A new chapter in exploring what it means to be connected to the Blues — New York City hosts this summer’s epic Blues Festival. MezzJelly Blues ’17 NYC is held from 28-30 July 2017.

Your heart beats Blues

Katherine Dunham BluesYou are inspired by the roots of dance. You jump up with a live artist starts playing a great tune. Your eyes light up when a dancer does something something slightly more than ordinary.

That’s probably why you’re reading this now, or any of these other dance articles.

Imagine if you took all that passion for history and turned it into a weekend festival.

Now imagine that many years ago a bunch of friends turned this same addiction into something called MezzJelly Blues


It’s baaaaaack

MezzJelly Blues 2017In 1999, MezzJelly was started with the goal of inviting dancers together who wanted to explore and push themselves. In 2017, we’re happy to admit that the community is still growing, still learning, still finding new limits. We all are!

That’s why, 28-30 July 2017 is the next MezzJelly Blues with:

  • History and culture class track
  • Live music at parties AND workshops
  • Unique competitions asking dancers to bring fresh inspiration
  • 15+ teachers given room to bring something different

This festival takes 18 years of organizing events and shakes it up again — mainly by introducing event more history, but not in the basic way…


How history can shape you

Forrest Rogers Marcovitz snakehips Blues danceWe’re not just recreating Snakehips Tucker or Sandra Gibson or any of the other many dancers who’ve shaped our dance… we’re understanding what made them unique so we can apply those principles as we work towards developing our own, personal style.

So many great artists came before us, and it’s our job to respect them while innovating upon the trail their blazed.

That’s why these classes will be 100% Blues History, but also 100% Innovation on top of it, so you can incorporate these techniques into your dancing all the time.


That’s not all

There’s 4 tracks of classes, and you don’t pick one — you pick from them all! They are:


Are you ready to get creative?! To ensure you’re doing more than ‘just’ dancing to the music, we’re combining the dance-educators with the music-makers every single class. These dynamic musician-and-dancer instructor teams will help you understand the intimate relationship of music and dance as intertwined creative processes.


Ready to work hard? We aim to challenge Leads and Follows equally with amazing partner connection, stirring new rhythms, and intensive technique classes at every level. This track is packed full of blues idiom dance served straight-up and focused.


Inspiration comes in many forms from unexpected sources. Find fresh ways to think about movement, your body, and your partner as we explore some other dances. From West Africa, to South America, to Detroit, we’re cooking up a whole batch of relatable new skills and ideas.


As mentioned, this track draws from the people and the culture that built the foundation for how we dance today. Be inspired by Blues roots to create your own memorable style!



We all hold deep respect for the history of dance — and a major part of Blues is blowing off steam with a wildly good time. That’s why our motto is “Ridiculously Serious Dance Events” — we take dance serious and everything else we treat as an excuse for ridiculous fun.

So I personally hope to see you at MezzJelly, not just because I’m biased, but because this year will be the best yet for inspiring me… I mean you…. no, wait, I do mean it’s going to inspire me!

And I hope you’ll join us on this exploration too:


Note: If you can’t make NYC this year, the next MezzJelly will be a different date, different city. Stay in the loop:


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Jered's unhealthily obsessed with dance, travel, and seeking the perfect coffee roast to power him through it all
18+ years later, he's still at it, and still discovering more to get excited about