There are no stupid questions

Someone had the temerity to ask if there were internal characteristics to a swing song that make it preferable for dancing balboa instead of lindy hop.  He conducted a small sample study entitled “Can I dance balboa to this song?” and published it on his blog.  Parts of the internet went up in indignant flames.  Why? […]

An Organizer’s Toolbox

So you wanna be an organizer.  Maybe you want to start a swing scene in your area.  Maybe you want a different KIND of swing scene in your area.  Maybe you’re joining/taking over/inheriting a scene from/with other organizers.  Regardless of how you got here, I’d like to just say “Thank you”, “Bless your heart”, and […]

The Practicalities of Saying “No”

I’ve been thinking about defaults lately.  I’m kind of known for coming up with kooky experiments for my students, and I had recently shared this one with another teacher: Ask the class to all raise their hands in the air.  Ask them to drop their hands to answer a question. This idea works with any […]

Happy New (Event) Year!

I’m not big on resolutions.  Part of this may be because I work in an education system that re-starts every September, so I experience “new year” syndrome twice as fast as most adults.  Or it may be because I’m Chinese, and the lunar new year has always figured more prominently in my life.  (And let’s face […]

Vacation Message

I will be turning off the blogosphere until 2016, so I’ll see you all in January! …leave a message at the tone. BLEEEEEEEEEEEEP


If you haven’t spent enough time with millennials this season (or actually…maybe five years ago), FOMO stands for “Fear Of Missing Out”.  I know this fear well, not so much because I’m a millennial, but because I was a hyper-extended asian kid.  I was the kid who racked up extra-curriculars on top of straight-A grades. […]

On Fucking Up and Feeling Fine

This is one of my favorite dance pictures. I’ve tried to find some source information, but google images has failed me, and so I assume that it’s probably one of those illegal copies of something from somewhere (since there isn’t a digitally accessible copyrighted version online).  In any case, it’s absolutely beautiful: the way her […]

If Life is a Highway, Dance is a Dunebuggy

I might be alone in this regard, but when I talk to new and ambitious dancers, I don’t like to focus on competitions, or technique, or privates, or any of that stuff that makes you a “better” dancer.  I’ve seen far too many dancers fixate on these things as their golden ticket to the top: […]

“A Dance through Time” by Jeremy Barlow

What attracted me to this book was the prospect of light reading and lots of pictures. Anyone who has struggled through a denser tome (coughMarshallStearnscoughcough) would understand my hesitancy to jump right in to something heavy. Just by flipping through the pages of A Dance Through Time, you can see that the vast majority of […]

Winning’s Not the Point (mostly)

I was going to wait for an actual Tuesday to do this, but with the Harvest Moon J&J Derby going on at Wednesday Night Hop and tonight’s solo jazz comp at Fog City Stomp, I’ve really been thinking about this topic a lot.  PLUS, I had a great conversation with some competitors from Wednesday and I realized […]