Ben Long   It all started back in the year 2005, in Portland, Oregon.  Yes, that’s when Ben Long started freestyle micro-dancing.  There was this lead in the scene, Dylan McCann, who had an unusual, yet popular style of Blues dancing.  Alas, Dylan was to leave the country.  But before he did, he offered to each his style to anyone who wanted to learn.  Ben and Dustin Henwood, Ben’s roommate at the time, eagerly took him up on his offer.  With that lesson as a starting point he attempted to reverse engineer what it was like to dance with Dylan.  The result was some mix of Dylan’s micro style, feedback from follows who had danced with him, and his own interpretation of the style.  Ben and Dustin perpetuated the revised style (each with his own take on it) while promoting “fusion” music in Portland.  The whole thing caught on in the Portland dance scene, though not yet nationally.   Then in 2007, Ivy Grey schemed up the first Fusion Exchange and invited Ben to teach this micro-dancing style in Houston.  The lesson he and Lessa Lamb taught there seeded micro-dancing across the country as students returned to their native dance scenes with the new style.  Ben proceeded to teach some variation of that lesson along with other micro-dance classes at nearly every Fusion Exchange that followed (sorry Boston).  He has been known for micro-dancing ever since.

Ben Long

It all started back in the year 2005, in Portland, Oregon.  Yes, that’s when Ben Long started freestyle micro-dancing.  There was this lead in the scene, Dylan McCann, who had an unusual, yet popular style of Blues dancing.  Alas, Dylan was to leave the country.  But before he did, he offered to each his style to anyone who wanted to learn.  Ben and Dustin Henwood, Ben’s roommate at the time, eagerly took him up on his offer.  With that lesson as a starting point he attempted to reverse engineer what it was like to dance with Dylan.  The result was some mix of Dylan’s micro style, feedback from follows who had danced with him, and his own interpretation of the style.  Ben and Dustin perpetuated the revised style (each with his own take on it) while promoting “fusion” music in Portland.  The whole thing caught on in the Portland dance scene, though not yet nationally.


Then in 2007, Ivy Grey schemed up the first Fusion Exchange and invited Ben to teach this micro-dancing style in Houston.  The lesson he and Lessa Lamb taught there seeded micro-dancing across the country as students returned to their native dance scenes with the new style.  Ben proceeded to teach some variation of that lesson along with other micro-dance classes at nearly every Fusion Exchange that followed (sorry Boston).  He has been known for micro-dancing ever since.

  Rachel Stirling   It was Pittsburgh, 2003 when Rachel got her first taste of blues dancing, shortly after getting hooked on lindy hop. She fell in love with the intimate connection between your partner and the music and all that hip movement.  As her blues dancing has grown, she continues to marvel at the unlimited possibilities of self-expression and movement. She enjoys sharing that joy through teaching, djing, performing, and kicking so much ass in competitions. When teaching dance, Rachel loves putting her Penn State degree in education to good use. Known for her incredible patience and ability to explain and demonstrate concepts in a variety of ways, she strives to get those "Aha!" moments. Rooted in strong fundamentals and clean technique, her lessons enjoy finding fun ways to sneak that focus into peoples' dancing. As a regional and national instructor, dj, and scene organizer, Rachel is spreading her love of Blues from coast to coast. For dance videos, pictures, and more info, check out  http://www.redstirling.com .

Rachel Stirling

It was Pittsburgh, 2003 when Rachel got her first taste of blues dancing, shortly after getting hooked on lindy hop. She fell in love with the intimate connection between your partner and the music and all that hip movement.  As her blues dancing has grown, she continues to marvel at the unlimited possibilities of self-expression and movement. She enjoys sharing that joy through teaching, djing, performing, and kicking so much ass in competitions.
When teaching dance, Rachel loves putting her Penn State degree in education to good use. Known for her incredible patience and ability to explain and demonstrate concepts in a variety of ways, she strives to get those "Aha!" moments. Rooted in strong fundamentals and clean technique, her lessons enjoy finding fun ways to sneak that focus into peoples' dancing. As a regional and national instructor, dj, and scene organizer, Rachel is spreading her love of Blues from coast to coast. For dance videos, pictures, and more info, check out http://www.redstirling.com.

 
  Mark Carpenter   Originally from California, Mark has been effectively nomadic since 2010 and is excited to be back teaching across the US after a three month residency in San Francisco. Mark began dancing lindy & blues in 2005 and started teaching shortly thereafter, exploring various other dance styles from tango to contact improv along the way. In 2007 he co-founded the still-running Drop Dead Blues in SLO and has been part of the organizational staff for dozens of events including SLOx, SFF, and BluesQuake. In recent years he has dedicated his study to the emerging forms and conventions of “fusion” dance and is eager to explore and advance that movement through quality teaching throughout the world. Coming from a non-dance back­ground spanning theatre, music, and tech, Mark has a unique approach to dance and its instruction. His constant goal is to make the impossible easy and the easy look impossible.

Mark Carpenter

Originally from California, Mark has been effectively nomadic since 2010 and is excited to be back teaching across the US after a three month residency in San Francisco. Mark began dancing lindy & blues in 2005 and started teaching shortly thereafter, exploring various other dance styles from tango to contact improv along the way. In 2007 he co-founded the still-running Drop Dead Blues in SLO and has been part of the organizational staff for dozens of events including SLOx, SFF, and BluesQuake. In recent years he has dedicated his study to the emerging forms and conventions of “fusion” dance and is eager to explore and advance that movement through quality teaching throughout the world. Coming from a non-dance back­ground spanning theatre, music, and tech, Mark has a unique approach to dance and its instruction. His constant goal is to make the impossible easy and the easy look impossible.

  Kelly Howard   Kelly started partner dancing with Lindy Hop and Blues in Seattle, WA around 2005. She choreographed for her Repertory Dance Club at University, primarily for modern partner dancing. In 2010, Kelly joined the circus and became a circus instructor for flying trapeze while performing professionally doing adagio acro. With her background in hip-hop, modern/jazz, and acro, Kelly naturally attached to the fusion dance movement, combining different styles of dance to musically express whatever song is playing. She’s been teaching partner dancing for the last 7 years, primarily focused in lindy-hop, blues and fusion, while dabbling at tango and west coast swing on the side. Internationally, Kelly has taught in South Korea, Canada, Thailand, Australia, and New Zealand. Nationally, Kelly has taught at the Fusion Exchange(s), Seattle Fusion Festival (‘13/’14), and many Blues Recesses. She has also worked for local scenes throughout the United States.

Kelly Howard

Kelly started partner dancing with Lindy Hop and Blues in Seattle, WA around 2005. She choreographed for her Repertory Dance Club at University, primarily for modern partner dancing. In 2010, Kelly joined the circus and became a circus instructor for flying trapeze while performing professionally doing adagio acro. With her background in hip-hop, modern/jazz, and acro, Kelly naturally attached to the fusion dance movement, combining different styles of dance to musically express whatever song is playing. She’s been teaching partner dancing for the last 7 years, primarily focused in lindy-hop, blues and fusion, while dabbling at tango and west coast swing on the side. Internationally, Kelly has taught in South Korea, Canada, Thailand, Australia, and New Zealand. Nationally, Kelly has taught at the Fusion Exchange(s), Seattle Fusion Festival (‘13/’14), and many Blues Recesses. She has also worked for local scenes throughout the United States.

 
  Reeva Bradley   If there’s music, you’ll find Reeva dancing to it. They began studying dance with ballet and jazz, where they gained a foundation of strength and flexibility. Reeva found partner dancing through Argentine tango and Blues in 2009. They were drawn to the partnered creativity, improvisation, and emotional expressiveness of both of these dances and has studied them since. As an experienced musician, Reeva finds adventure in every song, bringing the music alive in their movement. Reeva began teaching in 2012 in their home base of San Francisco, where they also work as an organizer and DJ.  They travel extensively to teach and DJ blues and fusion, bringing their conversational and playful style to each venue they visit.

Reeva Bradley

If there’s music, you’ll find Reeva dancing to it. They began studying dance with ballet and jazz, where they gained a foundation of strength and flexibility. Reeva found partner dancing through Argentine tango and Blues in 2009. They were drawn to the partnered creativity, improvisation, and emotional expressiveness of both of these dances and has studied them since. As an experienced musician, Reeva finds adventure in every song, bringing the music alive in their movement. Reeva began teaching in 2012 in their home base of San Francisco, where they also work as an organizer and DJ.  They travel extensively to teach and DJ blues and fusion, bringing their conversational and playful style to each venue they visit.

  Telind Bench   Telind started dancing lindy and blues in 2008 and began teaching shortly after. In 2012, he experienced a knee injury which forced him to dance exclusively micro for the next two years.  At first, he hated it, but quickly fell in love with the subtlety, connection, and intensity of micro.  He traveled up and down the West Coast, honing his isolations, pushing the limits of micro vocabulary, and exploring the immensity of space that exists between two (and sometimes three!) people.  In 2016, he helped start BAmF to share his love of micro with you lovely people, and is incredibly excited to teach the first ever micro-for-injuries class.

Telind Bench

Telind started dancing lindy and blues in 2008 and began teaching shortly after. In 2012, he experienced a knee injury which forced him to dance exclusively micro for the next two years.  At first, he hated it, but quickly fell in love with the subtlety, connection, and intensity of micro.  He traveled up and down the West Coast, honing his isolations, pushing the limits of micro vocabulary, and exploring the immensity of space that exists between two (and sometimes three!) people.  In 2016, he helped start BAmF to share his love of micro with you lovely people, and is incredibly excited to teach the first ever micro-for-injuries class.

 
  Austin Hunt   Austin is an actor gone rogue. In 2011 he began partner dancing as a means to improving his physical acting. [Now he is a dancer first and an actor second.] In summer of 2012 he experienced micro blues for the first time; he loved it. He dedicated himself to the understanding and history of the dance and has been teaching it ever since 2014. Austin is currently based in Bellingham, Washington. He loves to bring his acting training into good use, meshing acting theory learned from Stanislavski, Grotowski and Suzuki, to reach a deep state of connection with himself, the floor, the music and his partner. Austin Specializes in: micro blues, fusion theory, fusion, blues, and acting theory for dancers.   https://austin-hunt.com

Austin Hunt

Austin is an actor gone rogue. In 2011 he began partner dancing as a means to improving his physical acting. [Now he is a dancer first and an actor second.] In summer of 2012 he experienced micro blues for the first time; he loved it. He dedicated himself to the understanding and history of the dance and has been teaching it ever since 2014. Austin is currently based in Bellingham, Washington. He loves to bring his acting training into good use, meshing acting theory learned from Stanislavski, Grotowski and Suzuki, to reach a deep state of connection with himself, the floor, the music and his partner. Austin Specializes in: micro blues, fusion theory, fusion, blues, and acting theory for dancers.  https://austin-hunt.com

  Erin Vance   Erin has been dancing for seven years in partner dances starting with Lindy hop and Blues and eventually branching out to Tango, West Coast Swing, Zouk, Kizomba, and a fusion of all of these! She was first introduced to the term “Micro” in 2011 in Bellingham, WA at a blues dance, fell in love with the connection first and continued to develop her own technique in the fusion scene a few years later as it grew. In 2015 she moved to Seattle, WA, but continued to dance in Bellingham, Vancouver, BC, and even travelled to the Bay area for dances and within a year was starting to discover a community that fully embraced micro. With a background in Lindy and Blues and a passion for close embrace dance forms like tango, kizomba, and blues she started exploring the possibilities of bringing different elements from these dances into her micro aesthetic, a combination of solid connection, isolations, and intention. Within the last year she started μ and I Micro Practica, Seattle’s only micro specific event, and has been growing the community over the last year with practica, instruction, and music for the community to grow, connect, and dance.

Erin Vance

Erin has been dancing for seven years in partner dances starting with Lindy hop and Blues and eventually branching out to Tango, West Coast Swing, Zouk, Kizomba, and a fusion of all of these! She was first introduced to the term “Micro” in 2011 in Bellingham, WA at a blues dance, fell in love with the connection first and continued to develop her own technique in the fusion scene a few years later as it grew. In 2015 she moved to Seattle, WA, but continued to dance in Bellingham, Vancouver, BC, and even travelled to the Bay area for dances and within a year was starting to discover a community that fully embraced micro. With a background in Lindy and Blues and a passion for close embrace dance forms like tango, kizomba, and blues she started exploring the possibilities of bringing different elements from these dances into her micro aesthetic, a combination of solid connection, isolations, and intention. Within the last year she started μ and I Micro Practica, Seattle’s only micro specific event, and has been growing the community over the last year with practica, instruction, and music for the community to grow, connect, and dance.

 
  Matthew Matsunami   Matthew has been dancing blues for a bit more than 4 years, previously coming from the land of Latin and Argentine Tango, and since then taking brief trips into the Swings. Finally, he is settling upon Fusion and Blues. He immediately fell in love with the improvisational freedom these dances give, as well as how they provide various methods to connect with another human. He really loves his isolations and syncopations. His philosophy of partner dance - that it is highly conversational with plenty of adjectives, adverbs and other parts of speech - is something he brings to dancing, teaching, and DJing.  [Photo Credit - Nathan Cordova Studios

Matthew Matsunami

Matthew has been dancing blues for a bit more than 4 years, previously coming from the land of Latin and Argentine Tango, and since then taking brief trips into the Swings. Finally, he is settling upon Fusion and Blues. He immediately fell in love with the improvisational freedom these dances give, as well as how they provide various methods to connect with another human. He really loves his isolations and syncopations. His philosophy of partner dance - that it is highly conversational with plenty of adjectives, adverbs and other parts of speech - is something he brings to dancing, teaching, and DJing.  [Photo Credit - Nathan Cordova Studios

  Karen Click   Karen has been hooked on dancing since her first baby ballet class at just four years old.  Her love of movement and connection has guided her from a background in ballet through a wide variety of partner dances before finally landing on blues.  She discovered micro during a bout of illness that left her struggling to walk, much less dance, and she feels a deep appreciation for the dance that allowed her to continue to connect with her body and her fellow dancers at a difficult time.  As an instructor, Karen centers her classes around collaboration, community, and creativity.  She is excited to inspire dancers at BAmF to build healthy partnering techniques, connect more deeply, and have fun.

Karen Click

Karen has been hooked on dancing since her first baby ballet class at just four years old.  Her love of movement and connection has guided her from a background in ballet through a wide variety of partner dances before finally landing on blues.  She discovered micro during a bout of illness that left her struggling to walk, much less dance, and she feels a deep appreciation for the dance that allowed her to continue to connect with her body and her fellow dancers at a difficult time.  As an instructor, Karen centers her classes around collaboration, community, and creativity.  She is excited to inspire dancers at BAmF to build healthy partnering techniques, connect more deeply, and have fun.


Instructors are available for private lessons after workshops daily. 

Class Descriptions HERE