What’s in a name? The Black Label Blues story

Some people have asked how we came up with the name Black Label Blues so here is our story…

Our initial concept was inspired by a vision of Blues cross-pollination at a local level, community growing and welcoming dancers of other styles who thoroughly enjoy Blues.  We planned to arrange for groups of teachers to go to a place outside their normal teaching location and present workshops.  Other goals were to help build the local scene and to give teachers experience in different environments other than in their hometown.

The very first Black Label Blues event involved Taryn & Jo organising a group of 8 teachers from around Scotland (+ Newcastle) to go to Dundee for a day of workshops and evening social dancing.  The format is for each teaching pair to teach one class while the other teachers join the classes, assisting the students. This format now forms our Export blend.

After the success of the first event in 2017 we decided to start developing our Import blend.  We wanted to bring a well known / international teacher to do a weekend intensive in our beautiful home town of Edinburgh.  We also wanted it to build community on as many levels as possible, therefore our first Import blend event in February 2018 we included:
Teacher training
Beginner / Foundation classes
Classes by less well known teachers within the main programme
Live music
Low registration numbers
One stream of classes with no levels
Switchy classes
Tiered pricing based on affordability
A blend of musical styles in the DJ sets – some Fusion and other styles but mostly Blues.

When we were looking for a name we tried to find something which celebrated the connection to both Blues dancing and Scotland and, obviously, ended up looking at whisky.

In our search we came across the story of Johnnie Walker Black Label and it resonated with what we’re trying to do.  A whisky blend with a history nearly as long as Blues dancing and, to quote them,  “Johnnie Walker Black Label was created to represent the very best from all four corners of Scotland and was quickly recognised as a new benchmark in blending excellence.”

With Black Label Blues we want to follow in their footsteps to become a benchmark in (Blues) blending excellence!

You can read more about the history of Johnnie Walker here:

Unlike Johnnie Walker, we operate on a not-for-profit basis.