Paul "Grump In Chief" Mandel
Paul begrudgingly started dancing blues at a house party in Boston around 10 years ago. Since then, he has danced, taught and organized in scenes across the country and around the world. Since moving to San Francisco, Paul was convinced to help found Sundown Blues, the nonprofit that now runs Friday Night Blues and Beat the Blues. In his 10 years of blues dancing, Paul has only gotten grumpier and more curmudgeonly and decided to start Mean Old Blues because he needed an outlet.
Victor "Petulant President" Lane
Victor Lane was born of fire on a starless night. He learned to pulse before he could walk, he learned to keep time before he could count. Raised in the crucible of partnered dancing Victor began DJing at his house parties in Sacramento. In August of 2012 Victor moved to San Francisco and a choir of angles sang in celebration. He can now be found practicing martial arts on the beach at sunset, catching flies with chopsticks, and organizing at blues events around the Bay Area.
Sierra "The Cheerful one" Roles
Sierra started blues dancing three years ago, and has been hooked ever since. She’s been many things as she has found her wings as a dancer, but more than anything she has been consistently way too excited about every little freaking thing. She was stoked when she discovered fusion dancing, absolutely thrilled when she started dancing blues, and nearly hysterical when she started organizing dance events in the Bay Area more than a year ago. Sierra is so excited to be a part of the MOB team that she may actually fall on the floor.
Zia "Cantankerous" Dawn
When someone stupidly stood her up for a date in her formative years over a decade ago, Zia went dancing for the first time to console herself. She fell in love and started forming opinions about it soon after. She's done a bit of this and that since then in and out of the spotlight. Zia knows the difference between fusion and whatever it is you're doing, which fork to use first, and how to parallel park. MOB is so thrilled to have her.
Karen "tyrannosaurus WRECKS" Click
Karen began her dance career at the tender age of 4 with a scintillating performance to a song about grumpy dinosaurs. Since then, she's explored a wide range of dance styles from ballet to capoiera before settling on blues four years ago. She has calculated that she spends more hours these days hosting and dancing than she does sleeping. Despite her perpetually grouchy and sleep-deprived state, she's excited to meet everyone and help y'all get settled in for this awesome event.
Ben "Misanthropic Music Man" Nathan
Ben first started dancing when he was dragged to a swing dance in 2003. After moving to the bay area in 2006, he was forced to take part in the dance scene under pain of torture. This led to reluctantly running the San Francisco Lindy Exchange (with Dave Madison) from 2008-2014. In that time, he has been the music coordinator and head DJ for Friday Night Blues and Sundown Blues, while spinning grouchy, downright mean tunes around the country. It is possible to see him smile though...if given enough rum or by playing a song he actually approves of (though that almost never happens).
Bob "Wizard of Audio" Lloyd
Bob came to dance by a different route. He started in theatre doing tech and eventually a musical or two after joining show choir. He found the love for all things swing over 10 years ago in college by walking into the wrong room during a college fair and was doomed after that. Bob quickly became an organizer, helping to start multiple events and dance scenes in the midwest, finding a niche for combining his love of technical theatre and dance. In 2013, Bob was invited to join the organizing team for bluesSHOUT! and has been an organizer ever since! He recently got lured into the trap of San Francisco, grumpy about Chicago's weather, and was drawn out by the first Mean Old Blues after assisting to run Mission Fusion Extravaganza in 2016. As a recent convert to the bay area, Bob has taken up organizing once again! Now with a new love of Zouk, which makes all the blues dancers grumpy, and continuing his passion for blues, giving joy and relief to his friends of old that he hasn't completely gone off the deep end yet!
Pejing "Penguin King" Lee
Pejing is an avid tea enthusiast with a passion for blues dancing. She started blues dancing in 2010 and currently helps host and teach at Friday Night Blues in San Francisco. She is on a never-ending quest to find the most delicious of nomz and also enjoys scheming on how to rule the world in her spare time. If you hear cackling in a corner of a room, please do not be alarmed. Instead, take it as an invitation to come join the plotting—at the very least, there will be some tea and penguins to soothe your soul.
April "Social Dance Warrior" Arcus
Colorless, genderless, humorless: if there's a topic April can't get angry enough to write an eye-watering Jeremiad about, we haven't found it yet. After spending the first twenty-five years of their life dissociated, socially isolated and wishing they didn't even have a body, they leapt head-first into the social dance scene, shook off their dysphoria on the Floor, and never looked back. April believes that self-expression through motion is the right of all sentient life-forms, and they want to see you dance your blues, whoever you are, however you got here, the rawer the better. They're the dish no one ordered, the cat who always comes back, and the badass bitch who's got your six.
Mimi "The Artist" Xia
This is Mimi, a Jazzcat (who is usually a joyous creature when she's not working on grumpy designs for Mean Old Blues). Mimi began blues dancing on a foggy San Francisco night, three long years ago. She has since been involved in behind the scenes operations, and loves nothing more than a funky get-down on a Friday night - well, every Friday night! Her goal for this year’s Mean Old Blues is to make it bigger, bluer, and meaner than ever before! Find her on the dance floor, and ask her to dance!
Matthew "Hangry Human" Matsunami
Matthew has been dancing blues for a bit more than 4 years, previously coming from the land of Latin and Argentine Tango, and since taking brief trips into the Swings. Finally, settling upon Fusion and Blues. Immediately falling in love with the improvisational freedom blues gives, while providing a structure to connect with another human. He really loves his isolations and syncopations. His philosophy behind partner dance as being highly conversational with plenty of adjectives, adverbs and other parts of speech is something that he seeks to bring into both dance and class. Careful if you've caught him when he's missed a meal, you'll meet few people more crotchety.
Photo by: www.NathanCordovaStudios.com
Photo by: www.NathanCordovaStudios.com