Workshop Instructors

Ruth Evelyn

20+ years as a dance instructor teaching across 3 continents

Shares deep technical knowledge, passion for movement & silly fun

Mike Sonder

A top level instructor, dancer, choreographer, performer, and mentor

Relates material intuitively and thoroughly

Krystal Wilkerson

Brings her fervor for connection into all of her dancing and instruction

Upbeat, personal, encouraging, and energetic

Adam Wilkerson

Strongly believes in teaching the context & history of the music & the dance

Analytical approach to connection & value for intuition in dance provides a unique classroom environment

Kenneth Shipp

Brings excitement, authenticity and passion to the classroom

Known for his historical and contextual understanding of blues dance

Julie Brown

Widely known for her expressive dancing and dynamic connection

A clear, thoughtful, and earnest instructor

Grey Armstrong

Known for innovative classes, deep cultural context, and an intuitive learning style

Loves to challenge students physically but also intellectually and emotionally, with his experience based teaching



Ruth Evelyn

Ruth Evelyn skipped into her first dance class more than 25 years ago, and has since been dancing as many styles as she can get her feet on.

Ruth’s 20+ years as a dance instructor have taken her on teaching adventures across the US, Canada, Europe and Southeast Asia. She has continually developed both her teaching and her dancing skills. Ruth is known for her ability to craft explanations that fit students’ learning styles. She brings a vibrant mixture of deep technical knowledge, passion for movement, and silly fun that students can’t help but connect with.

In addition to training in blues, Lindy, Balboa, Argentine tango, modern, ballet, and many other dance forms, Ruth has two certifications in the Franklin Method, a globally recognized body somatics modality. She has a long-standing love affair with close-embrace connection, has sneakily swung out in the Louvre, and is curating a fine collection of fishtail variations.

Mike Sonder

Mike Sonder is one of the most recognized names in the global Blues dance community. Mike is a top level instructor, dancer, choreographer, performer, and mentor. He has not only won respected blues competitions but also thrown down hard in unofficial late night dance-offs.

Mike is a founding member and choreographer of the B Sides, which is the first and currently only ongoing professional blues performance group. Students across continents rave about Mike’s insights, personality, and breadth and depth of knowledge. In addition to teaching movement and dance in person, Mike has published a popular online dance course.

As an instructor, Mike strives to put himself in his students’ shoes so that he can relate material as intuitively and thoroughly as possible. He loves seeing students’ eyes light up when they understand a concept or feel a movement work naturally in their body for the first time.

Mike lives and breathes dance. He is constantly honing his skills and developing new ideas. If you run into him at grocery store, on public transit, in a museum, or on a mountain top, you’ll probably catch him dancing.

Krystal Wilkerson

Krystal loves living in Huntsville, Alabama, although she is originally from southern Ohio. She has an uncanny energy and enthusiasm for blues music and dancing, and can often be seen at events all over the southeast and the US. She’s been partner dancing various styles since 2007; Blues stole her heart, however, in 2010, and has never let go.

She has taught all over the US, ranging from small community-focused events all the way up to national events such as Blues Muse, Blues Geek, and the Blues Experiment. She’s a fierce competitor, frequently making finals at national blues dance contests, and brings her fervor for connection into all of her dancing and instruction. Her love of the dance is contagious, and she believes in injecting fun into all of her classes.

Adam Wilkerson

Adam is proud to call Huntsville, Alabama home, but he's originally from Mississippi. He’s been partner dancing since 2004, starting in Ballroom, Latin street dances, and Lindy Hop, but he followed Krystal into blues in 2010, and it’s been his primary focus ever since. He’s passionate about social dancing and blues music, and loves to explore all different blues styles in his instruction and setlists.

He strongly believes in teaching the context and history of the music and the dance, focusing on research in the Mississippi Delta in his spare time. His analytical approach to connection and value for intuition in dance provides a unique classroom environment that promotes self-awareness and improvement beyond the classroom. He believes in learning through experience and experimentation, so expect a LOT of getting up and dancing in his classes.

Kenneth Shipp

Kenneth Shipp hails from St. Louis, Missouri, as an instructor who grew up dancing hip hop and breakdancing before jumping into blues. He has spent the past few years passionately studying the family of blues idioms, incorporating his nerdy personality along the way.

Kenneth’s life experiences inform his dancing and wants his students to walk away with a better historical and contextual understanding to exhibit it in their dances. With every class and practice, he'll encourage you to approach social dancing with coolness, relaxation, or in other words “Chill The F$%& Out.” When he’s not dancing, you can likely find him ranting about the latest blockbuster movie, game, or nerd convention.

Learn more about Kenneth at his Facebook page.

For private lessons with Kenneth, you can reach him via this google doc.

Julie Brown

Julie’s expressive dancing and dynamic connection are known throughout the blues dancing world. With a background in theatre and solo dance, and an undying desire for continued learning, she is best known for her solo movement, choreography, aesthetics, and killer follower expression.

A hard-working competitor, Julie has won or placed in many national competitions, including Mile High Blues Idiom Solo Riffin’ (1st place), bluesSHOUT! 2018 All Star Strictly (2nd place), Blues Muse 2017 Follower Invitational(1st), North Star Blues 2017 Invitational Cuttin'(1st), and more.

As a teacher, Julie is clear, thoughtful, and earnest. From advanced Struttin’ variations to beginner-friendly intros to lead-follow dynamics, Julie carefully crafts her classes and tailors her material to fit the crowd at hand. Julie has taught blues dancing in San Francisco, Seoul, Austin, Boston, London, Chicago, Zurich, and many places in between. She also teaches regularly in her home-base of Boston. For dance videos, pictures, and more info, check out dancewithjulie.wordpress.com.

Grey Armstrong

Grey found blues dancing long ago when dancing with his grandfather as a child. At university he found others doing a dance similar to what he knew, and clung to the familiar music. Grey is internationally known for innovative classes, deep cultural context, an intuitive learning style and leaving students with a lingering feeling they have been changed beyond just dance. He loves to challenge students physically but also intellectually and emotionally, with his experience based teaching.

Personally he is striving towards elevating his technical skills and playfulness while dancing and brings that into his classes hoping to lead by example and show that we can always be learning. Grey writes obsidiantea.com, a site with helpful resources. Combine all this with his skill as a dancer, being known for musicality and performance, Grey has cultivated unique respect as an All star division competitor in the USA.

When not dancing he writes Obsidian Tea: a blog about blues history and Black Culture.With a focus on race relations in America he strives to bridge the gap in understanding between two of major cultures in the US, through frank conversation and humor. He’s excited to be accepting more offers to lecture about his research. When not working Grey enjoys spending time with his cat, art and cooking.

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