TRBX 2018 Instructors

Featured Dance Instructors

Ruth and Mike

Ruth and Mike are among the most respected and sought-after instructors in the blues dance world. They have taught at most of the blues dance events that exist (In 14 countries and counting…). They are founding members and choreographers of the B Sides, which is the first and currently only ongoing professional blues performance group.

Ruth and Mike are an exceptional teaching partnership, internationally renowned for their dynamic energy, precise explanations, entertainment value, and ability to make detailed technique fun to learn. They are prolific choreographers, avid dance nerds, and enthusiastic social dancers. Ruth and Mike are passionate about creating fresh and expressive art that stays true to the roots of the blues. They love dance pedagogy and mentoring newer teachers to fulfill their potential as instructors.

Ruth and Mike both love carrot juice, smoky Scotch whisky, and philosophical discussions. Since they started traveling and teaching together, Ruth has started using the Oxford comma, and all of Mike’s electronic devices are from Apple. They have been known to fishtail in grocery stores and swing out in the aisles of moving trains. Check out their Facebook page and YouTube channel.

Campbell Miller

Campbell’s students praise her ability to simplify the complex and nurture each dancer to find their own unique voice. Her warmth and patience create an inviting atmosphere for all levels of dancers, and she offers personal feedback in a way that makes students feel empowered and confident.


A lifelong dancer, Campbell has trained in many solo and partnered styles, and with 18 years of teaching experience, she offers a wealth of knowledge about body awareness, adapting to a variety of partners, and strategies for learning to dance your best. Her favorite Blues dances are authentic and dynamic conversations, and she especially loves subtlety and playfulness!

You can find her dancing and teaching at workshops around the world, or in her hometown of Austin, TX. Connect with Campbell at

Philippe Wilson

Recently referred to as Blues Dance’s “best kept secret lead”, Philippe is all about listening to the music and his partner, and interpreting both with exquisite flair. He combines precise leads with musical integrity, creating a dynamic dance that feels ooey-gooey in all the right ways. Although Philippe has rocked some competitions, his first and true love is social dancing. Philippe learned to dance and teach in Austin, TX, where you can dance to live music nearly 8 nights a week. He now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area where he’s designing very cool things for very cool mobile devices (i.e. he’s fluent in geek speak).




Guest Speakers

Thomas F. DeFrantz

Thomas F. DeFrantz is Chair of African and African American Studies and Professor of Dance, and Theater Studies at Duke University. He is past-president of the Society of Dance History Scholars, an international organization that advances the field of dance studies through research, publication, performance, and outreach to audiences across the arts, humanities, and social sciences. He is also the director of SLIPPAGE: Performance, Culture, Technology, a research group that explores emerging technology in live performance applications.

He convenes the working group Black Performance Theory and the Collegium for African Diaspora Dance. His books include the edited volume Dancing Many Drums: Excavations in African American Dance (2002) and Dancing Revelations: Alvin Ailey’s Embodiment of African American Culture (2004) and Black Performance Theory co-edited with Anita Gonzalez. A director and writer, his creative works include CANE: A Responsive Environment Dancework that premiered at Duke in April, 2013.

For more info, visit…/thomas-defrantz.

Christopher J. Wells

Christopher J. Wells is Assistant Professor of Musicology at Arizona State University’s Herberger Institute School of Music and Managing Editor of the Journal of Jazz Studies. He received his PhD in 2014 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where his dissertation on drummer/bandleader Chick Webb and swing music in Harlem during the Great Depression received the Society for American Music’s Wiley Housewright Dissertation Award and UNC’s Glen Haydon Award for an Outstanding Dissertation in Musicology. He has also received Videmus’s Edgar A. Toppin Award for Outstanding Research in African American Music and a Morroe Berger/Benny Carter Jazz Research Fellowship from the Institute of Jazz Studies.

A social jazz dancer for over a decade, Dr. Wells is currently writing a book about the history of jazz music’s ever-shifting relationship with popular dance and has a chapter in the recently published Oxford Handbook of Dance and Ethnicity.

Local Dance Instructors

Caroline Leitschuh

Caroline has one goal in life – to make more time for dancing! She has been dancing and teaching for over a decade, and organizing and teaching for RDU blues since 2012. Blues and Belly Dancing are her first dance loves, though she also dances Lindy Hop and has enjoyed many other dance styles over the years. As a biologist (when she isn’t dancing!), she brings a focus on technique and detail to her dancing and teaching. She loves working with dancers of all levels and building a safe, supportive dance community.


John Graner

John started dancing 16 years ago and never stopped. He’s been teaching for almost 13 years and is experienced in a range of dances including Lindy Hop, Blues, East Coast Swing, West Coast Swing, and social ballroom. He enjoys teaching and sharing dance with others in fun and inviting ways.


Suzanne Julian

Suzanne has been hooked on partner dancing ever since a housemate introduced her to swing dance in 2002. Although she dabbles in many styles, blues is her true love: she delights in the partnership, creativity and connection to the music that blues dance offers. Suzanne has been a teacher and organizer for RDU Blues since 2010. She loves helping create a diverse community where people can have fun, build their appreciation for this wonderful art form, develop their skills in a low-pressure setting, and feel welcomed and safe. Catch her for a dance, a question, or a chat anytime!

Click here to register for TRBX 2018.