Blues Idiom Dances

African-American vernacular dance, which we call blues dance today, was done throughout the United States since the late 1800’s to the present. It was practiced and learned by watching others and dancing with friends and family in African-American spaces such as juke joints, house parties, rent parties, as well as ballrooms that were open to black people, such as the Savoy in New York city. Idioms are the dancing styles shared within various African-American communities that evolved over time and in conjunction with the style of blues music popular at that time and place. We can identify some of the earlier idioms through first hand accounts, film, photographs, and written sources.

Here’s background information on some of the blues idiom dances we teach in our bluesCENTRAL dance classes.

Chicago Triple


Four Corners

Funky Butt

The Grind

The Mooch

Piedmont Triple

Savoy Walk

Slow Drag

The Strut

The Stride


Texas Shuffle