european blues invasion 2016

Let's start the post with some breakfast, shall we? :) (I know, not the healthiest breakfast, and in my defense, I had scrambled eggs and youghurt with berries the rest of the days. This was just so delicious. :))

We had breakfast here at Central Street Cafe every day for two reasons: 1. Their breakfast was awesome, and 2. It's located in the same building as all our classes = less time spent walking = more sleep. :)

The classes was the best part of my experience at EBI this year. At EBI you get to choose which class you want to go to after a short presentation or demo by the different teachers (as opposed to picking a themed track, like we do at Blues Garden - more on why we have chosen to it that way some other time - or signing up for or auditioning for a level such as beginner, intermediate or advanced). And there were just so many awesome class descriptions, sometimes it was really hard to choose because I wanted to take allll the classes. There were ten teachers and loads of different themes and aspects of blues dance (gosh, I just really love blues dance so much).

I didn't get a lot of photos during classes (mostly because I didn't want to disturb too much), but here are two of Ruth & Mike, who I completely adore.

Here's a photo I didn't take: Leigh and Annette taught a faboulous called Ultimate Swagger (I know - the name alone is worth a mention. :)) and for me it was transforming. For me, it was about getting all the awesome dance I have inside, out - I can't describe it better. I just felt so much more ... daring after the class, and I felt that same night while social dancing how much difference it made. The classes during the rest of the weekend just kept strengthening that feeling, but I know that's where it started.

Lunch! Few things in life make Johanna happier than food when she hadn't understood herself that that was what she was needing. :)

Dinner! See above. :)

I took almost no photos at all during the social dancing, just these of Dan Nash. I have to tell you, the Saturday and Sunday nights were not my favorite parts of this event - and not because the place wasn't full of people I would have loved to dance with, because it really was. The venue was beautifully decorated, but it was much too warm and humid and the floor was a disaster - sticky and impossible to dance properly on. I love listening to great live music and chatting with friends, and so that's what I did; but I love blues dancing more, and I just couldn't get much out of the dancing. On Friday though, it was a different venue and the floor was a little better (at least for my taste and my shoes), so I did manage to get a few good dances there.

Here's a photo I didn't take: Someone I didn't know came up to me as I left the dance floor after some solo dancing to Mark's electronica set (don't tell the blues purists :)), and said "I have to tell you something - your solo dancing to the past couple of songs was absolutely beautiful. You should do that more often". That made my day.

Cute and tired at four in the morning. :)

Yay, awesome teacher showcase! I'm so inspired to do some partnered choreo myself - if only I had a partner to dance it with, that is.

And then, as the last class on Sunday afternoon, I chose the Blues Jeopardy class with Leigh and Annette. So much fun, even though the questions were much too difficult for me. So many lovely people in this photo, by the way!

When we were on our way to London, I was a little worried, thinking "why did I book two blues dance workshops with just a week and a half in between? I'm already tired, EBI is just going to make me more tired". But when we left London, I was nothing but giddy happy that I would go to another event just two weeks after that; I just wanted more and more and more, more classes, more social dancing, more time spent with friends living in other corners of Europe, more blues. Best feeling.

(Here are some photos from our first days in London including the awesome Stompin' the Blues.)

(Want to see more of my dance photography? Here is the tag for blues dancing posts and here is the tag for all dance photos, including lindy and balboa, and if I'm not mistaken, some West African dance classes on the beach in Senegal. :))

Professor Longhair | Big Chief (pt. 2)

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