Tree City Blues

October 14-16 2016


2016 Instructors

Joe DeMers 
   A champion Blues instructor from Denver, CO. He has toured the world teaching and performing from South Korea to France, Canada, Israel and all over the US. He loves to dance and is proud to be a dancer, performer, competitor, and instructor. In 2013 and 2014, he won the titles of International Blues Dance Champion. He is a leading ambassador for a style of Blues, called Drag Blues; a modern Blues dance form evolved from Ballroomin', Strut, and Slow Drag. While based on vintage traveling Blues dances, Drag Blues has a more defined technique and incorporates Swing moves and movements. He is a proponent of Frame Matching and the creator of ΔpTed and the Hierarchy of Creating Partner Connections, frameworks for analyzing and teaching partner-dance connection.

Joe is the co-organizer of Mile High Blues, frequently runs Blues dance instructor training in his travel, and is proud to be the 2015 National Dance Teacher of the Year, teaching middle/high school dance in Denver Public Schools for his day job. For more information on him, or Frame Matching and ΔpTed, check out his website at Watch his free How to Dance Drag Blues instructional videos on youtube: You can see his latest Contemporary Blue routine:

Chris Walters

   Chris has been dancing and teaching Lindy Hop, Blues and various dances since 2000.  He brings both fun and technique to his teaching.  He excels at sharing his love of dance with beginners and can teach equally at the most advanced levels.

  Chris believes dancing should make you happy, and strives to make sure everyone has the tools to have fun on the floor.

Amber Moore Wilkenloh 

   Amber started dancing in 2003 and quickly fell in love with connection based dances. Lindy Hop is her first love followed closely by West Coast Swing and many various Swing, Blues, Latin & Ballroom dances. She taught the Social Dance classes at WSU and for the Community Colleges of Spokane.

   In her classes she tries to bring out technique,  connection and conversation in the dance as she feels those things will allow you to walk onto the floor with anyone and have a great dance experience.

Tommy Smith

   Tommy discovered tango in early 2012. Since then, his love for Argentine tango has grown into an obsession as he seeks ever increasing depths of knowledge. His skills and interests run the full spectrum: teaching, DJing, performing, and organizing.

   With a long history of teaching and tutoring engineering and math,, Tommy brings his analytic and organized teaching style into the tango classroom,, striving to present concepts that both reinforce each other organically and are accessible to students of all levels. He teaches comfortable and connected social tango, emphasizing versatility, thoughtfulness, and musicality. With over 3 years of tango teaching experience, Tommy has taught in multiple locations around Boise, including weekly beginner lessons, group progressive series, and student club classes at Boise State University.

   Tommy also has a passion for DJing, as he believes great music with varying energy is key to great social dancing. To educate and motivate beginning DJs, progressing DJs, and those interested in tango music, he offers semi-regular DJ workshops. Festivals he has DJ'd at include Montana's Tango Uprising and the Salt Lake City Tango Festival.


Christian Wheelihan

   Christian discovered Argentine Tango with her partner Tommy Smith. Connection in the embracing comfort in the dance are emphasized in her teaching style. Christian aspires to bring a relaxed and positive environment to the class. She has 2 years of tango teaching experience and has taught with Tommy in multiple locations around Boise, including weekly beginner lessons, group progressive series, and student club classes at Boise State University

   When Christian is not dancing she works in the community as a social worker. She brings her empathy and compassion developed in this arena into her dance.

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