The Best Ideas…

are always best when stolen.

So I have been driving down to Seattle the past two Tuesdays to their weekly blues event, Burn Blue ( and have been taking notes. The ideas? Having official hosts for the dance and unofficial taxi dancers. [Side note, if you do not know, I’m currently out in the west coast doing some what I am calling dance training but it can be more accurately described as an honest butt wuppin’.]

Dance Hosts – Burn Blue has rotating official hosts that are in charge of answering questions, making announcements, and generally being the go-to person for the dance and the organization. Wow. This is a great idea because so far there are numerous people in the Toronto blues dance scene who are a lot more charismatic than me yet default to directing to me. This is probably my fault, truth be told. Having official hosts for the dance hopefully will remove the idea that the scene is run by a single person. I also have a fear of public speaking, so having someone do announcements would be better for everyone involved.

Unofficial Taxi Dancers – at the entrance of the venue, you can grab yourself a glow stick that designates you as a “taxi dancer”. What this specifically means is that you are open and willing to dance with people who asks you. So simple, but from what I can gather, seems to put a little bit more friendless to the entire dance. You also encourage everyone/anyone to be a taxi dancer instead of pre-selecting people like our swing dance association. The costs would probably be under $5 CND but the awesomeness of knowing who to ask to dance when you are new to the dance or the scene is priceless.

So yup, there you have it. Two ideas i’m gonna “borrow” for when I get back to Toronto ;-)

Look Ma, No Flash

So I’ve been experimenting around with taking photos is horrible light conditions the past couple of weeks. A typical scenario would either be [very low light + crazy neon strobes +fog machines] or [super low light, weird lamp bulbs in a corner of a room, sweaty room]. Worst. I know. The funny part was that a year ago I was all obsessed with being a “strobist” and attaching flashes to every crook a rubber band or clamp would allow. Now, it just seems like too much work to lug them around with me.

The picture above is of my co-worker, Taylor, and his band Tea and Coffee. They headlined last night at Rancho Relaxo, which is what you would call a more intimate venue than most rock bars in Toronto. My SB900 flash would have not only blinded the band, but most likely the entire crowd as well (note: yes I still don’t know how to dial down ;). Click here for a higher res photo sample.