The Soapbox Archives:
One of my friends missed the announcement for my birthday party because she doesn't check her Hotmail account anymore; I thought she was just ignoring my email.
Your email account is like your physical address: people know they can find you there and that's where they send your communications. If you move to a new place, what do you do? You tell your friends where you've moved to and set up a forwarding address so your mail will reach you. That's why I still have my first public email address that I got in 1991; it's forwarded to my current permanent address so that people from my past can still reach me through that old address. That's what you should do if you change your email address. Set up a forwarding on your old email address to your new address so all your email gets forwarded to the new address. And if appropriate after a certain length of time, delete the old account so people will know not to send email there anymore.
And, as I've said before, those free services host *millions* of accounts with their address books in the "cloud". That makes them very attractive to spammers for hacking. If they figure out your password, they can spam all your friends in your address book. If you don't use those accounts anymore, delete them and save your friends from potential spammers.
If you have a listing on this website, check your listing(s) to make sure your information is correct. I'm doing my annual review of all the listings on my website to see if the teachers and venues are still in business.
Make sure I have contact information for your venue.
If you've recently closed down your business, google yourself and find out what websites are still listing your business and get them to remove your listing. There's no point in cluttering up search results with venues that have gone out of business.
By the way, I'm going to start adding a picture of bands playing at swing dances to the calendar listings. I always prefer live music. If you have a band playing at your event, try to include a link to a picture of the band, preferably 150 pixels wide.
This week, some idiot slammed into my girlfriend on the dance floor. He had at least twice her weight and he was dancing wildly and taking up more than his share of dance floor without any regard to the other people dancing around him. This wasn't just a normal bump on the dance floor; this jerk hit her so hard that she had to stop dancing to recover her balance. And he went on dancing without so much as a backward glance.
And he would have continued doing so if I hadn't slapped him off the back and started chewing his ass out.
I can't believe how ignorant that jerk was. He *hurt* someone else on the dance floor and didn't care until he got called on it. How many other people did he hit that night? How many other dancers felt threatened by his presence. Oh yeah, he's not a "new" dancer.
The leader is responsible for everything that he and his partner do on the dance floor. His number one job is to protect and take care of his partner. Oh, did I mention that, earlier in the same song, this guy led his partner into my girlfriend? Because I was paying attention, I managed to pull her out of danger so she only got brushed by the other woman. Obviously, if a follower runs into another dancer, it's her leader's fault; he's the one guiding her on the dance floor and sees where he's sending her out. (fyi: people who dance with me probably notice that I'm always looking behind me; I'm checking to make sure it's safe before leading them in that direction.)
And there's more to be considered. If some leader happens to hit another follower because he was careless (and ignorant), that's pretty bad. However, if he harms someone's *girlfriend or wife*, that creates a potentially volatile situation. This goes beyond annoyance and moves into the realm of anger; it's no longer just fun and games. No guy worth his dance shoes is going to let anyone get away with injuring his significant other. "Oops, sorry" just isn't enough at that point.
I'm glad I'm not in the dance business. It's just a hell of a lot of work and headaches. I suppose a part of it has to do with being nice to people I don't like. I'd also have to be "on" all the time whenever I'm in public because people'd expect that and I'd have to keep up appearances to maintain the public image, even when I'm tired and grumpy. And then, there's the public's expectations.
I don't know about you, but I have a hard time remembering people's names. It usually takes me three times to remember someone's name (when I'm so embarassed at forgetting them that I *have* to remember them). I remember an incident where someone got offended at a dance organizer because she had been going the guy's dance for 10 years and he had never acknowledged her presence, much less thanked her for coming. I don't think it was fair to expect the organizer to remember the names of the hundreds of people from the previous month, much less the names of everyone who had passed through the doors during the previous 10 years. That's just an unreasonable expectation.
I always hear about dancers who expect way more out of their dance instructors/organizers than is fair. Some people get all offended by dance organizers who don't go out of their way to greet them. In reality, it might be surprising to find out that some of these "outgoing" dance professionals are actually quite *quiet* and introverted in real life (Tony Tye is a perfect example). Sure, put a microphone in their hand and they (have to) get activated; otherwise, they're normally quiet and reserved.
Some conscientious dance organizers try to dance with the new dancers to make them feel welcome and give them the confidence to keep dancing. But then, they might have to also worry about silly things like paying their bands, not blowing the fuses with all their electrical equipment, and keeping their neighbors happy with the noise level, not to mention getting enough people to come to the dance.
Even as a 20-year veteran of the Boston dance scene, I get ignored during a dance by most of the organizers, including the ones I hang out with. Yeah, I think they have plenty to occupy their minds. The dancers should cut these promoters some slack and let them get on with the business of running their dances and classes.
I do have a suggestion for people who complain about the dance organizers. Go up and talk to these dance organizers and/or ask them to dance. Some of them can be quite friendly and talkative when prodded and many will make the time to dance with anyone who asks them. Some of them are pretty nice people.