Damon has been dancing his entire life, starting with vernacular Jazz/Blues first taught to him at the tender age of six by his grandmother. After nearly a decade of learning at the heels of his elders, he went on and eventually studied numerous dance forms until coming full circle in 1995 to focus primarily on the history and styles of Swing and Blues as his family danced them with a special focus on the Southern styles from the Mississippi Delta region. He has studied the development of Jazz/Blues across the United States learning from a number of the original dancers. He is largely regarded as one of the foremost authorities on Blues idiom dance and has been interviewed as a dance historian in documentary and for radio. Damon has been a featured instructor at camps, festivals and workshops across five continents.
Lecture/Demonstration: The Blues is the Crossroad: The Intersection of the Spiritual and the Secular
This class will explore the spiritual roots of Blues music, the conflict in different communities regarding crossover artists, and how the everyday can be made Holy.
Workshop: 30's and 40's style Jookin'
Jook joints, roadhouses, and unlicensed clubs were a fixture of African American social life in many parts of the South. These were segregated Black spaces where, out from under watchful white eyes, Black people could breathe a little easier, hold their heads a little higher, and dance a little harder. We’ll learn the party dances in the Memphis-style done to the Blues music that was home in these establishments.