Zia has been dancing in some form or another for most of her life; her foray into partner dancing began in 2003 when she took her first Lindy lesson. Over the years she's flirted with Salsa, West Coast Swing, Argentine Tango, Blues, and various other ballroom dances. In 2012 she joined the Rose City Blues team - and the PB&J board a few months later as Instructor Coordinator. This spring she became PB&J’s Executive Director, where she's excited to contribute even more behind the scenes to make "the magic" happen. Off the dance floor Zia can be found making mischief and drinking copious amounts of tea.
Leana started dancing early at the age of 3 with Ballet and Jazz, and in college she went Salsa dancing at the local clubs. Upon graduation she decided a change of scenery was needed, and moved from one coast to the other - to Portland, Oregon. A few months later, a friend invited her to go Blues dancing, and she stayed until they closed the doors. She’s been Bluesin’ ever since, taking as many lessons as she could find. You may also find Leana designing games, snuggling with a book and tea, watching Star Trek, or hitting sword nerds with foam weaponry.
Jeff has been dancing Blues for about 6 years. He started dancing in college and continued doing so after school was over. His favorite things about Blues are the music and the experience of dancing with everyone. He looks forward to serving as Treasurer for the board and the community at large.
Imandra started partner dancing with Tango in 2008, and joined the Blues community in Eugene, OR in 2012. Blues dancing and it's amazing community of people have contributed to many changes in her life, including moving to Portland and joining the board to help run the Blues dances here. She's both a lead and follow in Blues, and would love it if you asked her to dance, no matter how long you've been dancing. When she's not dancing you can find her playing video games, camping, spending time with friends, or playing Ultimate Frisbee.
Whitney found Blues one rainy January day in 2012, and it was love at first dance. While she's had tentative affairs with everything from Swing to Hip Hop - the music, movement, and community here keep a firm grip on her heart. Of course, this doesn't stop her from breaking into the occasional Charleston, Carlson, or even trying to spirit animal dance battle on the floor. She enjoys dancing follow, solo, and lead (though she's still working on those last two!). If she's not at blues, she's probably working, reading at a bar, gallivanting around town with friends, or fangirling over something.
About four years ago, Sawyer discovered Blues. And what started as a way to get out of the house rapidly developed into a passion for his new dancer community, and a love for music and movement. Beyond the dance itself, Blues has given him the space an introvert (like him) needs to connect to people on the individual level. Sawyer also enjoys the traditional nerd spectrum of entertainment, such as bad sci-fi novels, videogames, and anime. He is also known to sit at a piano on occasion to pound out various tunes in his spare time.
Jeremy started dancing blues in 2011 at Urban Blues Recess after a brief fling with East Coast Swing. He's been happier - despite the strange sleep schedule - ever since. He aspires to be a better lead and follow, and would be happy for the invitation to dance either role. Jeremy joined the Barefoot Operations team in December of 2014.
Kai made the transition from East Coast Swing to Blues and Fusion dancing back in 2009. Since then he has taught, DJ'd, and helped organize local and national level events like Barefoot, Massive Blues Recess, and Rose City Blues. When he is not cutting a rug on the dance floor, you will most likely see him slinging a camera and taking care of business as a professional freelance photographer.
Carter grew up thinking he had two left feet and no rhythm, and that being comfortable and confident with any form of dancing was unattainable. Then along came a friend in college who insisted he come out and try this social partner dance called Blues. With a lot of determination and a solid friend group to support and teach him, he was hooked! Gravitating towards fusion, Carter couldn’t get enough of the music and connection, eventually beginning to DJ and desire a more involved role in the community. After 5 years of Blues and Fusion, he dabbled in Salsa, and has recently taken up Tango as well. When he’s not dancing on a ballroom floor, you’ll most likely find him dancing up rock walls and boulders in his free time.
Reid took her first dance class (hip-hop) at age 12, and was absolutely terrible at it. But after many years and the addition of Ballet, Contemporary, Jazz, Contact Improv, and others, Reid fell absolutely head-over-heels for the feeling of moving, creating, and expressing with the body and has never looked back. She came to partner dancing in 2014 with Blues in Portland and has continued to be involved in the community. When not dancing (a rare occurrence) Reid enjoys knitting, playing the banjo, being outside all the time in any weather, and learning more about birthwork. Reid both leads and follows, and would love it if you asked her to dance!
Although she always loved music, Kelly Ann was never “a dancer”. She tried belly dancing in college because she didn't think she could do it, and discovered that she just needed a lot of patience, practice, and self-love. She first tried partner dancing in 2007, and has been a Blues dancer ever since. She loves the Portland Blues scene for its amazing people, instructors, DJs, and wealth of live Blues music. Kelly Ann can also be found savoring tea and admiring kawaii (cute) things. She’s been told she’s filled with rainbows and jellybeans, and she would love to dance with you!