PageLines- RebeccaPaul-25.jpgHey, Rebecca Brightly here. I write creative nonfiction and other essays, some of which are published. I also run, jump, and climb on unusual things like trees, buildings, and handrails. I have a few interesting stories to share. But things didn’t start here.

Thirteen years ago, I fell in love with lindy hop. As I got better at dancing, I noticed beginners tended to struggle with the same problems I had: fear of looking silly or being rejected, frustration at lack of progress, and so on. In 2010, I began sharing my ideas and experience to help new dancers gain confidence and dance their best.

In 2014, I quit dancing to raise my demanding new baby. The words stopped flowing, like a broken faucet I had no time or energy to fix. It was rough. But after a few years, my child became more independent, and I filled my time with writing classes and parkour. When the words began to pour out again, I discovered I was writing personal essays.

I create to explore complex ideas, to connect, to be vulnerable when I feel encased in armor. Currently, I’m writing about class ambivalence, being a femme-presenting person in a culture dominated by masculinity, and why I keep scraping my shins.

Eight years after starting this blog, I still ruminate on the struggles we face when learning new things, and how those struggles ripple throughout the rest of our lives.

The Bulleted Version With Fun Facts and Numbers

  • Grew up in a 3-bedroom house in the Chicago suburbs where her parents still live
  • Wrote and directed a (very bad) one-act play at the tender age of 18
  • Jumped hurdles and crawled through storm drainage pipes with her high school track and cross country teams
  • Danced and taught lindy hop in North Carolina from 2005
  • Studied and practiced massage therapy and Kinesis Myofascial Integration from 2006-2013
  • Accidentally moved to Seattle in 2010 when she injured her back and couldn’t fly home. (Luckily her brother owns two sports rehab clinics and treats all her injuries.)
  • Started Dance World Takeover in late 2010
  • Self-published The Beginner Dancer’s Survival Guide in 2012
  • Discovered parkour in 2017, supplanting her addiction to lindy hop and opening up new avenues of freedom and creativity
  • Parents two lovely, sometimes exasperating children with her partner Paul