we will still do our best to make sure that all our venues are within walking distance or very easily accessible by public transport. We’ll also help to make sure you can easily find accommodation, food etc. with minimal hassle.
  • Fair pricing. We are doing our absolute best to keep prices as low as possible while providing a weekend packed full of awesome.

What is blues dancing?

Blues dancing involves a family of dances that are usually done to blues music. It can be partnered or solo, fast or slow. The style of the particular dance will vary with the type of music played: e.g. ‘ballroom’ style blues will often be slow and graceful, while ‘juke’ style blues may be faster and have a different feel. We love blues dancing because we love blues music, and we love the relative freedom that can come with blues dancing. Dancers who like to follow, in particular, often find blues dancing allows them to be more creative than other partnered dances. Mainly, it’s a lot of fun..!

Classes

Class Picture
Photo Credit: Jelena Lihhatsova

This weekend will include 2 days of workshops with classes on both partnered and solo movement. Read on below to find out more about the teachers we've chosen for the event and the class levels available!

Click here for class schedule.


Teachers

Jenny and Dan

Daniel Repsch and Jennifer Sowden

We loved their classes at Fair City Blues 2015 and just had to bring them back!

Dan & Jenny are full-time international dance instructors traveling to share the joy of dance. They've won many competitions around the country both separately and together in Lindy Hop and Blues. Dan & Jenny teach with a focus on musicality, fine movement detail, and play between partners.

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. He is most excited to push his own dancing and to see his students break through their boundaries.

Jenny has been training in dance for 25 years and teaching for 20 years, with a BA in Dance and Theater from San Diego State University. She is trained in 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, variation, expression, and an understanding of body mechanics. Jenny believes the dance floor is a 'World of Yes’ where we accept and are inspired. In turn we take classes in a 'World of Intention' to expand our 'World of Yes.’

Visit www.JennyDan.com for more info.


Catherine Palmier

With over ten years of professional experience, this sensational West African dance teacher will be covering the solo classes focusing on African movement for Blues dancers.

Catherine’s patience and dance experience give her the ability to pinpoint the right technique, style, rhythm, bone, muscle or story to bring the best out of her students and allow them to use their body and art to the fullest.

Catherine runs Racine Du Mouvement, which is devoted to facilitating classes, workshops and international dance camps that nurture the cultivation and liberation of one’s creative expression through dance that explores influences and aesthetics from Africa and the African diaspora heritage.

Her events and classes celebrate the intersection of music, dance technique and effortless play, creating a welcome and relaxed atmosphere for artistic and cultural exchanges to take place.

Visit racinedumouvement.com for more info.


AV

Gastón Fernández and Alba Mengual

Alba loves all of the different dance styles of the Swing Era: Lindy Hop, Blues, Balboa and Authentic Jazz, all of which she trains in and teaches regularly. She started teaching in Leeds in 2008 and in London for Swing Patrol in 2010. In November 2012 she decided to fulfil her dream of becoming a full time teacher and an organiser in her hometown of Madrid, and opened Big Mama Swing dance school where she now teaches with Gas. Since then, Alba has been asked to teach Lindy, Blues and Balboa internationally in places like Uppsala, Stockholm, Barcelona, Paris, Toulouse, La Guiole, Valencia, Lisbon, Porto, New York (Nocturne Blues) and Herrang Dance Camp. She is eager to share her passion for dance (which has taken over her life) with everybody!
Some awards:
1st place Jack and Jill Blues Shout 2014
1st place Strictly Blues Shout 2014

Gastón “Gas” Fernández is a professional dancer and dance instructor. He specializes in vintage dance styles including Lindy Hop, Charleston, Authentic Jazz, Balboa, Blues and Tango. As a former gymnast he is known in the Swing dance community for his powerful acrobatics and aerials, while his background in Tango gives his Blues style drama and strength, grounded in a sensitive connection with his partner. Gastón’s passion for dance has taken him around the world, teaching in some of the best Swing and Blues camps in the world, like Herrang Dance Camp, Snowball, MSF, Lindy Shock, Smokey Feet, Berlin Blues Explosion, Noctourne Blues and many others.

Gastón runs South America’s first and largest annual swing dance festival, LHAIF (Lindy Hop Argentina International Festival) each year in Buenos Aires and the first Blues event in South America, “Careless weekend”.

Visit www.BigMamaSwing.com for more info.


AV AV

Elective Classes Teachers

Once again during the last class on the Sunday you will be able to choose your own adventure! And here are the amazing teachers who shall be your guides:

Marko Gazic is Dublin's own blues hero, musician and dancer, and he will be teaching you to sing the blues! In his class you will experience blues on another level by learning and performing two awesome blues songs as a group. You’ll study rhythms and melodies and connect music and movement. Singers will be encouraged to improvise over the verses of one of the popular blues songs. Bring your instruments and voices!

Marta Martinho is our fabulous blues dance teacher, performer and co-founder of Dublin's Downtown Blues dance club (www.facebook.com/downtownblues). She will be joining forces with the wonderfully talented El Lee a.k.a. MissEllie (www.facebook.com/MissElliePiano) to teach you how to "let the music screw with you"! In this class Marta and Ellie will open you up to communication with live music - going beyond finding a pulse and letting you drop all expectations to find a truly authentic response to anything a musician plays. And watch out! - they're likely screwing with you.

These two classes will be open to all levels so start working out your FOMO issues now!


Levels

We’ve put special thought into inviting teachers to our event that will make dancers of all levels feel comfortable and have a great weekend. Whether you’re nervous about getting on the social dance floor or are the first one in on a jam circle, we think you’ll learn loads this weekend and have a lot of fun. Each level will have classes with all of the teachers anyway so don’t worry about missing out. If you're not sure which level you think is best for you we're happy for you to drop us an email on info@faircityblues.com and we can try and help you out.

Improvers

For this level you've been dancing blues socially for the past year or so and now know that you love it. You are very eager to take your dancing to the next level. You may have been to some workshops but you probably haven't travelled far for blues weekends or competed in blues dance-off competitions just yet. You've been introduced to many of the basic blues steps but are hungry for more!

Intermediate

You've been dancing blues socially for the past few years and/or are one of those people who has gone completely crazy for blues and travelled far and wide to workshops so that you can improve in a very short time. You have a very good understanding of authentic blues styles, different types of blues music rhythms, and you are keen to explore and learn about different types of blues music. You realise now though that to really dance well means focusing in deeply on body movement and technique, and you are up to the challenge!

Advanced

You've done so many blues workshops at this point that you've started telling your work colleagues that you're visiting a sick relative every weekend as they just don't understand how important dancing is. You practice shuffles at the photocopier and you wonder whether you can isolate internal organs. You are confident in your dancing to the point that you are helping to grow your local scene through teaching/Djing/helping out or you compete/perform at events. At the same time, you know that there is always tons to learn and you are not afraid to go back to the basics with the aim of mastering them.


Music

DJs

We have brought together 12 DJs from Ireland and around the world to keep you dancing all weekend! Read more about our DJs at faircityblues.com/resources/FCB-2016-DJ-Bios.pdf.

Jawbone

jawbone image

Dublin's own Acoustic Folk & Blues Commune are made up of three handsome gents Philip Christie (O Emperor), Philip O'Gorman (The Gorgeous Colours) and Conor Deasy (Biggles Flys Again/The Gandhis) playing old time blues and folk tunes. They have a loyal following amongst local dancers - we cannot imagine Sundays without dancing our socks off at their weekly session in Arthur's pub! Often collaborating with special guests and visiting musicians, their music just keeps getting better!

The trio's sweet tunes will take you on a magical bluesy journey from Mississippi to Chicago, and you won’t be able to resist shaking your tail feathers!

Jawbone on Facebook

MissEllie

ellie image

A one-woman tune-boutique, MissEllie has evolved from a spontaneous piece of hungover improvising in the corner of an emptying ballet studio at Fair City 2014 into something of a solo-jam powerhouse, supplying hand-crafted blues, beats and beeps in whatever format is being requested.

Since her official solo debut at Fair City Blues 2015, she has played late night sets in Bristol, collaborated with singers Little Moaner and Catt Turney, and created musicality workshops in partnerships with Megan MacDonald in Glasgow and Justin Riley in Bristol. Currently she’s recording an EP of all of her work, and hosting monthly music and dance skill share sessions in London called The Sunday Shake Off.

From trad classics to modern takes on old songs all the way through to entirely-new danceable bluesy goodness, she’s as ready as a rusty juke-joint juke-box to be everyone's delicious cup of dance-tea. This year, on top of the old favourites, she’ll treat us to her beautiful singing, new songs and some special guests!

Find out more about MissEllie here: tiny.cc/missellie
You can listen to all of MissEllie’s music here: soundcloud.com/missellie
Facebook.com/misselliepiano
Bandcamp.com/misselliepiano
Twitter.com/misselliemusic

Dan Nash

Dan Nash image

Dan’s music harks back to the roots of the early rent party and juke playing; his performances encompass the whole acoustic blues genre from the rough-edge bottleneck blues of the Mississippi Delta to the intricate finger-picking styles of Texas and the Carolinas. He focuses on rare and standard blues classics by bluesmen such as Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, T-Bone Walker and Lightnin’ Hopkins.

Dan has performed extensively in the USA, both with contemporary blues players and as a solo act. He gravitated towards the deep South in early 2007 whilst making a documentary on the history of blues, and spent 16 weeks playing around the Mississippi Delta. During his travels, he met and interviewed blues legends David ‘Honeyboy’ Edwards, Henry Gray and Hubert Sumlin, as well as the members of both Robert Johnson's and Muddy Waters’ family.

Dan has a strong following among blues dancers and plays for them regularly in his home town of London, and at Blues dance festivals all around Europe. We are very excited to welcome him to Dublin!

www.dannashblues.com


Venues

Almost all of our venues are conveniently located close to the red Luas (tram) line, which serves the main bus and train stations in Dublin and many of Dublin’s hostels
(less walking = less sore thighs = happy blues dancing!).

Click for Google Map of Locations in a new tab/window.

 

 

Classes

Classes will be held in the DanceHouse, located on Foley Street. The purpose-built dance rehearsal studios will enable us to act out scenes from Fame during the breaks between classes (should we so choose) as well as providing us with a pleasant learning environment.

 

Dance House Picture

 

 

Parties

 

Friday and Saturday

Our Friday night venue is the Teacher's Club (36 Parnell Square West), and since we like it so much it will be our Saturday night venue too!

Sunday

On Sunday we'll head to the Liquor Rooms (7 Wellington Quay) where we'll party until the wee hours!


Prices

A Full Weekend Pass will cost 115 Euro.
A limited number of social passes will be available from the 30th November and cost 40 Euro.
T-shirts can be ordered before the event and cost 15 Euro.

Your Visit

Molly Malone Picture

Fair City Blues takes its name from the song "Molly Malone" (also known as "Cockles and Mussels" or "In Dublin's Fair City"). It's not exactly your classic blues song, but it's basically the anthem of Dublin, and it's catchy! The name "Fair City" may also remind some people of a certain popular soap opera set in Dublin. Hopefully our event will involve fewer tragic twists, murders and betrayed lovers, but I guess that's up to you guys..!

Because the weekend is so close to St. Patrick's Day there is an abundance of things to see and do if you ever have some spare time! Check out www.stpatricksfestival.ie/events for details of all the things!

Accommodation

We will not be arranging a formal hosting service during this workshop weekend, however we will try to facilitate hosting via Facebook a little closer to the event.


Register

All tickets are sold out.


You can email info@faircityblues.com if you wish to be put on the waiting list for full or social passes in case of cancellations.

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