The Soapbox Archives:
I started out in 1991 when there were much fewer dance studios. How many current dancers were around when we would sit by the phone waiting for the moment we could start calling in to register for classes at Rugcutters? It was worth the expense of buying a new telephone that had a Redial button. And sometimes we'd still get closed out of classes.
There was the period around 1994 or so when West Coast Swing hit Boston big time and attendance at Swing/Lindy Hop events dropped dramatically. We weren't sure if Lindy Hop would survive during this time.
Of course, there was the big revival fueled by "the GAP commercial" around 1998 that convinced a lot of stupid people that doing aerials (without any training) on the dance floor was considered swing dancing. Luckily that generation got bored with swing dancing and left to find other things to do, leaving behind those who were more serious about the social aspects of dancing.
We've had Balboa in the area for a while, but it took a while for it to really get a foothold in the social dancers' minds.
There have probably been other cycles and phases of swing and social dancing in the Boston area, but I'm only considering everything that's happened since 1986; that's a long enough period. Nothing stays the same forever and we've been around to see it. Everyone and everything must change; every season of change brings the same sentiment by the newer dancers: "We're not going to do what the old-timers (i.e., the previous generation of dancers) did; our stuff is going to endure forever."
The dance community (and each venue) can only endure by recruiting and welcoming new (and beginner) dancers. The dance venues must always be beginner-friendly. Venues must be welcoming to all dancers, not just the "in" crowd or the cliques. And the venues must evolve because the dancers change.
I'm sure most of you are familiar with the coded stickers they put on fruits and vegetables in the supermarket. I had always thought that they were just used for pricing and inventory. I didn't realize that there was also informative data on them. I got the following:
Note: After I downloaded the first image in the document from homedepot.com, an ad for that very item from the same orange-colored store appeared on my Facebook page. Sounds like a perfectly good reason to not allow any cookies to be stored on your computer.
Down in Georgia, they're about to pass a major gun law. Normally, I'd just shrug my shoulders but I have to ask how stupid does someone have to be to think that guns in bars is a good idea?
I was reading the news and saw that North Korea launched a couple of missiles into the Sea of Japan/The East Sea the other day. I was thinking...who cares? I think everyone is overreacting to the situation. I mean, every missile North Korea launches into the sea means one less missile they'll launch at anyone else later; it's not like they have infinite resources. If I pretended that there was a ship in front of me and I fired a shot across this same imaginary ship, are anyone really suppose to care?
Let's face it: this is the same reaction that a two-year-old has when he or she isn't allowed to have that extra cupcake they wanted. The rest of the world should tell the North Korean dictator that grownups don't throw temper tantrums. We could, however, be helpful by suggesting that he'd save money by sitting down and holding his breath until he turned blue like a proper toddler.