Archive for the ‘Biography’ Category

Doctor of Swing Afraid to Dance!

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

In elementary school I wanted to dance, page but I was afraid to go to the school dances. I was afraid of what others would think if I moved to the music. So I danced here and there… alone, sick in my room or when no one else was home. Much of middle school was the same way. I didn’t go to any dances.

In 8th grade I decided to go to my first school dance. It took a bit of courage. I was nervous, health so I asked my Mom’s friend to show me a couple dance steps. She did. That made me feel a lot better – but still nervous. I had a date… that is… I had a guaranteed dance partner. This meant I did not have to ask anyone to dance except the one girl I knew would say “yes”.

I spent most of the night dancing with her. We did the “slow” dance. One step left… one step right… nothing to it. As the night went on, something came over me… perhaps it was dance fever… maybe it was just me starting to have fun dancing… or maybe I was becoming more comfortable with who I was.

Then… the song came on! I remember it like yesterday… “under the board walk… out of the sun… under the board walk… we’ll be havin’ some fun…” My grove was on. And so was the grove of my 8th grade history teacher! So we danced something like the twist… together! Everyone was watching and I didn’t care. In fact, I enjoyed the attention. I was having fun, and that’s what mattered. Let them watch me have fun… and who cares that it’s with my 8th grade history teacher.

My life was forever changed!

I went to every school dance I could after that. My grove came and went. But I knew it was there even when it wasn’t on. My grove still comes and goes… and that fear of dancing – it comes and goes, too. That’s right, even today as I type, I have a fear of dancing that comes and goes. But now, I have something else: I have knowledge. I know I can build the courage to act when that fear is present, and I know the fear will go and my grove will come. In that moment, I experience life in a whole new way: free from fear, in the moment, having pure fun!

Come join me!

A Computer Scientist Dances

Sunday, December 28th, 2008

He chose computer engineering as his major. He likes computers. He enjoys working with computers. This is a logical choice. There’s money to be made working with computers.

After a couple of fun years in computer engineering (well, prescription not all fun, diabetes and pregnancy there was that electronics course of doom), this web he met she. He and she became us and us wanted to do something fun. The she part of us spotted a swing dance flier. The he part of us thought that was a good idea. So us began swing dancing.

Mean while, he graduated from computer engineering. He decided that electronics stuff was too much! So he left the electronics behind and went into computer science for graduate school. Grad school was even more fun. Us continued to dance.

But then one day… us became he and she again. She went home. He stayed at school. Us was no more. He was lonely. “Ah ha!” he proclaimed. “There are lots of women at the dances. I will go dancing more!” And so he went dancing every chance he got. About 3-4 nights a week.

Dancing was fun. Dance provided many nice opportunities to make friends. He managed to still find time for computer science grad school.

He took all the dance classes he could from Solely Swing (the student run swing dance club of Virginia Tech). He attended all the meetings. He began traveling to other towns for fun dances.

Soon, the instructors of Solely Swing asked him if he would like to teach dance. He said, “Yes!” and became a dance instructor. In the mean time, he received his masters of computer science and began working on his PhD.

He began performing with Solely Swing. He helped organize dances, workshops, and hire bands. He was now part of a team of enthusiastic dancers and friends. How much fulfillment he received from these experiences!

Some time went on. He made friends, he learned to dance, he taught dancing, and he managed to continue in grad school.

The day came when he received his PhD, and he took the title of Dr.. He did not wish to remain with computers anymore. He had a much more rewarding and fulfilling life in dancing. He turned away from computers and towards dancing.

He became… Dr. Swing.