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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.

Twelve Things I Learned + Thirteen I Would Like to Learn

I had a fairly conservative New Years’ Eve, knowing that I would hit the ground running at the start of 2013. Today I pack up my house, hand over the keys to a new tenant and embark on a five month dance tour that will take me to Las Vegas, Portland, Hawaii and multiple cities … Continue reading »

Categories: Business, Change | 3 Comments

On Dance Culture: Separate and Unequal

Bourbon Street, New Orleans We approached Bourbon Street in a circumspect manner, like pioneers skirting the edge of an overflowing river. The “drunken-steins” as my companion called them, spilled down the adjoining streets like bubbling tributaries, sometimes gurgling straight into us. We side-stepped and dodged, re-directing our own flow, forging across the stream… Continue reading

Categories: Dance, Travel | 2 Comments

How to Dance Every Day

Every so often I reach a point where I feel it’s time to make a new agreement with myself, a commitment to change something in my daily life in hopes that it will somehow positively impact my life. One of the agreements I find myself trying to keep often (and failing) is to dance every day. … Continue reading »

Categories: Dance | 1 Comment

On Winning, and Losing

I didn’t win the solo blues competition at Rose City Blues and that’s eating at me. But it shouldn’t because I’m used to not winning. Winning has only been a recent development in my life. In the past, when I didn’t win, but wanted to, I asked the judges for feedback. This time I didn’t. … Continue reading »

Categories: Competition, Dance | Tags: , | 2 Comments

The Top Four Dance Clips Every Man Should Watch

Teaching American men how to dance is a different ball of wax than teaching American women to dance. Dance seems to be a natural part of a girl’s early childhood development. Aside from social encouragement to take dance classes, even if you grow up poor (like I did), dancing around in your underwear to Cyndi … Continue reading »

Categories: Dance | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Listening and Leading

Last night we had our weekly practice session. Because this weekend is CUBE, the Chicago Underground Blues Experience (an annual social dance event focused around the Chicago Blues Festival), the dancers in our practice session decided they wanted to focus on dancing that makes you go “oooh yeah!” Three hundred dancers from around Chicago, around … Continue reading »

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Flashdance Moments

Screencap of some studio time. It’s Thursday morning. That means it’s a studio morning. In order to prove to myself that I’m serious about the solo blues competition in June, I booked studio time for myself every Thursday from 10-noon. I’ve never actually done this before, but it does have a certain “Flashdance” feeling. Time… … Continue reading »

Categories: Competition, Dance | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Dance Tour = Done

American Sky I’m home finally. I’ve had a week to unpack, clean-up and catch up and now it’s my first Monday morning in my kitchen, writing and getting back to the thing I was craving: my rhythm. Travelers are neophiles. They’re obsessed with newness and new activity. They’re addicted to the endorphin… Continue reading

Categories: Travel | Leave a comment

Going on an Adventure Helps You Focus

It’s true, I’ve hardly written on this trip. December was amazing because I had minimal distractions. I got up in the morning, made breakfast, grabbed my laptop and walked down the hill into town, sat in a café for a few hours, downloaded podcasts, walked back up the hill, went jogging, made a snack and … Continue reading »

Categories: Change, Food, Travel | Leave a comment

Train Musings

When I was 15, I came to Europe with my Grandmother. Only now do I really appreciate the effort it took her to arrange this trip. I find myself shuddering over the confusion and hassle of booking train and plane tickets and back then we didn’t have the internet. Hear that kids? There was no … Continue reading »

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