I first saw Blues dancing in its modern form in 2005 at the Windy City Lindy Exchance in Chicago. Lindy Hop, a form of Swing dancing, started to reemerge in the late 1990s, partially due to the GAP advertisements featuring Swing Era dances that aired in 19981. Modern Swing was in the process of rediscovering itself as dance instructors were watching classic movies to rediscover and teach Lindy Hop.
Many DJs found that much of the danceable music from that era was intermixed in their collections with Blues. In the late nights between social dancing and classes, swing dancers were rediscovering Blues music. Unlike Lindy Hop which rediscovered an existing dance that had faded but had not truly died, modern Blues dancing is an amalgamation of both original, non-structured movement with many borrowed steps and stylings from Swing and other Jazz dances.
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When two people dance together, it’s a lot like the first night of sex between two lovers. It can be delightful and filled with laughter as two people explore the conversations tucked within each others bodies, or it can be like fitting a futon through a doorframe. The type of dance or even the skill and level of the dancers has very little to do with how a dance turns out. A good dance can become a living thing; an exchange of ideas in a tapestry of movement. Like a well crafted composition of instrumental music, it is a conversation without words.
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I was once an evangelistic Christian. I believed in this endeavour to the point where I went on a mission trip to my home country of India. Prior to the trip I only knew, and learned, what was wrong with Hinduism and why Christianity was the only truth. I did not bother to learn about the culture I’d be placed into nor did I attempt to objectively understand their beliefs of my own people. I truly believed I was doing the work of God in this country. What hurt the most is the memory my grandmother took of me, as being irreverent and intolerant, so much different from the misbehaved yet loving child she had known years prior, as the last memory of me before she passed.
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A small group of us would heard to Camp Washington Chili after the Thursday night dances. The six or seven of us, ages ranging from college students to young professionals to retirees, would occupy the table of the diner long into the night and past the hour when it would be reasonable for us to go to sleep. We were dancers, and although the discussion meandered, the topic I spoke of more reverently than any other was that of dance philosophy. The group grew to the point where it was no longer intimate, and those who I enjoyed the company of the most stopped dancing, but the philosophy of dance is a subject that can be carried into almost every aspect of one’s life.
The modern office cubicle came about sometime in the 1960s. A cubicle seeks to grant some degree of privacy while taking up a minimal amount of space on open office floors. They are usually easy to assemble, dismantle, move and resize. People who work in cubicles typically have all sorts of photos, toys and other knickknacks on display if the work environment allows it. In this way they are all slightly unique, as unique as each individual worker. In the same way, under the decorations and personal items, each cube is exactly the same, just like all their occupants.
In the United States Deceleration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,” a phrase which, in the context of his time period, was indicative of a people who opposed the political and religious notion of The Divine Right of the King. But in a modern context, there are two things clearly wrong with this statement. Humans were not created, we evolved, and we did not evolve equally.
Years ago, I found a online journal of an aerospace engineer. Her hopes, desires and random thoughts were placed out there on the web. Fascinated, I created a website of my own. Starting out as just a journal, it later expended to music, band and even movie reviews. I watched as friends around me created Live Journals, Dead Journals and Blogger accounts. Then slowly, one by one, I saw them either totally delete their accounts or restrict them to friends or by password. Some of their posts were hilarious, but for many, it was too much, too exposed and too open.
Upon the discussion of illegal immigration, specifically people from one nation working in another state while being undocumented, a common argument against immigrants is that the act is itself illegal. Regardless of the reasons why one would chose to leave their home and their lives to travel to a new land, the issue of legality as an argument against such individuals is a funny one. There are places in this world were it is illegal for women to show their faces in public. In many developed countries, there were times when it was legal to own slaves, or illegal for a person from one race to sit at the same table or drink from the same water fountain of someone from another race. It was once illegal to divorce and in many places, it is still illegal to admit to being a homosexual. Although both realms are somewhat subjective, it can be argued that legality does not necessarily equivocate with what is morally right.
By some virtue I don’t fully understand, I have a lot of friends from various walks of life. I am surrounded by those who are both older and younger than myself; those who are professionals, students, professional students and those who are barely making it. For New Years Eve, I’m one of those people who often jumps from one party or group to another in a futile attempt to spend a little time with everyone. It was at a dinner event this past year, an event that left my coffers a bit more drained than I would have liked, that taught me a valuable lesson about clothing.
Last year my parents asked me what I wanted for Christmas. I told them they didn’t need to get me anything. I no longer celebrated Christmas. I’ve grown tired of the rampant consumerism associated with a holiday season that originally came about because humans were simple thankful they had survived another frigid, harsh winter. Although I have no problem with people celebrating any of the winter holidays, I can say my life has been amazingly less stressful during this time of the year. Meanwhile others bustle around to buy gifts, half of which well end up in a storage bin anyway.