This year was weird. I got pregnant. Started new projects. Had an identity crisis. And my 13-year-old cat died of kidney failure a week before Christmas.
Oh, and of course there’s Dance World Takeover, this blog you’re reading right now.
Let’s review DWT’s notable happenings for the year 2013.
Most Popular Post
Top 10 Reasons Every Nerdy Person Should Learn to Dance, with over 9K interactions on Facebook. I wrote this post in hopes of enticing other nerdy people into lindy hop. I don’t know why it was so popular. I can only guess that a lot of people identified with the message:
“Spot on, it’s like you are in my head!”
“True, true, and more true! My ultimate proof that swing dancing is for the nerds was when I got to swing dance with Bill Nye the Science Guy!!!”
“Yay nerd power.”
“Just so that you know: the Dalek cannot be seen on the mobile version of the blog (was exterminated?); reverse the polarity of the neutron flow to fix that.”
“It’s stories like this that give me hope.”
Honorably Popular Mentions
Two other post were extremely popular this year, too:
22 Things Good Dancers Do Differently, because it has a picture of Thor on a pony.
And The Truth About Being an Advanced Dancer, because starting a title with “The Truth About” and ending it with “something everyone wants to know more about” is always a golden headline tactic. It’s probably also a halfway decent post.
Best Posts You May Have Missed
One of my favorite posts this year was Defining Lindy Hop. This post is a subtle reminder to STOP PUTTING LINDY HOP IN A BOX. The caps lock just then was my not-so-subtle reminder.
Most Controversial Post
Again, the winner here is Top 10 Reasons Every Nerdy Person Should Learn to Dance. Surprised? Me too. What was supposed to be a silly, light-hearted post turned out to also be divisive.
Seriously. Go read the comments, of which there are currently 78. Long discussions were had about hope, love, nerds, awkwardness, improving oneself, and taking chill pills.
Honorably Controversial Mentions
This year I also started writing about sexism in the lindy hop community.
I had a bit of a lindy hop identity crisis when I got pregnant in April. Everything I’d been writing about seemed so trivial in comparison to the prospect of 18 years of raising another human.
How could I go on writing about nerdy people dancing, when in truth I’m not fully able to be myself in the community? What kind of example does it set if I refused to write about hard stuff? How could I raise a kid in a community that didn’t respect the way I express my gender?
Best Part of Running DWT
All the diverse, positive feedback I get. It’s very humbling that people find my blog useful. Also very motivating. I don’t know about you, but when someone tells me, “Thanks, that helped me!” I think, “Must. Try. Harder!”
I approach DWT with the same lust for improvement as I do in my dancing. Like when you first start to get aerials. Oh, that’s working for you? Guess what! I can make it even better!
Worst Part of Running DWT
Dance World Takeover has lost money all 3 years of its existence. It costs a few thousand dollars a year to run. Up until 2013, it’s been a “labor of love.” Meaning: I’ve been afraid to create products and then actually tell people about them.
That isn’t just love, is it? It’s also fear.
This year was different. I created some really awesome PDF guides in addition to the Lindy Makers project. In the last 3 months, DWT almost had income! (You know, that positive number that results when you subtract expenses from revenue.) It’s an important milestone. And why stop there?
What’s Next? The Future!
I find it really challenging to blend business with my passion. I’m very idealistic (want best dance community ever!), but with a strong dose of practicality (must make money to survive).
The best way I’ve found is to ask people what they want, what they need, and then see if I can meet those needs.
There are a LOT of unmet needs in the dance community. For example, I don’t think intermediate and advanced dancers stop taking classes because of their ego. I think they stop taking classes because they get less value out of them.
What do we really need as intermediate and advanced dancers? I’m obsessed with that question.
And I’m swimming in ideas of how to apply technology and the internet to get dancers more of what they want and need. My project Lindy Makers is one way. If my ideas pan out (with the help of my software engineer/sidekick/man-of-steel, Paul), there will be more exciting projects in 2014.
I’ll also continue expanding on the tried-and-true topics DWT is known for: Dancing fearless & improving yourself.
To stay abreast of DWT goings-on, join my email list below. It’s pretty great for its own reasons, too.
What do YOU want in your dancing this 2014? Make a wish! Perhaps Dance World Takeover can provide.