Blues Underground


Please join us for a

Live Music Night + Workshop Weekend!

September 7 - 9, 2018

Live music Facebook event here

Workshop Facebook event here



Friday, September 7



8 pm: All-levels LIVE MUSIC lesson with Brenda Russell

9 pm - midnight (or later) - live music featuring Dante Zapata


Located at Dance Underground, 340 15th Ave E, Seattle, WA 98112


Price is sliding scale. $30-$16 at the door, cash or card.


Dante's website

Brenda's website





September 8 + 9, 2018

Workshop weekend with Ruth and Mike!


All workshops held at Theatre Puget Sound, the Armory, Seattle Center. 305 Harrison Street, Seattle, WA

Take the elevator from the NORTH entrance to the 4th floor to get to STUDIO G
Your contact during event hours is Lauren's cell phone, 206-499-8469. She will be participating in workshops, so please follow up with a text if a call doesn't get an immediate response. 

Seattle Center map -

Pack a lunch, or eat at the Armory! -


Scroll down for bios and class descriptions.


Class Schedule 


 blues dance geek day!

11 am - noon

How to Practice 
(Available a la carte)

12:15 - 1:15 pm

Leading and Following in Blues Part 1

1:15 - 2 pm


2 - 3 pm

Leading and Following in Blues Part 2

3:15 - 4:15 pm

 Leading and Following in Blues Part 3

4:30 - 5:30 pm

Body Care
(Available a la carte)



blues idioms, good for the blues-curious

(all Sunday workshops available a la carte)

11 am - noon

Slow Drag - Not a Drag

12:15 - 1:15 pm

Chicago Triple - Triple Steps Not Just for Swing!

1:15 - 2 pm


2 - 3 pm

Struttin’ - Fast, Relaxed & Free

3:15 - 4:15 pm

The Strut and The Stride - Ballroomin’ with Style

4:30 - 5:30 pm

Mini-Private lessons

sign up and pay DURING CLASS BREAKS


Pass type

door price
A la carte (price per workshop, some restrictions) $20
Sunday only pass  $70
Full weekend pass  $150



Ruth and Mike


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 16 countries and counting). They are founding members and choreographers of the B Sides, a professional blues performance group known for unique style, artistic innovations, and detailed performances.

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 strongly committed to teaching equally to both follows and leads, and are known for teaching to follows even during topics that are often lead-focused. They love dance pedagogy and mentoring newer teachers to fulfill their potential as instructors. Ruth has two certifications in the Franklin Method, a globally recognized body somatics modality. Mike has recently published a popular online dance course.*

Ruth and Mike are prolific choreographers, avid dance nerds, and enthusiastic social dancers. Between the two of them, Ruth and Mike have taught not only a wide range of blues dances, but also Lindy Hop, solo jazz, Argentine Tango, lyrical dance, vintage ballroom dances, and much more. They care about pushing blues and jazz dances forward as living art forms as well as staying strongly rooted in the origins of the dances. To this end, they study with people who have living connections to the dances, scrutinize old video clips, peruse books and old dance manuals, and train in current dance forms in the African diaspora.

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 Mike has learned a lot about fancy cocktails. They have been known to fishtail in grocery stores and swing out in the aisles of moving trains. Check out,, and

*Check out Ruth and Mike’s courses at





11 am - 12 pm Class 1: How to Practice 
(Available a la carte)
In this class we will explore best practices in practice, both alone and with a partner. We have heard that this class is surprisingly fun, and hope to make your practicing feel that way as well.

12:15 - 1:15 pm Class 2: Leading and Following in Blues Part 1
(Available a la carte)
In this intensive we will explore various blues dances, including freestyle blues, and get in-depth about leading and following techniques while dancing with blues aesthetic. Come ready to stretch your connection and your brain!

LUNCH 1:15 - 2 pm

2 - 3 pm Class 3: Leading and Following in Blues Part 2

3:15 - 4:15 pm Class 4: Leading and Following in Blues Part 3

4:30 - 5:30 pm Class 5: Body Care 
(Available a la carte)
Your body is your instrument- how do you care for it? You will leave this class feeling better immediately, and with tools to continue feeling better.


11 am - 12 pm Class 6: Slow Drag - Not a Drag
Think there is not much to Slow Drag? Think again! In this class we will explore the intricacies of this dance, including finding personal style and expression through variations.

12:15 - 1:15 pm Class 7: Chicago Triple - Triple Steps Not Just for Swing!
Get down and settle into the groove with Chicago Triple. This style feels great over a wide range of tempos and is perfect for a lot of music that you hear from live blues bands. We’ll play with digging our feet into the floor for triples, and how to make the dance feel different from other triple-step dances. This class will also cover ways to preserve energy when dancing to more energetic songs.

LUNCH 1:15 - 2 pm

2 - 3 pm Class 8: Struttin’ - Fast, Relaxed & Free
Come learn the dance that is taking the blues scene by storm! We love this energetic dance, featuring close embrace, interesting partner connection and independent footwork for leads and follows. We'll get you going on the basics, and give you some variations to keep you dancing happily as the music tempos go up!

3:15 - 4:15 pm Class 9: The Strut and The Stride - Ballroomin’ with Style
Take your Ballroomin’ Blues game up a notch as we delve into Strut and Stride. These two idiom dances have distinct music and characters. For each dance, we will explore the movement technique, lead and follow dynamics, and personal expression.

4:30 - 5:30 pm Class 10: Mini-Private lessons

A great way to get the top-notch one-on-one attention of a private lesson after a full weekend of learning, without paying for a full hour! Sign up at the weekend event, additional cost may apply. 



Pass type

price before September 5 door price
A la carte (price per workshop, some restrictions) n/a $20
Sunday only pass (includes Friday live music night) $60 $70
Full weekend pass (includes Friday live music night) $120 $150
Rising star - SOLD OUT $240 n/a




All workshops held at Theatre Puget Sound, the Armory, Seattle Center, 305 Harrison Street. 



Come dance with us at Blues Underground first Friday of every month! 

Located at Dance Underground on Capitol Hill amongst the hustle and bustle of bars, restaurants and coffee shops, it's the perfect place to go after dinner or before drinks. 


Some notes about Blues Underground

  • Blues Underground is the first Friday of every month, featuring quarterly live music (March, June, September, December)
  • Lessons cover all-levels basics with rotating themes from 8:00pm - 9:00pm
  • Dance to live or DJed music from 9:00pm-12:00am, sometimes later at host's discretion
  • Price: $15-$6 on regular Fridays and $30-$16 on live music nights. Pay what you can and look out for volunteer positions for free entry!
  • Like our Facebook Page for updates, invites to weekly dances, and special events!
  • Like most Savoy Swing Club events, this event is all ages!
  • Email BUGdirector (at) with any questions or feedback!