Heads up, this blog post is going to be a bit scattered as I have had a few short ideas stewing in my chicken brain this morning that I just needed to type out. You’ve been warned ;-)
Everyone’s talking ’bout chicken
My last three weeks in Boston and Toronto have been a whirlwind experiment of my current obsession of lifestyle design – merging my work and dance lives together. Truth be told, I really cherished having two separate lives – my nerdy computer internetZ work life where I did many nerdy internet things, and my dance life… where I did many nerdy dance related things (I can’t change my nerdy DNA). This year, I’ve been allowing them to intersect and it seems to be working out!
What is lifestyle design?
Mostly, it’s just internet business jargon about the notion that working 9-5 is not the forgone conclusion in order to make a living. Most dancers that I know, myself included, HATE (with a passion) the day-to-day drudgery of going to the office then clocking out eight hours later. We all just want to dance all the time because it’s what makes us happy. Amirite??? When I think about what quality of life means to me, it really is about having time to do what I want and the mobility of doing it wherever I want.
I read a great presentation on the ILHC website about thrifty lindy hop traveling and how to basically manage your finances so you can go to as many dance events as possible. I think this is a great start of conscientious hobby-income management but I have an alternative suggestion – actually trying to make a living while traveling and dancing.
Now I’m not saying everyone should try to be an international dance instructor. Let’s be real – there are a very few of us who can actually make a living out of dancing and dancing alone. However, we all have skills, talents, and more importantly, the passion that can get us paid while doing what we want to do. Some examples that I have seen my traveling friends do first hand include graphic design, photography, arts and crafts, writing, virtual management and even dog walking! If you approach your day to day as a culmination of blending work and pleasure, it is really not that hard to attend as many dance events as possible without having to sleep on the floor every night. Just saying’.
(Of course, I couldn’t have done this trip without the awesome housing assistance of Khristi and John from Boston, but it’s nice to mix in housing with some hotel rooms in downtown, as well as doing some fun touristy stuff.)
You can boil it, roast it, broil it, cook it in a pan or a pot
I apologize to all the participants who traveled to Boston for BluesShout – I pretty much ate everything before you got there. My bad. My favourite dish in Boston? Lobster Macaroni and Cheese from Max and Dylans Kitchen Bar Restaurant.
Imagine this – home made macaroni melted with a pound of cheese and tossed in truffle oil. Mixed with GIANT pieces of lobster and topped off with fried crab/onion bits (think a better seafood version of bacon bits) in a seemingly bottomless bowl. All for $16 USD (haha sorry, I’m from Canada so I was able to flex my canadian dollar muscle all month)! Amazing!
It was a dish for old Caesar
BluesSHOUT 2011 was a crazy, crazy time. For the first time ever for a blues event, I really felt like I was *part* of the event rather than just an awestruck bystander. This was mostly due to the fact that people actually knew who I was, which is always nice and flattering. Considering I’m not American and am pretty shy when it comes to big events like BluesSHOUT, this is a big deal to me.
I also made it to the Champions Jack and Jill finals!! WHAT THE SHITTTTT??? I know!!! This was definitely one of my proudest moments in my short blues dancing “career” because BluesSHOUT Chicago 2009 (my first “real” blues event) I didn’t even make it to to the open jack and jill finals and BluesSHOUT Austin 2010, I was on the bottom of the finalist list for open jack and jills. Of course I was still too green to actually dance well during the spotlight (sorry Kara from Baltimore! I promise to do better next time!!) but making it to the “big stage” definitely is a rewarding moment for me. It makes me feel that all those time practicing actually does help in the end. When you live in a country that doesn’t really have consistent blues dances, practicing as much as possible with your laptop pointed to your favourite blues clips really does wonders ten months down the road. I actually have lots to write about my BluesSHOUT Boston experiences, but I’ll leave that for another blog post. Don’t want to get too carried away now whoa right?
If you weren’t able to go, next year it’s going to be in quasi-canadian city of Minneapolis. It’s going to be pretty epic I think.
Traveling is the best!!!
Can I just say one more time that there is nothing better in the world than traveling and dancing! There is so much to see and so much to do that I wish there was some dance magazine out there that would just pay me to write about my experiences of being a normal dude doing what most of us social dancers dream of doing all the time. Another highlight? You also meet so many interesting people (I’m going to raise chickens one day!) that you would never meet normally if you were just traveling for the sake of traveling.
Next stop – back to my old stomping grounds, New York!