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Author Archives: Ruby

About Ruby

Born in the mountains of Idaho, I spent the early years of my life learning how to figure skate, ski and traverse the country by air, van and foot. At age 10, I was re-located to San Francisco by way of family drama and I lived there for 19 years, with the exception of four years at Boarding School. When I returned to the West Coast for college, I began to examine my interests in audio engineering, writing, dance, music and performance art. In 2001, I took up social dance, and by 2003, I was traveling to other cities for Swing and Blues Exchanges. In 2005, I packed up my San Francisco life, stuck it in a storage unit, and struck out across the United States in my very first car, an '88 Ford Camper Van. After three and a half months of travel, dance, adventure and introspection, I settled in a Chicago suburb, with the help of a few local Lindy-Hoppers. Today, I live in Chicago and travel regularly from my home-base to teach dance. In between, I practice bodywork and am honing my web and graphic design skills. For fun, I concoct fancy cocktails, play drums and guitar, ride my bicycle whenever possible and engage in culinary experiments, which I foist on any willing participant.

Towards a More Authentic Self: Part One

I chose the tag-line for this blog “lessons learned on and off the dance floor” because I hoped that what I write here would not only resonate with people who care about dancing, but that non-dancers would appreciate my process and find some value as well. But more importantly, the lessons you learn in one setting … Continue reading »

Categories: Change, Communication, Dance | 3 Comments

Fear Of Missing In

This post is for the dance junkies and the traveling dance instructors. But anyone who has caught the dance bug can probably relate. Backstory There was a time when I took nine dance classes a week. There was a time when I went dancing four or five nights a week. I went to an all-night … Continue reading »

Categories: Dance, Travel | 17 Comments

On Giving It Away For Free

Years ago when I lived in San Francisco and times were tight, I was practicing massage therapy on a regular basis. Occasionally, I would question whether or not my rates were too high. I’d bring it up with my best friend, who founded his own online business printing high quality business cards (they were expensive… … Continue reading »

Categories: Business, Dance | 8 Comments

Pure Following vs. Being Conversational: My Order of Operations on the Social Dance Floor

The Joy of Conversation Sara VanVreede asked Lucas Weismann and I this question after she watched us have a discussion about following during a practice session: From Sara: 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 Continue reading

Categories: Communication, Dance | 6 Comments

The Right Way to Compare Yourself to Others, and Why You Should

Here’s a feel-good post for the morning inspired by One of the biggest reasons we’re not content with ourselves and our lives is that we compare ourselves to other people. —Leo Babauta Leo’s got it all wrong. He’s comparing himself to the wrong people at the wrong time. Picture it: you see photos of … Continue reading »

Categories: Business, Change | 1 Comment

The Difference Between Winners and Losers

For Danielle “You have no idea how it is in the first Round,” Floyd [Patterson] would tell his confidant, Gay Talese. “You’re out there with all those people around you, and those cameras, and the whole world looking in, and all that movement, that excitement, and ‘The Star Spangled Banner,’ and the whole nation hoping … Continue reading »

Categories: Competition, Dance | 1 Comment

You Think of Yourself as a Dancer…

Well, you’re not. Just like how a dude on OkCupid holding a guitar in his profile picture is not a Musician. A Musician is someone who gets paid to play music for other people and who has a record contract. A Dancer is someone who gets paid to dance. We’re talking Baryschnikov, Bruhn, Pavlova, Hines, Hijikata, Nijinksky, Morris, Tharp, Sparks, Robson. You don’t know who those people are? That’s because you’re not a dancer. Continue reading »

Categories: Change, Dance | 8 Comments

What I’m Doing for the next 125 Days

Finally home, from traveling the world. I’m home finally. For the first time today, I crossed the threshold of my apartment after nearly five months. Between January 2nd and today I’ve been to Las Vegas, Portland, Eugene, Oakland, 3 of the Hawaiian Islands, San Francisco, back to Chicago (but not to my house) to… Continue reading

Categories: Change, Dance | Leave a comment

The Glorious Life of a Traveling Dance Instructor

I’m sitting in a house on the outskirts of Paris, in a ville called Alfortville, which reminds me of Hackney, London. The black people here are very black, like they just came out of the sun in the sunniest part of Africa, not like the creamy blacks of America, who all have some white blood … Continue reading »

Categories: Business, Dance, Travel | 4 Comments

Mistakes, Awkward Moments and Lessons Learned While Traveling

Studies show that people reading about others’ lives on social networks creates envy and dissatisfaction, because people choose to present the most positive aspects of their personalities and lives on facebook, twitter and personal blogs. The New York Times observation about “perfect vacations on Facebook” reminded me of all the imperfect and awful moments I’ve … Continue reading »

Categories: Travel | 1 Comment