Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Summer Music and Outdoor Dancing: A Preview

Well folks, Memorial Day has come and gone and it certainly feels like summer to me.  With summer comes great opportunities to dance outdoors.  Milwaukee and its surrounding area give us a summer filled with free outdoor concerts, a wide variety of festivals, and more!

Jazz In The Park is a well known and well attended event each Thursday evening from 6pm -9pm throughout the summer, kicking off  next week, June 7th with Rev. Raven and the Chain Smoking Altar Boys, a local blues band.  The fun keeps rolling through the second week.  I'm really looking forward to June 14th as JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound, a Chicago-based soul and funk band.  I've listened to their music, and it sounds like a lot of fun to dance to.  More opportunities in bands such as The New Orleans Suspects and The Right Now await us later in the summer.

River Rhythms(Marquette Pere Park, Wednesday evenings) and Concerts in the Park(various Milwaukee County Parks, various evenings) also hold some great opportunities to dance.  Blues bands, swing orchestras, and some out-of-ordinary-for-lindy-hopper bands such as Tweed Funk will fill out the rest of summer.

As is typical at these free, in the park events, we like to gather with our tables-in-bags, blankets, food, and drink and really enjoy ourselves.  You can check our calendar for these events and know when Brew City Hops will be out. 

Local festivals such as Bastille Days(no schedule out yet) and the Third Ward's Summer Sizzle Jazz Fest also feature bands that get our feet moving.  Summer Sizzle will have Bourbon Street Stompers as well as local favorite Swing Nouveau.  Bastille Days band schedule has yet to be released, but has been pretty reliable in have at least one swingable band.

Of course there will be other small events popping up here and there throughout the summer and BCH is also looking to drop a few Lindybombs around town, so keep an eye on this blog and let us know if you see something that might be a fun time!

Looking forward to dance filled summer!  See you out there!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Beginning Lindy Hop Class Series

Come learn to Swing Dance with Henry and Kirsten

This 4 week beginner series will teach you all the basics of the Lindy Hop. In these 4 sessions you'll learn solid technique, in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. If you have always wanted to learn how to Lindy, this class is for you! 

No experience necessary, no partner required.

$24: Class meets 7:00-9:00 on Monday nights in June
(6/4, 6/11, 6/18, 6/25)

Classes held at:
Summerfield Methodist Church
728 E. Juneau Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53202

Sign up for this special series by emailing brewcityhops 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Mad Hot Ballroom

We'd like to promote a really cool event this weekend, and if you are free, they are looking for volunteers! If you are interested in helping out at the 6th Annual Danceworks Mad Hot Ballroom and Tap Competition, please contact  Please contact Liz Tesch at (414) 277-8480 ext.6003 or via email. Minimum shifts are two hours between 8:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.

It's here—one of Danceworks' most inspiring events of the year...

The 6th Annual Danceworks Mad Hot Ballroom and Tap Competition!


The Bradley Center
1001 N. 4th Street
Milwaukee, WI  53203


May 12, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Tap Competition First Heat: 10:10 a.m.
Final Round, Tap: 12:40 p.m.
Ballroom Competition First Heat: 1:30 p.m.
Final Round, Ballroom: 4:05 p.m.

FREE and open to the public, the citywide MHBT Competition showcases nearly
2,200 fourth through sixth grade students from 43 Milwaukee Schools. They’ll
tap dance Funky, Latin and Swing styles and show off their ballroom dance
skills in the Samba, Jitterbug and Tango. Join friends and family to cheer on
the participants of Danceworks’ signature arts education program!

Inspired by the hit documentary Mad Hot Ballroom, Danceworks MHBT teaches life
skills and impacts school engagement by integrating tap and ballroom dance
classes into the regular school curriculum. Students receive 24 hours of
instruction from professional teaching artists over the course of 12 weeks,
culminating at the Competition. The day includes an opening ceremony featuring
teachers and principals from participating schools; school team “All Stars,”
who are selected through MHBT instructor nomination or election among student
peers; and special performances by Danceworks Youth Performance Company, a new
troupe of advanced dance students ages 10-16, many of whom have come from MHBT
in past years.

Come and join the fun…it’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face!

Check out ALBA School getting started with MHBT!

Danceworks instructors provide tap and ballroom dance instruction to 4th and
5th grade classes (tap) and 5th and 6th grade classes (ballroom) two times per
week for twelve weeks at participating schools. MHBT culminates with a citywide
competition and exhibition for all students at the Bradley Center in May. Last
year nearly 6,500 friends and family joined us for the fifth annual MHBT
competition to cheer on our young dancers.

Watch this Funky Tap clip from the 2011 Competition!

Want to help support this exciting program?

Call 414-277-8480 or stop in to Danceworks and order your own custom Alterra
Mad Hot and Bold blend coffee and one-of-a-kind mug. All proceeds go to the
Danceworks' Mad Hot Ballroom and Tap program!

1661 N. Water Street
Milwaukee, WI 53202

(414) 277-8480


Follow Danceworks on Twitter or on Facebook!


Friday, May 4, 2012

Psychology of Swing

This month, I want to apply some of my knowledge gained as a psychology Ph.D. student to the joys of swing dancing.  Let's use psychology to explore our dancing potential!

People come in all shapes and sizes.  The same can be said about people's personalities, and dancing is one of the time honored methods of expressing those personalities.  As we begin growing as dancers, it can be easy to lose a sense of individuality while learning all the moves and steps.  Infusing some of your unique personality into your dance can make all the difference in the world, and your partner will love you for it!

In order to pursue personalizing our dancing, Brew City Hops teachers Henry Boeh and Tory Bahe will be giving a shout-out this month to a psychology legend, Carl Jung.  His theories surrounding personalty types led to the development of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), a questionnaire used to identify personality traits across 4 domains.  These include:
  • Extroversion/Introversion (how much we like interacting with the external world versus internal ideas)
  • Sensing/Intuition (how much we like concrete evidence versus acting on hunches)
  • Thinking/Feeling (whether we prefer to make decisions using logic versus emotion and empathy)
  • Judging/Perception (how much we interact with the world with thinking and feeling versus sensing and intuiting)

We will give you the chance to discover your own MBTI profile in class this month.  Then, we will share fun insight into what these personality characteristics may mean about you and your dancing!  You may be thinking, are we even going to dance this month?  Fear not!  We will be dancing just as much as ever in class.  All of this psychology mumbo jumbo will simply provide a fun and unique lens with which to look at your dancing.  By the end of the month, I hope we are all dancing with a bit more personality!


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

First Thursday? Uptowner!

Did you see the Shepherd last week? Tea Krulos wrote a glowing review of the ECBB and their Thursday night shows at the Uptowner, titled "The Extra Crispy Brass Band's Hot Jazz".  Trombonist Greg Kramer gives a shout out to the (now Grammy-winning) Rebirth Brass Band he used to hear regularly when he lived in NOLA. (I'll admit, I'm a little jealous.)

We "swing-dancing friends" even get a quick mention in the article: 
"The most exciting audience members to watch are the band's swing-dancing fans. They sometimes offer free dance-step lessons before the show and then perform some ballroom-sized moves in the Uptowner's modest space."

Meet Henry and I between 7:45 and 8:30 for a mini-Charleston lesson; band begins at 8:30.

See their Facebook event for more info.  Hope to see you at the Uptowner on Thursday.