Tango n’ Blues

“Tango n’ Blues” Retreat

Sept 23-26, 2022

A weekend away in nature (with a hot tub) learning Blues & Tango.

Our home and dance floor for three days will be a beautiful newly renovated house in the small village of Boltigen, surrounded by mountains and hiking opportunities. This venue is special… it boasts a large hot tub, three beautiful wooden dance floors, a cinema room, outdoor and indoor dining areas, and plenty of showers for all. Cozy and comfortable as well as sleek and sophisticated, there are spaces to curl up in a corner with a book or dance the night away with your favorite partner.

Who are our instructors?

We are so fortunate to be able to bring Shawn Hershey and Michelle Lamb from New York City to Europe to teach us their own special blend of world class Blues and Tango dancing. It’s a rare combination to have such highly skilled Internationally sought after instructors in BOTH forms of dance.

Shawn is a top level blues and lindy instructor who has taught all over the world. Michelle is a world-renowned tango teacher with a background in classical dance. Not only are they fabulous teachers with great technique, but their love of dance and teaching shine through everything they do.

Why do Michelle and Shawn love dancing together?

Through many hours on the dance floor together, they have a deep appreciation for the other’s dancing and their partnership together. They share a pure joy of playfulness, humor, and detailed connection.  Individually, they’ve both worked hard on their solo and partner mechanics which has created the ability to communicate across multiple dimensions of partner dancing. It makes magic.

Why put Blues and Tango together?

The movements & techniques in blues and tango have a lot of similarities that connect across multiple layers of music, but there are movements that are specific to just one style that can help you strengthen and diversify your abilities on the dance floor.
To Shawn and Michelle, it’s ultimately about the melding of music and movement, two bodies moving in relationship. After training and training, there is magic that happens when the fundamentals become about connecting and meeting each other. It is a joyful experience to turn on the music, let go of attachment, and let our minds and bodies enter a state of flow. In the most connected of moments, you might even lose track of which dance you are doing.

What kind of weekend is this, anyways?

This is a blues weekend, and a tango weekend, and a fusion weekend all at once! Classes will be a mix of blues and tango technique, and we will decide what music we want to dance to as a group (there is a question about it on the registration form).

Who Should come?

Are you a blues dancer wanting to learn some of the beauty of tango?  A fusion dancer who wants to learn to mix tango and blues?  Or a tango dancer wanting to explore turning and moving your hips while you dance?    If you answered yes to any of these, this event is for you.  We also love experienced dancers of other styles who want to dip their toes into something completely new and different.

We promise the classes will be interesting and engaging, no matter where you are coming from. We do ask that you have either a considerable amount of experience in another partner dance form, or at least some blues or tango experience. Knowing the fundamentals of blues connection, pulse, and a few solo moves, OR understanding some tango basics and the embraces is sufficient. If you don’t know if you qualify to come, please reach out by email at motleyhuefusion@gmail.com.

  • What will the “Workshops” be like?
    • Shawn & Michelle will keep material fluid & flexible to match where you are at. You will get your own special blend of:
    • –> Connection: Flow, Stretch, Alignment, etc…)
    • –> Toys from Tango & Blues: Colgadas, Volgadas, Body Movement, Turns, Spins
    • –> Solo Movement: With increased awareness of our bodies comes more opportunity and deeper connection.
    • –> Ways “To Be” as it Relates to Dance: Dance is more than just movement and a game seperate than life. We can learn to live from dance and we can learn to dance from life. Life is Art. Art is Life.
    • –> Games & Experiences: Dance classes can be about learning as well as joyful experiences themselves. We may experiment with creating experiments that may or may not use the word experiment as often as possible.

      What are the “Guided Practica’s”?
    • Once you have studied dance for a little while you understand that one thing is learning something, and the other thing is being able to actually do it on the dance floor! This takes a lot of practice in different environments and with different partners. In our schedule you will have one session of learning content, and the next session to practice, master, and take that content even further. You will be guided by Flouer, working in small groups or pairs with games and challenges to make your learning fun and interesting.
  • What is “Morning Movement & Meditation, or Breathing”?
    • These will be a mix of physically warming up the body, embodiment tools, self awareness, and becoming present. The goal is to become more self aware by tapping into how you are, and resetting the nervous system for an easier flow into learning and socializing.
    • And of course, everything we do is always optional, you are the boss of your experience.
  • What are the Opening and Closing Circles?
    • We will have a proper opening and closing time for getting to know one another and sharing our experiences. They are times to connect and solidify our presence together. Please do your best to be at the retreat by the time the Opening Circle starts.
  • What do I do with all my “Free Time”?
    • There are so many things to do in this house, not to mention the surrounding area!
    • For starters, there is the whirlpool, (and there might be a sauna?). There are two extra dance spaces to play in or practice with a friend. There’s a game room with table top soccer, and table top tennis outside. There’s the bar downstairs for chilling out or finishing some work on your computer (yes, there is good wifi!) There is the cinema room to play a movie on the big screen. There are small nooks to curl up in, a deck to catch some sun in, a lounge to play boardgames in, hiking outside, or even walking around the small village.

  • Event Details…
  • Accommodations: This is an all inclusive event with a mixture of single and double person bunk beds available. The beds and rooms are spacious and comfortable. There are 4 – 6 people per room, many rooms having newly renovated baths ensuite. There are extra showers on the main floor. A bed reservation document will be shared with you after you sign up, beginning somewhere around the end of July. Sign up will be first come, first serve, but we may need to make small adjustments as it makes sense closer to the event.
    • Blankets & Towels are provided by the venue for an extra fee, sheets are included.

  • Food: We have a BYOM (Bring Your Own Meat) policy, so all food will be vegetarian by default. There is, however, a grill if someone wants to take advantage of it. We are looking for three amazing chef volunteers who will trade some of their time at the retreat to cook in return for a significant discount.

  • Volunteering & Discounts
    • We are doing our very best to offer opportunities for those looking to spend less money, while still being able to pay our instructors from overseas.
      • –> We have spots available with a shared bed and the option to bring your own blankets.
      • –> Kitchen Helper: We have a few kitchen spots for those who don’t mind spending some of their free time hours helping to chop vegetables and clean up.
      • –> Head Chef: We have 3 spots available for those with culinary talents to lead meals. No chef will be in charge of more than 1 lunch and 1 dinner.
      • –> Scholarships: If that still doesn’t work for your budget, we understand that sometimes the money is not flowing. Please reach out by email at motleyhuefusion@gmail.com and we will see if we can work something out for you.

  • Public Transportation: It is quite easy to take a series of trains and buses to get to the house, and Swiss transport is comfortable & reliable. We will be inside the small picturesque village of Boltigen. The last leg of the journey will be to take either bus 116 or 117 to Boltigen, Bahnhof.
Covid Policy:  
Right now there are no restrictions in place in Switzerland, and we will be following this.  As is common with our current state of the world, if we need to change this policy by the time the fall comes, we reserve the right to do so.  

Cancelation policy:  
-- If you as a participant are forced to cancel last minute due to a Covid emergency we will do our very best to refund you everything we can.  We expect this will be no problem if a few people cancel last minute, but it will get harder to refund everything in full if we have a significant percentage of people needing to cancel.  We will stay in dialogue with you and be as fair as possible.  
-- Cancellation due to reasons outside of Covid are forfeited, but you are welcome to find someone to take your spot, as long as the person is approved by the organizers.
-- If we as an event are forced to cancel we will offer you a full refund of everything but credit card processing fees, or give you credit for future events/classes, as you prefer.  
-- We will have this event unless we are required to cancel by law or the venue (and we are unable to find a suitable venue replacement).  In the event we don't have enough registrations to pay for our instructors adequately, we reserve the possibility to change the weekend so it is still a good time for all, while staying in conversation with participants.  If this happens we will give a full refund to anyone who does not want to participate. 

Email motleyhuefusion@gmail.com with any questions.