Hello and welcome to Think Shift! This is a new thing – a structured way to help individuals think in new ways on familiar topics. The topics throughout the Think Shift series pull out actions and subjects that have been accepted and often embraced as the social norm in the West Coast Swing world and/or normative subjects and actions that individuals often bring over from their everyday world and apply to their dancing, often automatically and without consciously knowing it.
The writing in this series has been based on objective observations through the filter of my own experiences (the chronic issue of anyone’s ability to be entirely objective about anything) along with a few suggestions and requests from fellow dancers. It is not meant to judge, but to apply a different way of thinking on each topic, providing the reader with tools to see and think on each topic in their own new and different way through the filter of their own experiences. My intent is that you walk away from each article with expanded perceptions of what is possible and the freedom to choose from those new possibilities in ways that suite you and your values best.
Basically this series is yet another way to provide you with a different perspective on several different topics. It may be entirely new to you; you may have seen this approach used before. Either way I hope you find it insightful and sometimes helpful.
So what gives me the authority to write such content? Well, besides the obligatory pieces of paper that shows I have jumped through the hoops to receive my B.S. in Sociology and have received professional training as a Life Coach (don’t get me wrong, education is important and I love nerding out about learning – stay in school kids!) making an influential positive impact on people’s lives is where my purpose lies. I’m passionate about dancing, I’m passionate about teaching and life coaching, and Think Shift works to fuse those passions together.
Yes I could have been a researcher, a biologist or a nurse. I could have aspired to be a doctor, or a computer programmer (okay… probably not that… math is not my friend). But my inspiration is driven by music, by movement and by people. There’s a highly privileged connectedness between individuals when they unite through movement and through cohesive thinking. These are the things that make me happy and fulfilled.
That word cohesive…. That’s an important one when explaining what Think Shift is about. Notice it’s “cohesive thinking” not “same thinking”. People can think and believe differently while maintaining cohesiveness. In physics cohesion pertains to the molecular force within a body or substance acting to unite its parts (I’m not a physics wiz by any stretch, but dictionary.com is my friend). Taking that definition into consideration, we can assume that the parts of many substances will be different, and yet they form a cohesive bond in order to maintain their structure.
That was a very nerdy way of saying: we can still form cohesive bonds between each other while maintaining our differences and the greater structure we move within. Beyond that when we acknowledge and embrace our diverseness, we can think differently while maintaining cohesiveness and open up to learning different perspectives, strengthening our ability to create empathy with others without the fear of losing our own outlook and values. Think Shift sifts through various possibilities of thinking that are different and invites its readers to push beyond the boundary of “same” thinking while showing how cohesiveness can be maintained.
Take the many different ways West Coast Swing is learned as an example. Some people will learn it best visually, some kinesthetically, and some auditorily. A visual learning style isn’t any better than a kinesthetic learning style, while kinesthetic is no better than auditory – they’re simply different. A visual learner doesn’t (or shouldn’t) threaten a kinesthetic learner. They’ll move through how they learn differently, picking up on various skills at different paces depending on how the material is taught. A visual learner can even learn from how the kinesthetic learner is picking up on physical learning materials, while the kinesthetic learner can learn from the visual learner how to see learned material differently. It opens up their options for learning – it doesn’t threaten their dominant learning style.
This is what Think Shift is all about. Providing the readers with more options on how to go about thinking on the topics brought forward; I do my best to not tell you what to think. I leave that to your own core values and independent thinking to decide. Really who wants to be responsible for what you think – you’re grown-ups, you can make your own decisions (and if not there’s always mom, dad, religion or the government to tell you what you should think*).
*Warning: I can have a wry sense of human from time to time. I apologize (or should I say you’re welcome?) in advance.
So welcome to Think Shift! A place to help you think about how you do dancing differently. I hope you enjoy and please let me know what you think!
Have a topic you’d like me to write about? Let me know!
Want more information on Think Shift and what I offer? Check out my workshop page on Facebook!