- by Mary K. Levie, Friday, January 18th, 2008
What began as a hobby a year and a half ago has evolved into a passion and business for Sarah Beth Larson, co-founder of NewVo Blues, a Memphis blues dancing group. Blues dancing is a root form of dance that grew out of the jazz and blues of the African-American community, evolving and fusing with various other styles of dance over the years.
“Most people who blues dance also swing dance,” Larson says. “You can fuse blues with a lot of different dances because it has a lot of influences from many different cultures.”
Larson first began in the local swing dancing scene, learning various styles such as Charleston, Lindy-Hop, East Coast, West Coast and Balboa. What initially attracted her as a newcomer to the dancing scene was an opportunity to shed her perfectionist tendencies.
“If I can’t do something well, I don’t want to do it at all; I can’t enjoy it,” Larson says. “Dance for some reason is the first thing I found where I didn’t hold myself to that standard, and I could go, and I could not be doing right all the time, and it was still ok.”