I started drafting this blog post last week, before the thought of doing crowdfunding had even crossed my mind. Then when I came back to my Drafts folder today to see what I could write about, I remembered that I made one of the perks of my crowdfunding campaign be a dance party! (That's right: for $75, I'll come to your workplace and get everyone moving to the beat! It will be the best. Go buy it right now, I'll wait.) If you're not familiar with Friday Dance Parties, basically, I've been going to Doktor Luke's Cafe on Friday mornings at 8 am and getting Missy Lebans, the owner, to crank the music, while I dance with friends, and she records it using the video function on my camera. Then I post it to Instagram and Facebook. Here is the first one at Missy's cafe. It was on January 30th.
Anyway, I got to thinking, "Just how is it that I started doing these dance videos?! Why do I have this drive to look like a fool and then post it on social media?" And like most things, it starts in my childhood. See that pic at the top of the post? I was always a zany kid who liked to dance and be a little nuts. (I firmly believe that whatever you loved to do as a kid is what you should be doing as an adult. I also used to make books and magazines, but that's another story for another post.) Then there was High School. This is me at the Safe Grad celebration. With a balloon hat on my head. Totally sober. This is a page from my scrapbook of the year after I moved back from Australia. That's me on my way to the music festival Evolve (with probably the worst hair of my life) where I would dance literally until the sun came up, again totally sober. (I swear! I did drink, and do, but that particular festival I didn't have more than a couple of beers.) I really just loved dancing. Then there were the parties I would throw during the years that I was in college in Fredericton, but here on Cape Breton at Christmas break. I'd invite my Sydney friends and my Baddeck friends, my Mom would kindly go stay at her boyfriend's place, and we'd all dance til late in the evening, and then my brother and I would make everyone breakfast the next day. I love to make people feel welcome, and to have a good time.
A few years later, when living in Baddeck again, I was a driving force behind something called "Friendsday Wednesday," which was an informal dinner party once a week for young people in the area.
But my love of dancing + bringing people together didn't really come to fruition until this year. A perfect storm had to happen. I'm talking The Internet + Alison Faulkner + morning routine. Oh, and Missy Lebans.
You see, a while back I started following Alison Faulkner on Instagram. Her videos on Instagram are silly, totally sober, and super fun, and if I ever reach her level of epic dance-queendom, I will be able to die happy. I would watch her dance videos and go, "WOW, that woman is BRAVE. I love it! I wish I could be as brave as her!" Then one day last year I took a chance and posted a video of myself dancing. In my kitchen. And it wasn't as hard to do as I had thought. In fact, it was really fun.
Then I started sharing just a fun dance song on Facebook on Fridays and calling it Friday Dance party and tagging friends. Sometimes I would take a video of myself dancing at home and share that too.
Around the same time, enter.. a new job in Sydney, and driving by my new favorite coffee shop every morning, and stopping to see my friend Alyce. Being there at 8 am quickly became a habit. Missy and Julie are wonderful people, too, so grounded and hospitable and fun. I forget exactly when and why I got the idea to do the first one -- likely an extension of posting a music video to Facebook, and badgering Alyce to dance in it with me. But when we put the first Friday Dance Party video up and people loved it, well, you don't need to tell me twice! Attention? Dancing? Inclusion? Goofiness? I'm in!
So far they're happening at Doktor Luke's Cafe at 8 am on Friday mornings. But I would love to do an afternoon one (I don't want to be "sleepist" after all, and discriminate against people who don't get up that early!), or a street one, or ... one at your business for 75$ And that's that! You can follow me on Instagram or be my Facebook friend if you're not already, for all the Friday Dance Party goodness, and you can also help fund my dreams of having my own business over at my IndieGogo campaign. I'm already at 44%! I hope you're having a great week. I certainly am! xo Leah