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Blues Dancing Today - From Wikipedia

A common misconception within contemporary swing dance culture is that a blues dance must necessarily be slow, sensual, and emotionally intense. Yet, as with blues music, a blues dance may reflect loneliness, longing, sadness, anger and joy, as well as love, lust, and bawdiness and range across tempos and musical styles. Blues music is about common experiences. It is a sharing of human condition that is accessible to all, and at some level, and can be include one or more feelings from any point on the spectrum of human motion. The same can be said about blues dance.

The revival of Lindy Hop in the 1980s and 1990s has prompted complementary interests in other dances from Black vernacular dance traditions of the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. In America Lindy Hop today, after the revival, Lindy exchanges, with their emphasis on late night programs of social dance events, saw the introduction of 'blues rooms' to these events in the late 1990s. While the amount of Blues music played at these events varied widely the name and what Blues music was being played led to dancers patronizing blues music clubs and holding house parties that played a varying amounts of blues and blues-rooted music. In the late 1980s the Herräng Dance Camp began featuring an all-night "Blues Night" dancing party on Wednesday nights, which exposed swing dancers from all over the world to the idea of slow dancing to blues, jazz, and early rhythm & blues.

There are now blues dancing communities throughout the international swing dancing community, though local communities vary, reflecting local social and cultural values and contexts. The spread of blues dancing has been largely a result of individual dancers traveling between local communities and establishing blues scenes, individual teachers holding blues dance workshops in different cities and countries, and through the online community of blues dancers facilitating the spread of knowledge and music and encouraging dancers to found local blues dancing communities.

Blues dancing in swing dance communities today may range from traditional blues dances to much less historically grounded forms. Traditional styles and steps have gradually been reintroduced by teachers and dancers with an interest in the history of the form, some of which have been expanded or adapted to suit the needs and interests of contemporary dancers, and new dances have also been created, echoing these historical styles and traditions. Additionally, a freestyle form of partnered dancing - usually at slower tempos - has slowly developed alongside this process of rediscovery and popularizing of blues dance traditions. Partially based on the principles of partner connection, aesthetics and approaches to rhythm and timing of Lindy Hop, this burgeoning form often combines elements of West Coast Swing, Foxtrot, Argentine Tango, and general club dancing. Its growth has, arguably, been largely a result of the lack of established moves or basic steps. This style of free-form slow dancing has much in common with other dances such as Modern Jive, it does not bear most of the Africanist stylistic elements that define the historical family of blues dances, though its acquisitive 'step stealing' approach to borrowing from other dance traditions to suit the needs and interests of dancers is very much a feature of historical Blues dance and vernacular dance in general. These newer dances often offer interesting and intriguing interpretation of emotionally intense music, where the melody and harmonies are given precedence over rhythms.

There are ongoing debates within blues dancing and swing dancing culture today about what constitutes 'authentic' or 'true' blues dancing. Some hold the position that a blues dance that does not possess the stylistic, aesthetic and rhythmic qualities of Africanist dance cannot qualify as blues dance. Others argue that a blues dance which has had very little creative contribution from black dancers or draw from the base of movement they created, does not qualify either. Yet a third position might hold that a blues dance is simply dancing to blues music, regardless of the steps performed or whether they involved partnered or solo steps, or whether the steps and movement are aesthetically tied. It is certainly the case that even non-black dancers, moving to music which is not blues, performing steps which have no Africanist features or historical tradition consider what they do 'blues dancing'.