About Grace and Ross
When Grace and Ross dance, they embrace the unconventional, exploring the limits and opportunities of connection and movement within the blues idiom. A partnership founded on trust and creative collaboration, there is a constant negotiation of initiation and interpretation. Together, they’re quick to play off and celebrate each other as they find new rhythms and connections. Grace and Ross have established themselves as competitive powerhouses in the national scene, sweeping contests across the states. Driven to continue furthering their own growth as dancers, their dedicated and ongoing training gives them a great opportunity to improve their knowledge base for instruction as well.
In classes taught by Grace and Ross, they alternate between detail-oriented instruction and collaborative facilitation, inviting students to take an active role in the learning process. They’re quick to adjust lesson plans based on the needs of their students, creating new exercises, re-ordering material, or emphasizing Q&A. As seasoned DJs, Grace and Ross also carefully select music for their classes in order to set a certain tone and perfectly fit the material being taught.
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.
Regularly bringing her wealth of knowledge to students across the country, Grace's teaching emphasizes collaborative learning, developing personal expression within the idiom, and a follow-focused pedagogy. Her flexibility in classroom management allows her to adapt lessons on the fly to provide the best possible learning experience for her students. An invaluable resource to students and organizers alike, Grace is accessible and professional both inside and outside of the classroom.
When she's not teaching, Grace travels nationwide to compete in blues. Her accomplishments just in 2016 include 1st place wins at Nocturne’s Strictly, J&J, and Solo Tribute Challenge (New York, NY), North Star’s Strictly and J&J (Minneapolis, MN), and Steel City’s Solo Riffin’ Competition (Pittsburgh, PA). Find out more and watch her dance at www.gracedances.com.
A favorite on the social floor for his rhythmic play and clear lead allowing for effortless follow expression, Ross inspires his partners and onlookers alike. His movement background in martial arts and sport fencing affords him a grounded strength and athletic balance, giving rise to precise, secure changes between shapes and directions. Ross was drawn to the blues idiom because of its emphasis on personal expression in relation to a partner and the breadth of tempo and style within blues music. As a teacher Ross builds layered classes to challenge all levels, balances technique with application, and chooses appropriate music to support each exercise. Met with overwhelming competitive success, Ross has placed 1st at a number of contests within the last two years: BluesSHOUT 2015 Open Strictly (Chicago, IL), North Star Blues 2016 JnJ (Minneapolis, MN), Austin Blues Party 2016 Social JnJ (Austin, TX), and Sweet Molasses Blues 2016 Advanced JnJ (Boston, MA).
What People Are Saying
"Grace and Ross have a wonderful dynamic that makes for an excellent learning experience. Grace has a great understanding of body mechanics and is able to explain such concepts in everyday language. She has an immense amount of knowledge and yet remains approachable and personable. Ross has a really comfortable presence that puts you completely at ease. He has a great way of conveying the intricate details of partnered dancing in a way that is accessible and feels natural. Together they possess a huge depth of knowledge and passion for blues dance and its rich history. Their classes left me completely exhausted and exhilarated with a renewed love for this awesome dance."
-Amie Campbell, Abilene
"When I watch Grace and Ross dance, I'm often like "...how the heck do you even do that." Well, IMO, hire them and find out! From crazy rhythmic footwork to intense body shaping, their partnership always seems to come up with one unprecedented level of improvisational badassery on top of another...while still remaining firmly grounded in blues. It's a fine line to walk, and they *dance* on it."
-Nick DeWitt, Austin
"Grace is one of my favorite blues dance teachers. I've taken group classes and private lessons from her, and also hired her to teach workshops in my city. I love the way she combines dance technique with a healthy dose of fun and attitude, while also maintaining a solid connection with the music and the roots of blues dance. She's professional and fun, and very easy to work with. Her passion for the dance and the music is evident in every movement, and she brings such fire to the dance floor that she can't help but inspire those around her."
-Amy Blank, Boston
Please contact us for further class options and descriptions. We're always happy to develop new classes based on the needs of your scene or event.
North Star Blues 2016 JnJ - 1st Place
(partnered at 9:17)
Social Dancing October 2016