Much thanks goes to Woody Szabo and Larry Colen for participating in our first planning
session to brainstorm for our kick-off dance.
Much gratitude to Ruth (Hoffman) Evelyn for agreeing to teach and DJ at our first dance!
Bob Free had been thinking about extending the Blues community to the South Bay ever since he first
encounted Blues dancing back in 2009.
He was highly enfluenced by Friday Night Blues, the quintiscential Bay Area Blues Dance - and
by Shades of Blues, which played "turquois" and alt-blues back then.
Bob was involved in Scott Gamble's effort to launch South Bay Blues, DJ'g at our first dance, and introducing Scott
to Ariel Bowlby as our instructor. South Bay Blues eventually closed down, and Bob began seriously looking for a venue of his own - discovering the Napa Dance Club at a New Year's party with Aline Mucke.
His initial intention was to bring West Coast Swing Dancers (Westies) and Blues dancers together. There was a bit of contention between the dance communities back then. Eventually
Tango, Lindy, Salsa, Waltz, Zouk, Contra dancers joined in as well!
Later fBomb in Campbell launched, followed by Mission:Fusion in San Fransisco, and East Bay Fusion in Berkeley. Shades of Blues transitioned to Fusion and eventually switched it's name to Shades.
Since then numerous Fusion venues have popped up in the Bay Area and across the country.
Bob is a dancer who geeks - or is it the other way around???
Bob orignally intended to create a blues-fusion dance in San Jose (hence the name South Bay Fusion) - but after searching a year for a viable location, we discovered the perfect space
in Redwood City called Napa Dance Club (upstairs from an NAPA auto parts store in the Peninsula).
Tom Muller was the proprietor/creator of the Napa Dance Club, which was a non-profit organization established
to support various dance communities and instructors.
We worked with Tom to install a cooling system, a sound wall, audio equipment - to create one of the best/coziets speak-easy dance venues in the Bay Area.
Unfortunately, for various reasons, NDC had to shut down in 2019.
We spent a few months seeking a new location. With a lot of help from our community, we found a new perfect place in Mountain View (actually in the South Bay) at
a Msaonic Lodge. The acoustics are challenging, but the space is big and has great dance floor.
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