Welcome to Fair City Blues 2018!

For the fifth time the Fair City Fianna are calling on blues dance clansmen and wanderers from the neighbouring realms and faraway lands to gather on the mystical isle of Éire for our yearly ceardlann rince !

For two days the múinteoirí, the knowledge-keepers, will share their wisdom to help us hone and refine our dance craft! For three nights the ceoltóirí will enchant our bodies and souls with the magic of the ancient blues songs from across the high seas!

From 23rd to 25th of March 2018 join us in the legendary Baile Átha Cliath where the locals are good-natured and the blues craic is mighty!

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.
  • 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.

Classes

Class Picture
Photo Credit: Patrick Maguire

This year, for your learning pleasure, we will offer communal learning (mixed level) classes as well as special focus intensives. Please note that classes will be challenging and not suitable for beginners. We strongly advise that you have at least twelve months of blues dance classes under your belt before the workshop in March.

Mixed Level Classes will include:

  • Partnered Classes - with our fabulous teaching couples. Each class will have a different mix of students, and each teaching couple will repeat their material for every group.
  • Solo Blues Classes - with three different topics. Just choose the one that interests you the most on the day!
  • DJ Class - for blues music enthusiasts who already play or aspire to play their favourite tunes at social dances!
  • Singing Class - with a professional choirmaster who will teach you two classic blues songs!
  • Jamming Class - to give you that confidence boost to unleash your dance creativity in all its glory!
Special Focus Intensives

(for small groups - 12 couples max)

These classes will drill into their respective topics in detail, and students will get more direct feedback from instructors due to small class size.
  • Stealing the Lead - techniques for follows to “take over” the dance to express musicality, and for leads to keep the flow of the dance uninterrupted.
  • Close Embrace - techniques for complex close embrace moves including rotation on one axis, lag, contra-body and swoopy-leg.
  • Fast Blues - techniques and vocabulary for dancing to fast (Chicago) blues with ease and playfulness.
  • Teacher Training - recommended for dancers who are already teaching or planning to teach in their local scenes.
  • Focus on Basics - drilling into the fundamentals of blues dancing; recommended for dancers with just over the minimum required experience and those who would like a basics refresher.
  • You will be able to sign up to these Special Focus Intensives during registration. Have your top two preferences ready, spots will be allocated on a first come, first served basis, so don’t delay your sign ups!


    Timetable


    Click here for a provisional schedule.


    Teachers

    Leigh and Daire

    Leigh and Daire

    Leigh and Dáire met at a Lindy event in 2013, but they knew they were destined to come together and save the universe when a Facebook quiz said they should live together. Fast forward to 2017, and that fateful quiz had come to pass, with these kids creating a den of dance-geekery in the beautiful city of Valencia!

    Since discovering the blues, Leigh has succumbed hopelessly to its charms. She brings the essence of the sultry, soulful blues to dance floors; competing, teaching and DJing in Scotland and around Europe. She also knows how to throw a mighty-fine party and is notorious for bringing together kick-ass events in her home scene, Edinburgh, including the love-fest that is The Spoonful! Leigh’s mission in life is to squeeze every ounce of enjoyment out of every dance, and her welcoming classes are rooted in this philosophy.

    Daire likes his music like he likes his whiskey - aged and mellow. He was born under a bad sign in Holland and has both lived, taught and DJed blues all over Europe. A mover and a shaker in more ways than one, he is one of the founders of blues dance scene in Delft, Holland and co-organises Crash! The Delft Blues Festival every February. Daire is always researching and expanding his knowledge of blues music and dance both on and off the floor. He wants to share the joy of connection with yourself, your partner, the music, and the environment.

    Teaching together, the atmosphere Leigh & Daire create in every class is playful and open. Wherever you are with your blues dancing, they’ll make sure you leave with a swagger in your walk and a smile on your face!


    Annette and Eran

    Annette hails from Heidelberg and is one of Europe's most prominent proselytisers of blues dance as a teacher, social dancer, DJ and organiser. Her love of teaching and dancing are infectious and if you've traveled for blues, you probably already knew that. Annette is excited to be back in the Fairest of Cities and she is looking forward to helping you bring out your inner awesome!

    Born and raised in Israel, where he started swing dancing ten years ago, Eran has been teaching Lindy Hop, Charleston, Balboa, Vernacular Jazz, Acrobatics and Blues since 2009; with his business partner Shirley he co-founded one of the most successful dance schools today – Holy Lindy Land. Now residing in Germany he continues to spread his love of dance across Europe and beyond!

    Eran and Annette met each other years ago on the dance floor and, after rounds and rounds of fantastic dances, they realised that they had a very similar ideas of smooth connection, clear body movement and original musicality, all with a generous helping of dance humor. As teachers they want to share their vision of great social dancing with you. It's always exciting to see what they'll cook up for their classes as it's sure to have a bit of everything: rhythms and moves, shapes and style, class and sass, grounded individual and beautifully partnered movement.


    AV

    Nick and Ilaria

    Nick and Ilaria are London based blues dance duo. They love the way blues dance celebrates human nature and brings people together by giving them a medium to express their true selves.

    Ilaria is a caring teacher who encourages personal expression by not only explaining the fundamental techniques to her students, but also by providing them with tools connect with different partners and forms of blues music.

    Nick is a school teacher by day and a dance teacher by night. He loves finding out exactly how things work (hence the science teaching) which means he is perfectly poised to break down techniques and moves in a simple and logical manner.

    In London Nick and Ilaria are the ambassadors of the local blues community, teaching weekly and performing front and centre with The Down and Outs troupe. Internationally they started their teaching journey in 2014 for the special occasion of Milan’s first blues dancing workshop. Since then they have been part of the teaching teams all over Europe from St. Petersburg to Valencia.

    “We were so impressed the last time we were in Dublin with the inclusive community and can’t wait to share the same dance floor with the wonderful Fair City people!”


    Agnieszka and Konrad

    Agnieszka and Konrad

    Agnieszka finds Blues to be the perfect form of dance expression that reflects her own dance story: it has African roots, some tango influences and a spell of jazz elegance. She started dancing at the age of seven with ballroom before turning to African and modern jazz dances. She has experience teaching a variety of classes in Germany, Spain, Lithuania, Ukraine, and is actively working on building and developing the Blues dance scene in Warsaw, Poland with her partner Konrad Pruśniewski.

    Konrad, as a curious person, tried a variety of different activities. From primary school he had been learning Japanese martial arts, progressing from softer to harder styles. But when he discovered Lindy Hop in 2013, his boxing gloves were abandoned for good! Since then dancing turned his world upside down and showed him different ways of enjoying life. Creativity and curiosity directed him to Blues dance in which he found deeper connection and feeling.

    Dancing with Agnieszka opened new doors and started a new chapter in their lives. Creating and discovering new, not yet fully known, not planned or forced forms of expression in each dance is very important to them. During this process you never know what will be revealed - it may be just good fun, but it could also become a masterpiece understandable and visible only for two.


    Solo Teachers

    AV
    Photo Credit: Andrew Miller

    Louise

    Louise dances with her heart on her sleeve and a smile on her face. With nine years of social partner dance training under her belt, she simply loves moving to music and is passionate about building confidence in dancers at all skill levels. She has organised, performed and competed at dance events across Europe and in the US, and is so happy to be back at Fair City!


    AV
    Photo Credit: Alexandre Light ex Machina

    Marta

    Marta is Dublin’s own fabulous blues and lindy hop teacher, performer and co-founder of the Downtown Blues Dance Club. Marta is a trained teacher with ten years of contemporary dance experience in her treasure chest of skills, and now she is dazzling the jazz era dance scenes with her beautiful movement. Get ready to be mesmerised by her sublime isolation moves! We are delighted to have her on the teaching team for the third year in a row!


    AV
    Photo Credit: Andrew Miller

    Olga

    In her Solo Blues dancing and teaching, Olga loves to play with contrasts and isolations, looking for new ways of interpreting the broad spectrum of blues rhythms in the body, and not forgetting to go back to the basics because there is always room to improve! It’s important to her that the students have fun while learning but challenging (mess-with-your-brain) exercises are just as important to encourage them to push the limits of their dance abilities.


    Singing Teacher

    AV

    Sam

    Sam Kavanagh is the founder and conductor of The Lalala Choir, whose work stems from the philosophy that 'Music is for Everyone'. Sam's approach to music-making is about actively engaging audiences, and creating new music through collaboration and improvisation. A long time fan of Jazz and Blues, he is looking forward to bringing some vocal joy to the pop-up Fair City Blues Choir!


    Music

    Christoffer Johansson

    Christoffer Johansson image

    Making his welcome return to the Fair City Blues stage! Hailing from Gothenburg, Sweden, Christoffer is a master of acoustic guitar and a Delta blues magician. His music will touch your heart and shake your soul. He captivates the audiences with his presence and raw sound. Prepare to be mesmerised as he brings your favourite old Mississippi blues record to life, transcending time. You'll get a chance to listen and dance to his tunes on Friday and Saturday this time round!




    Susan Tomelty Band

    Susan Tomelty image

    We are thrilled to introduce the Susan Tomelty Band to the Fair City Blues audience. They will share their passion for the Blues with us:

    Northerner Susan Tomelty has embarked on a musical journey that has brought her to Dublin, via Leitrim, Belfast, England, Scotland, Denmark, Sweden and Nashville. With the release of “Belfast Live” (1996), she supported Van Morrison and sang for Nelson Mandela in Glasgow. A pure and distinctive voice, her influences are Rhythm & Blues, Soul and Gospel, calling from artists such as Big Mama Thornton, Ida Cox, Ma Rainey, John Mayall and his Blues Breakers, Peter Green, Mavis Staples, Susan Tedeschi, Etta James, Freddy King, Muddy Waters, B B King, Red Peters and Ruthie Foster.

    Fran Byrne is from Dublin and has played drums with many famous bands over the years, including Ace on their famous single “How Long”, also, Juice On The Loose, Bees Make Honey, Frankie Millar and Danny Kirwan. He has played with the band for the last 10 years.

    Greg Boland, lead guitarist, has worked with many critically acclaimed bands and artists, including the legendary, Stagalee, Scullion, Moving Hearts, Bumper to Bumper and Davy Spillane Band. He has also toured with many artists, including Steve Winwood, and Henry McCullough to name but a few.

    Tommy Moore on bass and vocals has played in Stagalee and joined Paul Brady’s band in the eighties where he recorded and toured Brady’s first solo album, Hard Station. He has also played with The Business, Don Baker and The Fleadh Cowboys…too many to mention and more recently, Badge and Aja.




    Venues

     

    Classes

     

    Our class venues are conveniently located close to the red Luas (tram) line, which serves the main bus and train stations, and many of Dublin's hostels.

    Saturday

    Liffey Trust Studios
    117-126 Upper Sherrif Street
    North Dock
    Dublin 1

    Sunday

    Dance House
    Liberty Corner
    Foley Street
    Dublin 1

     

    Parties

     

    To be revealed...


    Prices

    Full Weekend Pass - 135 Euro.
    Social Pass - 45 Euro.
    T-shirts - 15 Euro.


    Your Visit

    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!

    Accommodation

    A limited number of hosting spots will be available on a first come, first served basis.


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