Free Dance Lessons

Dance Lessons are always happening at the Bon Temps Social Club Dance Pavilion

If you’re smiling, you’re doing it right. It’s a Bon Temps way of life!
It doesn’t really matter if you can’t dance, might dance or just plain won’t dance, as long as you’re having fun!

But, just in case you want to shake, shimmy or stomp your feet in other than free-style, there will be free lessons by some of the finest dance instructors in the country to help guide your feet into the rhythms of various styles of dance. The Bon Temps Social Club’s No Fault Dance Policy will be enforced.  The rule is: If you’re smiling, you’re doing it right.  If your dance partner is also smiling – everyone is having fun!

Check our full schedule of dance lessons and roster of dance instructors below!

Saturday May 7, 2016
Dance Lesson Schedule At Bon Temps Pavilion

11:30 AM     Creole Waltz    Teddy & Brenda Valdez
12:10 PM     Int. Zydeco Fancy Footwork        Linda Frances
12:50 PM     Introduction to Zydeco    Pat & Janice Muller
1:30 PM       My Favorite Jitterbug Moves – All Levels   Yvette Lee
2:10 PM       Floats, Slides, Lifts and Turns    Dana Desimone & Lisa Lee
2:50 PM       Intermediate Dips & Tricks    Jeanette Kutchins
3:30 PM       Add Sizzle to your Zydeco Dancing #1    Ben Pagac & Katrina
4:10 PM       Women’s Zydeco Styling    Erin Brandt
4:50 PM       Step It Out (R&B-Zydeco Line Dancing)    Lori King
5:30 PM       Open Music Jam  (Bring any type of instrument)   Greg Benusa

Dance Lesson Schedule At KSDS Festival Stage

12:00 PM      Swing Demo Margie Adams
2:20 PM        Cajun Dance Teddy & Brenda Valdez

Dance Lesson Schedule At Mardi Gras Stage

4:10 PM        Mydeco AJ Gibbs

Sunday May 8, 2016
Dance Lesson Schedule At Bon Temps Pavilion


10:00 AM Advanced Zydeco Slides Greg Benusa
                  (This special session will be held at the Sheraton, Marina Rm 6)
11:30 AM      Basic Zydeco Ali & Adam Grimshaw
12:10 PM      Zumba Ninfa Shkezas
12:50 PM      Louisiana Style Basic Zydeco Ted Sherod
1:30 PM        Intermediate Zydeco- Beyond the 8 Count  Sharon L. Stern
2:10 PM        Beginning Cajun Sandy Baker & Sid Gutierez
2:50 PM        Add Sizzle to your Zydeco Dancing #2 Ben Pagac & Katrina
3:30 PM        Zydeco Partner Dancing AJ Gibbs
4:10 PM        Fun East Coast Swing Moves Pat & Janice Muller
4:50 PM        Step It Out (R&B-Zydeco Line Dancing) Lori King

Dance Lesson Schedule At KSDS Festival Stage

12:00 PM       Cajun Dancing Sandy Baker & Sid Gutierez
2:00 PM         Mydeco Al Gibbs
4:10 PM          Zumba Demo Ninfa Shkezas

Dance Lesson Schedule At Mardi Gras Stage

4:50 PM         Mydeco AJ Gibbs

Greg Benusa
Greg BenusaSan Diego
Greg Benusa has been teaching Zydeco, Cajun and Waltz as well other dances for over 15 years and hosted a weekly Zydeco dance for many years. He has recorded 4 Cajun & Zydeco Dance Instruction DVD’s which are available through and continues to teach across the country as well his home base in San Diego. Greg also regularly updates a Zydeco blog called Zydeco Talk.
He recently released a website where he shares basic Zydeco accordion lessons from what he has learned over the years. For lessons or workshops he can be contacted at (619) 857-8409.
Ted Sherrod
Ted SherrodSan Francisco
Zydeco Ted travels extensively to Texas/Louisiana; teaches basic Louisiana style Zydeco in New Orleans and has taught at numerous venues throughout Northern California as well as Simi Valley, Long Beach and Gator By The Bay Festivals.

He has a smooth Creole style which is great to observe and looks like a Zydeco dancer from Louisiana or Texas in comparison to a dance teacher from out of state who learned and started to teach Zydeco at a later point.

Pat & Janice Muller
Pat & Janice MullerSan Diego
Pat Muller has been dancing for over 25 Years. He believes that it’s all about having fun. His philosophy is “No Fault Dancing” where there are no stumbles, only new moves!
Erin Brandt
Erin BrandtSan Francisco
Erin Brandt, has taught dance for over 20 years in many areas of the U.S., including Florida, Alabama, DC, NYC, Washington, Seattle, Portland, Southern CA and the SF Bay Area. She’s danced live on the Fox and ABC Networks. Erin cannot help her passion for dance from spilling onto the teaching floor. She has a gift for infusing her students with laughter, teaching with ease, and bringing out the joy of dancing together. Erin uses her background in Movement Therapy to explain to her students how to get the styling and movement out of their bodies and onto the dance floor. She teaches with great insight, respect, and just the right blend of sensitivity and provocation.
Jeanette Kutchins
Jeanette KutchinsSan Diego
Jannette Kutchins possesses more than 17 years of dancing experience, including swing, ballroom and jazz. Her passion is Lindy Hop and Jitterbug. Over the years Jannette has won various swing dance competitions and taught dance classes. She has performed with various dance groups, both swing and jazz. Jannette’s major dance performances include “Swing, The Musical” produced by the San Diego City College, and most recently Christian Community Theater’s San Diego Follies in 2014 and 2015.
Al Gibbs
Al GibbsLong Beach
Health & wealth coach at 90 for Life – FDI Youngevity Inc. and CEO & Founder at Zydeco Dance Instructor
Teddy & Bernda Valdez
Teddy & Bernda ValdezLas Vegas
Teddy and Brenda Valdez are both International Grand Champion Line Dancers. Teddy won his title in 1995 in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Brenda won her title in Nashville in 1996. They have competed since 1991 at local, regional, national and international levels. They teach, choreograph, perform with their team, the Lone Wolf Dancers, and they still compete. Most recently in 2006 at the Nevada Senior Olympics, in individual and in team dances, they walked away with 36 gold medals and 2 silver medals. They have performed at the MGM Grand and the Texas Station in Las Vegas on the main showroom stage.
Linda Francis
Linda FrancisSan Francisco
Linda Francis is an experienced dance instructor who makes learning to dance fun and easy. Linda specializes in Zydeco Two-Step, Cajun Swing and Waltz, and Line Dancing.
Sharon L. Stern & Steve Castner
Sharon L. Stern & Steve CastnerFlorida
Sandy Baker & Sid Gutierez
Sandy Baker & Sid GutierezManhattan Beach
Sandy Baker and Sid Gutierez have 20+ years in the Zydeco and Cajun world and the CA teaching scene. I luv my Zydeco!
Ninfa Shkezas
Ninfa ShkezasSan Diego
Ninfa Skezas is a Zumba Instructor/ Owner of Party Fitness Studio in the San Diego area. Originally of South American descent, she has been exposed to and trained on a various type of dance throughout South America and beyond. These include but are not limited to Merengue, Salsa, Chacha, Cumbia, Belly Dance, Flamenco, Reggaeton, Hip Hop and more. You may have seen her featured on different TV channels from Univision, Fox, Channel 10, Telemundo and more. She has heading performances everywhere from Balboa Park to The Brazilian Day Carnaval in Las Vegas, Petco park and the Del Mar fair!
Ali & Adam Grimshaw
Ali & Adam GrimshawPortland,OR
Adam and Ali Grimshaw have taught Zydeco, East Coast Swing, and Waltz dance classes in Portland since 1996. They emphasize fun and partner appreciation in their classes. They’ve taught at festivals, dance camps, live music dances, private company parties, weddings, birthday parties, schools and fund raisers from San Diego to Seattle and points in between.
Dana Desimone & Lisa Lee
Dana Desimone & Lisa LeeSan Francisco
Dana DeSimone’s Friday night dances are some of the most popular events in the Northern California zydeco and Cajun music scene. DeSimone frequently packs Eagles Hall, an old fraternal lodge in Alameda that hosts dances every week of the year. Not only does he organize the gatherings; he also teaches zydeco steps to the newcomers who attend. Eagles Hall is one of the most enduring institutions in the Bay Area’s Louisiana music scene: Over more than 16 years, Eagles Hall has booked just about every band in the region as well as many visiting musicians from Louisiana. Born in San Francisco to an Irish-Italian working-class family, DeSimone studied a variety of folk-dance styles: Greek, Balkan, clogging, salsa, merengue, country-western, and even belly dancing. He traveled to Southern Appalachia several times to study clogging, and served as artistic director for a local clogging group called the Cornmashers. He performed solo at festivals too.
Lori KingSan Diego
Ben Pagac & KatrinaMaryland
Yvette Lee
Yvette Lee
Yvette Lee has a background in ballroom, swing, and music theory and has been in numerous performance groups over the years. Yvette will share her love of movement and help you relate to music that keeps your toes tapping and your heart pumping. Take the dance from classroom to the dance floor in a way that makes sense while you have fun. After all—it’s not about fitting you to the dance, it’s about fitting the dance to you! For more info on local classes, private lessons, or wedding dances: or (619) 384-3741.