Instructors:

Instructor: Dexter Santos

Dexter Santos

(He / Him)

When DEXTER SANTOS discovered Blues dancing in 2005, he found himself immediately drawn to the rhythms and sounds of the Blues. Something about the music - it's emotional depth and range, the varied subjects and stories, the gut-wrenching and the hip-shaking, the gritty and the smooth - gave Dexter's dancing new inspiration and direction. With a background in Ballroom dancing and Lindy Hop, Dexter has studied and collaborated with the best Blues dance teachers and dancers making him one of the most sought-after and admired teachers in the national and international scene.

As a teacher, Dexter aims to inspire dancers of all levels with the possibilities that Blues dancing has to offer while preserving its roots, identity, and art form. Dexter travels across the US and around the world spreading his passion and joy for Blues dancing through his fun, inspiring, and challenging classes. A particular class favorite often referred to as the "Shim Sham of Blues," the Hound Dog routine (a solo Blues choreography danced to Big Mama Thornton's song of the same title) has been taught to and performed with dancers in four continents.

Dexter has taught at nationally and internationally renowned exchanges and workshops such as bluesSHOUT (Chicago, IL), Austin Blues Party (Austin, TX), Down Home Blues Festival (San Francisco, CA), BamBLOOZled (Washington, D.C.), Rain City Blues (Seattle, WA), Steel City Blues Festival (Pittsburgh, PA), Mile High Blues Festival (Denver, CO), Toronto Blues Battle (Toronto, ON, Canada), Fallin' In Blues (Grenoble, France), Korea Blues Camp (Seoul, So. Korea), Drag The Blues (Barcelona, Spain), Breizh Blues Invasion (Rennes, France), Blues Baby Blues (London), and Black Swan Blues (Perth, WA, Australia) among many others.

When he's not teaching or performing, you'll find Dexter 'cutting his teeth' and refining his skills on the competition floor. Since the very first bluesSHOUT in St. Louis in 2007, Dexter has won first place in numerous Blues dancing competitions around the country and has won the title of Ballroomin' Blues champion at bluesSHOUT 3 times (2007, 2008, and 2010). In an unprecedented feat, Dexter won all four partnered competitions at bluesSHOUT 2010 in Austin: Open Jack & Jill, Strictly Jook Joint, Strictly Ballroomin', and Champions Division.

Instructor: Heidi Fite

Heidi Fite

(She / Her)

Heidi began dancing and teaching Blues dances in St. Louis in 1999. She has been dancing, teaching and performing ever since. An early promoter of Blues dancing, she founded the first national Blues dance workshop (Cheap Thrills), which has since transformed into the nation's largest Blues dance workshop and competition weekend (bluesSHOUT!).

Now busy with family, Heidi no longer runs bluesSHOUT!, but she continues to travel the world teaching Blues dance as a living tradition, with a rich history and an exciting future. From local classes to international workshops to historical research and documentation of the dance, she is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Blues dancing.

Her classes are inspiring and challenging, but Heidi's focus on the underlying principles and fundamentals of the dance allows her to break down the most difficult concepts and moves, making them easy to understand and incorporate. Heidi is able to communicate and instill in her students a love of dance and a dedication to the learning process. Most importantly, her classes will put some serious 'boom boom boom' and 'aw haw haw haw' in your dancing.

Instructor: Ruth and Mike

Ruth and Mike

(She / Her; He / Him)

Ruth and Mike are among the most respected and sought-after instructors in the blues dance world. They have taught at most of the blues dance events that exist (In 14 countries and counting…). They are founding members and choreographers of the B Sides, which is the first and currently only ongoing professional blues performance group. Ruth and Mike are an exceptional teaching partnership, internationally renowned for their dynamic energy, precise explanations, entertainment value, and ability to make detailed technique fun to learn. They are prolific choreographers, avid dance nerds, and enthusiastic social dancers. Ruth and Mike are passionate about creating fresh and expressive art that stays true to the roots of the blues. They love dance pedagogy and mentoring newer teachers to fulfill their potential as instructors. Ruth and Mike both love carrot juice, smoky Scotch whisky, and philosophical discussions. Since they started traveling and teaching together, Ruth has started using the Oxford comma, and all of Mike’s electronic devices are from Apple. They have been known to fishtail in grocery stores and swing out in the aisles of moving trains. Check out their facebook page and youtube channel.

Ruth Evelyn skipped into her first dance class more than 25 years ago, and has since been dancing as many styles as she can get her feet on. Ruth’s 15+ years as a dance instructor have taken her on teaching adventures across the US, Canada, Europe and Southeast Asia. She has continually developed both her teaching and her dancing skills. Ruth is known for her ability to craft explanations that fit students’ learning styles. She brings a vibrant mixture of deep technical knowledge, passion for movement, and silly fun that students can’t help but connect with.

As a choreographer, Ruth's creations are received with widespread admiration. Ruth is a founding member and choreographer of the B Sides, guest choreographs for other groups around the world, and mentors people in choreography.

In addition to training in blues, lindy, Argentine tango, modern, ballet and many other dance forms, Ruth is certified in Franklin Method, an increasingly popular body somatics method. She has a long-standing love affair with close-embrace connection, has sneakily swung out in the Louvre, and is curating a fine collection of fishtail variations.

Mike Grosser is one of the most recognized names in the Blues dance community. Mike is a top level instructor, dancer, choreographer, performer, and mentor. He has not only won respected blues competitions but also thrown down hard in unofficial late night dance-offs. Mike is a founding member and choreographer of the B Sides, which is the first and currently only ongoing professional blues performance group. Students across continents rave about Mike’s insights, personality, and breadth and depth of knowledge. As an instructor, Mike strives to put himself in his students’ shoes so that he can relate material as intuitively and thoroughly as possible. He loves seeing students’ eyes light up when they understand a concept or feel a movement work naturally in their body for the first time. Mike lives and breathes dance. He is constantly honing his skills and developing new ideas. If you run into him at grocery store, on public transit, in a museum, or on a mountain top, you’ll probably catch him dancing.