Guest Post: We Are TIRED!

Last month, I attended an online webinar titled “Racial Representation in Ballroom.” Ballroom dance is very much a white-dominated style of dance, but why? What is preventing everyone else from experiencing this art/sport that we adore? How do we bring greater diversity to the ballroom world?

It was these types of questions that the hosts of webinars wanted to explore. I was so impressed by the information provided and the open and honest discussion that took place, that I had to reach out to the people behind the webinar with a request to share their mission with my readers.

The ballroom dance floor is where I finally connected with my true self and found the courage to show that true self to others. I know many of you have had similar experiences. I hate to think anyone anywhere has been made to feel, intentionally or unintentionally, that they didn’t belong on that floor because of who they were. Which is why I believe this group’s mission is so important.

So without further ado, please welcome to the blog, The TIRED Movement!

Continue reading

When the Usual Creative Outlets are Unavailable, Pull Weeds

Remember that ballroom dance lesson where I learned to lead? It was actually my last lesson. One of my boys needed minor surgery (he’s fine), but even minor surgery always comes with a major bill. So unless it had already been paid for, dance and fitness classes have been cut from my calendar until that vet bill is paid. This is far from the first time I’ve had to pause dance because funds had to be redirected. I’ve been blessed along my dance journey to have had generous dance teachers who would let me owe them for a few weeks so that my training wouldn’t be disrupted. But the kindness of strangers (and people I know well) can only go so far. Sometimes I just have to cut back.

As you’re probably aware, I also cut back on blogging and social media posting.

Continue reading

Learning to Lead

I did something different in this past week’s ballroom lesson: I learned to lead! Traditionally, men lead and women follow in the ballroom dances. However, it’s very common outside of the U.S. to see female couples competing in ballroom, especially in younger or more beginner levels, simply because there aren’t enough boys to act as partners. You see my soul sister Fran leading in group classes and on the competition floor in the classic movie Strictly Ballroom.

Strictly Ballroom (1992)

Why learn to lead?

First of all, it’s a fun challenge to reverse roles as a ballroom dancer! I’ve always had an interest in learning the leader role of ballroom dances because only learning the follower role meant I was only really learning half of the dance. Learning what your partner needs to do and what they need you to do creates a better understanding of the partnership as a whole, which can only lead to a better connection and more enjoyable dancing together. Understanding how to cue a lead can also help you recognize when someone else is trying to cue you as a follower.

Continue reading

New on Stance on Dance – A Dancer in the Woods

You may recall my sharing not too long ago that I had contributed an article to Stance on Dance’s first print publication. In it, I reflected on my move from Southern California to Midcoast Maine and the impact it has had on my dance journey.

If you didn’t get a copy of the printed version, the article is now available on Stance on Dance’s website! Enjoy. 🙂

New on Medium – I Like to Move It, Move It

Happy Monday, dancers! This week’s piece is featured in the Medium publication, Songstories. Did you know that I danced ballet, jazz and tap when I was little? I even performed in several recitals, dancing as characters like a California Raisin, a sailor on the Good Ship Lollipop, and Flounder in The Little Mermaid. Then a couple decades passed before I would step foot in another dance studio. What happened?

You’ll have to read to find out. 😉

Solo Practice is More Fun with Friends!

My relationship with solo dance practice was born out of necessity. I needed a way to improve as a dancer that didn’t come with a financial cost. The Solo Practice Guide for Ballroom Dancing was born out of my need to improve as a dancer without a financial cost and with a limited time requirement. The framework I developed for my solo practice sessions worked wonders. I grew in strength, balance and confidence. Lessons with Teacher were more productive. Other coaches noticed the improvements in my dancing when I competed. I became a World Champion!

Continue reading

Dancing Through Feelings

It probably won’t come as a surprise that my plans for this week’s post shifted dramatically on Friday. Something exciting happened just the day before that I couldn’t wait to share with you! If you follow me on social media, then you already know. 😉 Earlier in the week, the work being done on the roof was officially complete with the last section of wood trim painted. It was shaping up to be a pretty good week! And then it was Friday.

Continue reading

Salsa Dancing in the Rain

Photo by Nina M on Pexels.com

Several years ago, back in California, I would go dancing with friends at a local Salsa club. It was a great way to practice my follow skills while having a great time. There’s something about Salsa music that just fills me with a happy-go-lucky joy. It has an uplifting energy that doesn’t take itself too seriously. A great Salsa song sings “Life is too short to take yourself seriously!”

Nowadays, I get a little taste of Salsa dancing in my Zumba classes, but along with ballroom, I’ve been missing my Salsa nights out. Until Saturday!

Continue reading