When DEXTER SANTOS discovered Blues dancing in 2005, he found himself immediately drawn to the rhythms and sounds of the Blues. Something about the music - it's emotional depth and range, the varied subjects and stories, the gut-wrenching and the hip-shaking, the gritty and the smooth - gave Dexter's dancing new inspiration and direction. With a background in Ballroom dancing and Lindy Hop, Dexter has studied and collaborated with the best Blues dance teachers and dancers making him one of the most sought-after and admired teachers in the national and international scene.
As a teacher, Dexter aims to inspire dancers of all levels with the possibilities that Blues dancing has to offer while preserving its roots, identity, and art form. Dexter travels across the US and around the world spreading his passion and joy for Blues dancing through his fun, inspiring, and challenging classes. A particular class favorite often referred to as the "Shim Sham of Blues," the Hound Dog routine (a solo Blues choreography danced to Big Mama Thornton's song of the same title) has been taught to and performed with dancers in four continents.
Dexter has taught at nationally and internationally renowned exchanges and workshops such as bluesSHOUT (Chicago, IL), Austin Blues Party (Austin, TX), Down Home Blues Festival (San Francisco, CA), BamBLOOZled (Washington, D.C.), Rain City Blues (Seattle, WA), Steel City Blues Festival (Pittsburgh, PA), Mile High Blues Festival (Denver, CO), Toronto Blues Battle (Toronto, ON, Canada), Fallin' In Blues (Grenoble, France), Korea Blues Camp (Seoul, So. Korea), Drag The Blues (Barcelona, Spain), Breizh Blues Invasion (Rennes, France), Blues Baby Blues (London), and Black Swan Blues (Perth, WA, Australia) among many others.
When he's not teaching or performing, you'll find Dexter 'cutting his teeth' and refining his skills on the competition floor. Since the very first bluesSHOUT in St. Louis in 2007, Dexter has won first place in numerous Blues dancing competitions around the country and has won the title of Ballroomin' Blues champion at bluesSHOUT 3 times (2007, 2008, and 2010). In an unprecedented feat, Dexter won all four partnered competitions at bluesSHOUT 2010 in Austin: Open Jack & Jill, Strictly Jook Joint, Strictly Ballroomin', and Champions Division.
1st place, Open Strictly, bluesSHOUT 2019 (Chicago, IL)
1st place, Open Jack & Jill, Mile High Blues 2012 (Denver, CO)
1st place, Open Jack & Jill, bluesSHOUT 2010 (Austin, TX)
1st place, Strictly Jook Joint, bluesSHOUT 2010 (Austin, TX)
1st place, Strictly Ballroomin’, bluesSHOUT 2010 (Austin, TX)
1st place, Champions Division, bluesSHOUT 2010 (Austin, TX)
1st place, Invitational Jack & Jill, Emerald City Blues Festival 2008 (Seattle, WA)
1st place, Strictly Ballroomin’, Down Home BluesSHOUT 2008 (San Francisco, CA)
1st place, Invitational Jack & Jill Champions Division, Down Home BluesSHOUT 2008 (San Francisco, CA)
1st place, Open Jack & Jill, Enter The Blues 2008 (Atlanta, GA)
1st place, Strictly Ballroomin’, bluesSHOUT 2007 (St. Louis, MO)
*Inset photo courtesy of David Tom