The Music is Cantina Rag by Jackson F Smith – For more info or for the full track, go to http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Jackson_F_Smith/Jackson_Frederick_Smith/
Sometimes motivation breeds action, but just as often action breeds motivation.
Yesterday (Sunday), I spent the evening with my dad Jake; cutting and sanding some boards that should become our next batch presentation boards for our soon-to-drop online store. They’ll become slab furniture and presentation boards. A piece that should last at least four generations if treated well (more on four generations later soon, I promise…)
Afterward, I performed some minor repairs on some leather items in the house and worked on a design for a sheath for one of my knives.
I should probably be exhausted, but for some reason, my stupid mind brimmed with ideas of what I can do next week and the week after! This is especially true given that I’ll be flying to the Tucson Gem Show this weekend and won’t have all of my tools with me. I could barely sleep.
Today, I spent the day working on the final phase of an ash entertainment center for work. Assisting the designers in the basic skill-related aspects of it and keeping an eye out for questions I have about design.
Afterward, I went home and practiced using a plunge router for the first time to cut a Mortise into some scrap I brought home from work.
Finished up the day playing with West System Epoxy and Waterlox Poly Finish on some walnut. Things are moving and that movement is helps to build inertia. What kinds of things do you do to build inertia?
The seed of this piece came from my reaction to a piece from Salon.com called “Why I Hate White Belly Dancers”. It was a passionate article and I found a lot of it to be problematic (that’s PC code for I disagreed or found it offensive right?). One of the things I couldn’t help but agree with was the practice of renaming yourself something that “sounds” like it’s from another culture. From there my mind wandered to George Carlin’s pieces about guys with goofy names, then to a buzz feed article about athletes with unfortunate names.
I’m taking the months of December and January to visit my hometown of Stillwater, MN.
Some of you know that I’ve been on the road as a traveling dance instructor for the last several years. While traveling as a dance instructor, I get to take a look at the people around me and see into their lives; see what makes them tick (a bit) and see patterns arise between the way they approach dance and the way they approach the rest of their existence.
I left Copenhagen station last night on the night train to Amsterdam. If you’ve never taken a night train you have two main options. I sitting car or a sleeper car (couchette), Don’t even get me started on the commuter car option (basically it’s not one, you don’t want it). For the first few stops, I had the room to myself and thought I was a pretty lucky guy. Somewhere in rural Denmark, I was joined by a young almost-college aged kid who was going to his first trip to Amsterdam. His english was just good enough for me to realize that he wasn’t there to see the canals. He was an amiable guy and after awhile I went to the shower room to charge my devices.
When you take the German trains on an overnight trip, sometimes you have modern trains and sometimes you don’t. If you’re lucky enough to be on an old-style train, don’t be surprised if the conductors are a bit grumpy when you ask where you can find an outlet. They’re just as tired of people asking as people are of asking the question.
A Student’s Question
Throwing this in an email because Facebook will manage to lose it. I don’t know if it’s a class thought, a “help me sort this out for myself by talking about it” thought or something to look at in a lesson but…I’m hoping maybe you can at least help me stop making my brain spin every time I think about it.
So, when I was watching you and Ruby dance, the topic of matching your lead vs being given space to stylize came about, and Ruby commented that the less her lead gives, the more she matches/less flashy her movements are because she has little to respond to from her lead.
Is there ever a point in a class to address that sort of topic? Especially as follows are developing their own styles, we definitely get conflicting messages about styling vs matching. Plenty of times we hear “match your lead” and then in solo classes “move with the music” but at least with a number of MN leads, there’s an assumption that if they place a follow in open position, she is not supposed to match the lead except in pulse.
Personally I agree with Ruby that, sure I can make stuff up and solo, but I’d like to have something to react to from my lead. As dancers, I think we get a lot of “match your partner” and then also “leads, listen to your follow/let her do her own thing” (as far as I can figure out, those aren’t the same thing) and it gets super confusing and frustrating when you think one thing will happen when you place a follow in open and that thing you want, but didn’t explicitly lead, doesn’t happen.
I suppose the gist of this is: how does a lead successfully communicate that he wants a follow to do her own thing, and how does a follow explain, short of having a conversation prior to dancing, that maybe she wants or needs her lead to give her feedback?
In the Beginning…
I’ll be the first to admit that for most of my life, I haven’t been the most community-minded person. Maybe that makes me a bad person, or maybe it’s because I grew up in the woods about 40 minutes by bike from my nearest friends. Whatever the case, the whole “go-team! Rah Rah! Let’s-do-it-for-the-community-thing” never really sat well with me. I got the whole boy scout thing as far as earning merit badges and learning interesting skills went, but that was mostly so that if I was lost in the woods, or trapped under a burning bear in an earthquake I would know how to escape with only a pair of tweezers, a rubber band and some homemade c4 plastique explosive (like you probably have lying around your house…).
I never understood that community was a thing to strive for. The same with people who use terms like “the people.” To this day when this is used, I get the strange feeling that I’m somehow not included in that group they’re referring to as “the people”.