The Girl With The Tree Tattoo
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Photo credit: Kelly Paige

It feels wrong to dance right now.
When there are people out there
Who think it’s ok or funny or cool
To storm our nation’s Capital,
To break windows and doors
While people on the other side wonder
If this would be the day they died.

It feels wrong to dance
On the graves of literally thousands of people
Who die daily from a virus that could have been,
Should have been,
Controlled months ago.

It feels wrong to dance
When respect for ourselves,
Our neighbors,
Our country
Has been reduced to a sad, tattered rag
Flapping in the wind.

It feels wrong to dance
On the surface of a planet that has done everything it can
To support and nurture us,
And that we have only deceived and decimated. …

2020 added its own dose of “special” to working remotely

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Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

It was midday on Friday, March 13, 2020 when my office coworkers and I received the email from the higher-ups that effective immediately, everyone was to work from home until further notice. There was chatter among the cubicles as people discussed how exactly immediate was “immediately.” Was this an evacuation scenario or more like “last call”?

Most people were packed up and out the door within the hour. I stayed a little longer to print out some reports I needed to edit that afternoon.
My dogs were pleasantly surprised to have me home earlier than usual that Friday. I think they were a bit confused the following week when I told them, “Ok, time for Mama to go to work!” …

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Fred Astaire West Coast Dancesport Championships January 2020 — Photo credit: Gary Flashner

The ballroom dance world, like any other sport, has its dark side. There are the stories of studios or teachers pressuring or manipulating students into buying more lessons than they need or signing up for events they’re not ready for. You don’t need to spend much time in the competitive corner of the world before you start hearing stories of certain dancers being favored over others because of who they dance with, who their coaches are, or how much money they spend at competitions.

Then there is the gossip, petty remarks and judge-y comments about people’s partnerships, costumes, dancing abilities, whether or not they’re getting special treatment from whomever and why, etc., …

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Me concentrating during solo dance practice

Almost everyone has a hobby, some activity they enjoy outside of work or home obligations.

Maybe you belong to a neighborhood basketball team. Maybe you have an affinity for collecting stamps or antique china dolls. Maybe you have 150 photos of the same landscape because you spent hours experimenting with the different settings on your Nikon. Bird watching, rock climbing, quilting, surfing, ice hockey…the list goes on.

My “hobby” is ballroom dancing. I put the word “hobby” in quotes because it isn’t actually a hobby. It’s so much more than that. …

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Photo by Amritanshu Sikdar on Unsplash

“So what do you do?”

My entrepreneurial journey is a relatively tame story, and by no means, a guide for how to successfully build your own full-time business (I’m still working the “day job”). The idea for starting my own business was born out of my dream of being a published author, which I’ve carried with me since I was old enough to read and write. When I discovered my passion for ballroom dance, I added “professional dancer” to that dream, but with a question mark because 1) at the time, I was old for a dancer (nearly 30) and 2) I wasn’t sold on the idea of becoming a ballroom dance teacher, which is pretty much the only path to becoming a professional ballroom dancer who can afford to eat every day. Still, I knew I wanted dance to be part of my future life that wouldn’t require a day job. …

I’ve watched My Octopus Teacher three times and will watch it again. It is an amazing piece of art, both visually and in the story. As Tim Denning points out…

I don’t think I belong here.

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Preparing to dance at the 2014 Holiday Dance Classic (Photo credit: Gary Flashner)

That thought echoed in my head as I watched the pro-am American Rhythm session at the 2014 Holiday Dance Classic, held at the Tropicana in Las Vegas. It was my second competition as a pro-am ballroom dance student. I was there to dance the American Smooth style at the Bronze level. Smooth wasn’t until the next day, but my teacher was competing with other students in Rhythm and I wanted to show my support.

All morning, I watched ladies on the floor, dancing in rhinestones, feathers and fringe. During one of his breaks, my teacher pointed out students who seemed to be at almost every competition. I learned that some pro-am students were wealthy enough to fly themselves and their teachers around the country all year, dancing hundreds of entries at one competition after another. …

Disclaimer: I’m not a trained medical professional. These thoughts are my own and born from my own experience. None of them should be considered professional advice. The main point of this article is I’m doing what’s best for my body.

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Photo by Penguinuhh on Unsplash

No pain, no gain.

Train insane or remain the same.

Pain is just weakness leaving your body.

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard these or similar catch phrases used in the fitness industry to motivate its clientele. For years, I took them on as mantras. Being so sore after a workout that I couldn’t walk up a flight of stairs or pick up a bag of groceries without groaning was like earning a badge of honor. Push through the pain. No excuses. …

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Photo credit: Gary Flashner

I have a bad habit of getting too far ahead of myself. Then when I look back to where I am now, the gap appears so huge that I start to lose hope that I’ll ever close it.

No matter how good you get at something, there will always be someone who is better.

I’m especially susceptible when it comes to my dancing. I am a passionate and committed ballroom dancer, but it’s not my profession. So I spend more hours sitting in front of a computer for the day job than I do in the dance studio. I’ll see someone else more advanced in the dance studio and think I’ll never be able to reach that level. …


The Girl With The Tree Tattoo

Tattooed ballroom dancer and writer showing up as her true, authentic self and encouraging others to do the same. Here, writings go beyond dance and into Life.

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