Many of us at one time or another have known the feeling of being “on the outside.” Whether it’s in our local community or at weekend conventions, it can be hard to find a group of friends to hang out with – and it can be even harder when there are others who seem to have it all. In this episode, we chat about our own experiences being outsiders. We start with a discussion of the “cool kids,” our own feelings about not being one of the “cool kids,” and what it’s like to be “drifters” instead. We chat about our social anxieties, how our upbringing has shaped who we are, and how social media influences our experiences in the dance world. We also look at how being on top isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and how being on top isn’t the be-all end-all of social dancing. This conversation is for anyone who’s ever felt alone, out-of-place, or like an outsider in our dance community (…and also those who haven’t).
We love a good conversation with friends. So for our latest live show at Boogie by the Bay, we teamed up with the hosts of “Wine Coast Swing,” Brandi Guild and Robert Royston, to chat, laugh, and drink wine! In this episode, we talk about Boogie by the Bay and what makes it special. We talk about the challenges of dealing with rejection and defeat. We discuss how Robert, Brandi, and Deborah have stayed relevant for so long. And we invited Dr. Martha Stark to come chat for a bit about her work on neuroplasticity and intentionality. This one is full of personal stories, vulnerability, and lots of camaraderie.
We always have a great time when we get together with our audience, and our latest live show was no exception. We sat down with the fun and funny Christopher Dumond to chat about his background in dance, his rise to the champion level, and his own ups and downs in the dance world. He shared his experience with – and his passion for – music and audio production and how it has influenced his dancing. And he shared his views of the changes the US Open is making to judging this year, as well as his thoughts on routines in general. Then, we invited an audience member to play a game where we learned even more about Chris. Listen and enjoy!
Culture can be difficult to recognize or even define, and yet it permeates and shapes the dynamic of any group of people that interacts regularly. In our global West Coast Swing community, we have a culture – and many subcultures – that dictate how we think, feel, and act. In this episode, we sit down with Dr. Jennifer Parlamis, Associate Professor at the University of San Francisco School of Management, to talk about organizational culture more broadly and our dance community culture more specifically. The topic is a big one to chew on in one hour, but we look at some of the aspects that define who we are as a community, how leaders and influencers shape our culture, and what steps we might take to create the culture we want to see. It’s a heady and robust conversation, but chock full of interesting ideas that hopefully get us talking more about this topic.
Can you believe it’s been one year since we released our first episode? To celebrate the occasion, we sat down to reflect upon our first year making this podcast. We discussed our favorite episodes, the challenges of making the show, and what we’ve learned (or not) from doing the show. We also looked ahead at the guests we hope to sit down with and the kinds of episodes we hope to bring you in the coming year. Thank you all for listening, sharing your thoughts, and joining in the conversation with us and others – we wouldn’t be here without you. Here’s to another year of connecting and conversing!