Have you ever been on vacation with barely a moment to spare? How do you hold together your work when you’re traveling with family and staying at a friends house? Do you have any weekly obligations that never take a break?

Every form of work or career is a dance, and with self-employment, the music never stops! No matter how you earn your living, or even if you’re somehow free of any obligations in that regard, sometimes you simply have to press pause on your regular routine and let the world move on without you.

It’s a freeing sensation to occasionally let go, somewhat akin to jumping out of a plane and trusting that your parachute has been properly prepared. You might have teammates, co-workers, or colleagues to hold things together in your absence, or perhaps you’ve got the kind of gig that can be completely buttoned up and wound down for an indefinite period of time.

In today’s world of always-on internet connectivity, and a global 24/7 economy, it’s easy to feel the need to stay in touch no matter what. Even with autoresponders and remote access web services, a fire that needs to be put out can find you with a phone call or text.

But regardless of how we design our lives, it’s good to remember that it’s all a choice, and that through a seemingly endless sequence of decisions large and small, we create our own realities. I have friends who are teachers, who have a quiet stretch built into the summer months every year. One of my half-brothers is a real estate investor in Alaska and Hawaii who alternates between self-guided periods of frenzied activity and totally unplug travel time.

Some folks get their two weeks of vacation time each year, plus holidays and three-day weekends like clockwork, while others make do with a fixed-income that limits their options. And of course there are people on either end of the economic spectrum, from those who have estate managers and teams of personal assistants to those who haunt the nether regions beneath bridges and roadsides so well explored by J.G. Ballard in his gripping novel Concrete Island.

The environs of Concrete Island are the flipside to what is commonly assumed to be ‘the good life’ but Janis Joplin was pointing to a truth most people haven’t experienced when she sang “Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose. ” Having spent some years deep in the shadow side of society in my early 20’s, I know exactly what she was talking about. It’s thru a combination of choice, good fortune, and desire for a brighter future that I find myself fortunate and thankful enough to be here writing to you today!

Perhaps those years of living outside of the normal lines of society is what made me allergic to normal jobs with normal schedules and normal hours. It certainly gave me an understanding of where I didn’t what to go in life, and a springboard to rebound from. For me, the life of an entrepreneur and artist is the only choice! Once I cleaned up my act and left my bad habits behind, the thought of taking risks with business was no big deal, since I’d already experienced the worst that could happen.

And so here I am today, sending you my weekly hug of gratitude and good fortune, trusting that my words of wit, (and hopefully wisdom!) land well with you, 52 Mondays of the year. It’s quite a commitment, as well as a dance that I thoroughly enjoy. Much like my weekly DJ habit at Dance Jam, where I find great joy in playing records for our dancers every Friday, (although we are cultivating some new vinyl aficionados who can carry the torch on occasion when travels take me elsewhere.)

This week, we’re on the road to Oregon, visiting friends and family up and down the coast. Aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, the whole nine-yards. Today we’re in Portland, experiencing a rare heat-wave, the city is out in shorts and it’s 97 degrees. Tomorrow we’ll head to Coos Bay on the coast to cool off and visit my 92-yr old dad and make sure that his routine is as uneventful as ever, just the way he likes it.

Wherever your summer travels take you, and however you juggle your family and fun, keep it light on your proverbial see-saw of work-life balance and let love lead the way. You can always make a new choice if you feel the need for an upshift!

Much love and light for your sweet days of summer!


Mark Metz
Director of the Dance First Association
Publisher of Conscious Dancer Magazine

Dance First Media Partner Spotlight:Dance Camp Northwest!

This week’s Dance First Media Partner Spotlight shines on Dance Camp Northwest ! We’re delighted to announce the high likelihood that Sara Earl, our Conscious Dancer Community Manager will be in attendance!

Fashioned after the beloved Dance New England Summer Camp,Dance Camp Northwest​​​​​​​ re-convenes for a sixth year in just about a month. The festivities kick off on August 19 for a whole week of dance, community and transformation. The camp takes place two hours northwest of Seattle on the shores of Puget Sound at historic Fort Flagler State Park.

The camp’s web site promises a “broad range” of experiences and the theme apparent in presenter bios follows suit. Sessions promise a blend of movement with everything from acro-yoga to qi-gong including a plethora of the cross-modal community dances we have come to expect.

This years’ list of presenters includes James Schaberg, Joanna Cashman, Laurie Keith, Arunima Lo Nathamundi, McNeish, Michelle~Allen Raine, Fred Sugarman, Christine Tasseff, Nala Walla, Eleanor Wells and Michael Zipkin.

Also on the schedule are dancer-artists Iván Espinosa, Louis Gervais, Cyrus Khambatta, and Hayley Shannon, martial arts experts Karen Joy Fletcher (qigong), Maureen Momo Freehill (butoh) and Nate Summers, relationship specialists Tanya Brakeman, Harmony Gates, Dr. Jessica Tartaro, Shawn McDonald and Amanda Coleman, partner-dance-improvisers James Schaberg, Lisa Lightner and Stu Phillips, rhythm, sound and song conductors Saffire Bouchelion, Laurence Cole and Aimee Serene and doctor-dancer Ari Levitt, MD.

Make your travel plans now, and invite your friends! This is going to be a Pacific Northwest adventure not to be missed!

Meals and snacks are included and dorm beds and tent sites are still available, as of this writing. For more information, and to register visitwww.dancecampnorthwest.org

Dance Camp Northwest
August 19 – 26, Fort Flagler, WA