By Bailey Faulkner
Feeling groovy? Dave Brewer’s Blues Benders will lead a night of blues dancing on Thursday, March 30 at Reckless Arts on West King Street in Boone, marking the first night of live music for the venue’s Blues Dance Thursday series. The event will kick off with a beginner lesson at 8 p.m. with the band taking the stage at 9 p.m.
The Blues Dance Thursday series was recently created as a collaboration between High Country arts and entertainment groups Reckless Arts, Cryptograph Records and the Boone Unified Dance Scene. The dance event will take place at Reckless Arts, a nonprofit “artist residency, gallery and workshop space.”
To make the dance series a reality, Reckless Arts teamed up with Cryptograph Records, a Boone-based recording studio and organization of local musicians, and the Boone Unified Dance Scene, which promotes local dance events, arts groups and other entertainment events in the High Country. While the groups have been collaborating only since late January, the dance series has picked up steam and is beginning to gain increasing attention from the community.
That attention will only grow with Dave Brewer’s upcoming appearance at the venue. Brewer has been performing in and around the High Country since first attending Caldwell Community College and ASU in 2000. Since then, he has made a name for himself as both a solo act and as part of various groups such as Six Foot Groove, Possum Jenkins and Soul Benefactor.
Recently, Charlie Myers of the Boone Unified Dance Scene recognized a lack of attention on dance parties and similar events around the area.
“I saw a demand for news and social media promotion for dance events around town,” Myers said. “I’m focusing on the High Country and trying to get as much knowledge about dancing and dance opportunities out there as I can.”
The dance series aims to create an inviting and accessible environment that helps dancers develop their skills and become more comfortable in public settings. Focusing on each individual’s skills and areas for improvement, the series strives to “build individuals into a confident crowd,” Myers said.
The entertainment groups specifically picked blues music since many of the genre’s elements are well suited for teaching popular dancing. While the style is relatively easy to learn, the genre leaves a great deal of room for dancers to bring in other influences as well.
“Blues is a standard language that you can have a lot of conversations with,” Myers said. “It’s a solid base of dance communication.”
While students are highly encouraged to attend dance events at Reckless Arts, Myers and the entertainment groups want to emphasize that all community members are welcome at blues dance nights. A focus on building skills within the community lies at the center of the groups’ overall goal for the dance events.
A large part of that focus on community can be seen in Brewer and his band.
“It is going to be great having somebody as high profile as Dave with us for the event,” Myers said. “He’s an excellent guy and musician.”
Excited for Brewer’s upcoming show, Myers realizes that the well-known musician will help boost awareness of the dance series hosted at Reckless Arts and dancing in the area in general.
“Blues Dance Thursdays is part of a bigger project of giving people more knowledge of dance in the area,” Myers said.
With cozy crowds in attendance at previous Blues Dance Thursdays, the entertainment groups are looking forward to an exciting night of blues music with Dave Brewer’s Blues Benders. While Brewer and his band usually focus on a Jerry Garcia and Grateful Dead-inspired blues-jam sound, the group will “funk it up and make it dance-bluesy” for Thursday’s show, Myers said.
Thursday’s show will start at 8 p.m. with a beginner lesson and music set for 9 – 11:30 p.m. Tickets for the dance event are $5. You can also purchase a ticket for $20 that will grant you access to five Blues Dance Thursday events. Reckless Arts is located at 471 West King Street in Boone.