Ballroom Chat Status - Samantha Stout

Samantha StoutSeptember 29, 2021Ballroom Chat: Episode #54
samantha stout ballroom chat

Samantha shares a quick update on the state of the podcast, future plans for guests and conversations, and answers some questions from the Ballroom Chat Instagram.

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Show Notes

Episode Transcript

Samantha: Welcome back to Ballroom Chat, the podcast dedicated to sharing the dance journey. I'm your host, Samantha with Love Live Dance.

As you have probably guessed from the title of today's episode, things are going to be just a little bit different. So it is just me today. No guest. It is just me chatting with you, our lovely listeners. I wanted to come in and give you guys a quick update and explanation about why the podcasts are fewer and farther between this summer and talk a little bit about what is hopefully coming the latter part of this year and into next year, as far as the podcast goes, and then answering a couple of questions that I've gotten via Instagram.

So, the first thing is to say that, yes, uh, I am aware that this podcast started as a once a week consistent, guest driven podcast, and I want it to stay that way. However, as I have mentioned on the podcast before, this podcast was a product of the pandemic, and the beautiful thing about this time last year is no one was doing anything. Or I should say everyone was doing nothing. So getting on a guest's schedule was very easy. We didn't have competitions up and running yet. Some parts of the country were still closed down and studios were not able to open. So we all had a lot of free time on our hands, um, which made having these conversations on a weekly basis, fairly easy. As the world became a little bit better. As the countries began opening up, as events began to restart, people got busier and scheduling got harder and harder and harder.

This summer, the perfect storm of wedding season in full, full, full bloom, full boom, and the dance world going full competitive season just kind of meshed and collided in this perfect storm of being completely unable to coordinate schedules with guests. So it is certainly my intention to continue with the podcast.

I believe these conversations are very important. I learn a lot from them. I've gotten feedback from those of you that are listening, that you get a lot from them. So it is absolutely my hope and intention to continue that and to continue having these conversations with guests and experts from across the, the dance world. It's just a little bit more tricky than it was 12 months ago.

So, with that said, I ask for your patience and your understanding and know that I am doing my absolute best to coordinate with guests schedules so that we can continue having these conversations. They're just going to be fewer and farther between until we can kind of get into a new rhythm and kind of establish what, and I know everyone hates this phrase by now, but it's, it's the truth of the matter, what the new normal is going to look like.

For me personally, wedding season has been absolutely insane this year, and that is not a complaint by any means. I am so happy that I get to be part of so many wedding experiences for people, whether that's first dances or parent dances or anything in between. Um, so, that will probably calm down as, as next year begins, but it might not. Competitions have restarted. We just got off of a crazy streak of very large events, including both Embassy and USDC see with the crowning of new professional champions for the world and for the US. So competitive dancers have been in a crazy, a whirlwind couple of months. Judges and adjudicators have been in a crazy whirlwind couple of months. So hopefully as we get into fall and winter, there's a little bit of a downswing as far as the number of events that are going on.

So hopefully we can schedule with a bunch of different, amazing professionals and voices throughout the dance world and have a bunch of new episodes for you as we get into 2022. So that's, that's my little update and explanation about why these episodes have not been coming out on a regular basis. And I do apologize for that, but I hope you understand. And I hope that that means that your lives have gotten back to crazy in a positive way as well. And maybe, maybe you haven't missed the fact that we haven't posted on a weekly basis.

With that said, I did ask on Instagram at Ballroom Chat on Instagram, what you guys want to talk about and what questions you have or what information you are seeking from either myself or from the podcast, and I got a bunch of great responses. I'm going to talk about a couple of them right now.

So the first is just a general request to have more on Latin and rhythm dancing. looking back through my episodes and the guests that I've had on, they have been very smooth and standard heavy. And that's mainly because I'm a smooth dancer so those are the networks that I already kind of had in place. But yes, I do want to have more Latin and rhythm experts on to talk about their experiences, to talk about, the direction that those two styles are moving. Technique and tips for those of you that are dancing. So I do want to bring more of a focus on the Latin and rhythm side, as well as the smooth and standard side.

That being said, I do want to continue to bring in dancers that are part of what we refer to as those social styles. So in our Argentine tango community, in our salsa and bachata communities, Lindy, west coast, I do want to kind of hear from those voices to see what is going on with those communities, how they are growing and adapting and shaping and what the commonalities are between those styles and our more traditional ballroom styles. That being said, I don't want this podcast to feel limited to just ballroom dance, even though it's called Ballroom Chat. I feel like we can all learn from each other. So bringing in physical therapists, bringing in sports psychologists, bringing in members from the ballet or hip hop communities to talk about their experiences -- because I think the love of dance and the experience of dance shares commonalities across many different disciplines. And the more that we can have conversations to foster community, then the more we can all grow and learn together. So that is certainly something that, that I want for this podcast. And certainly the conversations that I want to share with you, the listeners and viewers.

One of the other questions that I had was, What do we think of the post-pandemic dance? And my response was just that, you know, I don't know if we're there yet, which is hard to hear because we've been here for, 18 months now, a little over 18 months. And that's tough to think that we're still in the midst of it. You may think we are completely out of it. Others of you might agree with me that we're probably not yet. But I think the biggest thing when we're, when we're talking about post-pandemic dance and having ongoing conversations about post-pandemic dance is what lessons, what learning experiences, um, what changes are we making in a post-2020 world? And what do we want to keep and what do we want to get back to from a 2019 and previous world? Because I think that's the dividing line is we can't go back a hundred percent to business as normal and pretend like the last 18 months didn't happen. I think we would lose a lot of learning experiences from that, but in the same time we can't move forward and say, okay, we're just starting from scratch because I think there was a lot of good in the way that we were having traveling coaches and having, uh, having how the events were structured and the methodology of teaching and this idea of fostering a warm, safe community for dancers, um, that I think at its core, something that we do want to get back to. But, there's a lot that we can learn from the last year.

Me personally, I had expanded my business to online private lesson instruction. At first that was targeted mainly to existing students or clients within the Salt Lake City area that didn't feel safe coming back to the studio when things started to reopen. And I have now expanded that globally. Um, and I am finding that most of my clients are clients that are not served by our traditional studio environments. Either they live in parts of the country that can't reach a traditional studio or their personality and lifestyle just doesn't mesh with the services offered in a traditional studio. So having the ability to pull up a zoom lesson online right after work meets their needs in a way that brick and mortar studio just wouldn't be able to meet.

So that is certainly something that I am thankful to have learned in the last year and something that will forever change how I do business. Um, as far as events go, having an online component might be a serious conversation for competition organizers to see how that can expand their reach and expand the number of entries that they're bringing in. Or if not in a traditional event, having separate online events where you get feedback from judges, um, where you get information back from adjudicators about what they're seeing on the screen might be a great direction for us to go. Just general use of technology to better promote dance across, um, areas of the world or demographics that we have not met in the past is a great conversation for our community to continue having. So, whenever the question of what does post pandemic dance look like comes up, that's like, well, that's an ongoing conversation. And I think it's going to be a number of years before we can kind of look back with hindsight to really pinpoint how the moment that we're currently living through will change the face of dance moving forward. Um, yeah, that's, that's my little take on that.

One of the other questions was what does the state of dance in Utah look like? Um, so I've mentioned before in the podcast that I'm based out of Salt Lake City, Utah, and we've been open, completely open since May of 2020. Um, the beginning of may was when I first returned back to my studio for in-person lessons. and I've been teaching pretty consistently since then. So in-studio lessons are fully back to where they were, uh, previously, if not more so. Uh, it's on the individual instructor or the individual studio to determine what their vaccine or mask policy is for private lessons or events. In the state of Utah we do not currently have a mask mandate in effect. We haven't had one for some time. So it's really down to what the instructor is comfortable with or what the studio is comfortable with. For me personally, um, I know masking is a hot button topic, but I mask after travel just because I want to be conscious of my students health. If I ever have students that come in, especially my wedding students, where they request to have masks on, I am more than happy with that. I know that there are groups in the studio that I work with that do require masks or do you have a vaccine policy. We're all just trying to navigate it the best that we can.

We do have a very high, high school and collegiate, amateur competitor, pool here in Utah. So, um, one of the things that I've noticed this fall is that most of those competitive events have restarted at the high school and collegiate levels. So that, that is my indicator that at least in the state that I'm currently living in, uh, things, things are trying to get back to where we were in 2019. I am cautiously optimistic that that is, that is a positive thing, but, you know, once again, we all do the best that we can and we all make the best decision that we have for ourselves with the information that we have at the time. So, um, hopefully things can continue to rebuild to where we were, um, at least in the state of Utah. But I know that that is not the case across the country. So if you are, you know, dancing in a studio where that is not the case, or if you are a studio owner that you know, is, is eagerly awaiting the ability to like go back to full force. Like I have you in my thoughts, I am supporting you. I'm cheering you from the sidelines. Um, Or if you're a student, that's like, you know what? I am not ready to go back yet. I hear you. I support you. I am, I am there for you. So. Yeah. Um, yes.

And then the last thing is, like I mentioned with the craziness that has been the event cycle, we have three new world and US national champions. That's crazy. Two were expected because the previous champions had retired or were in the process of retiring and new champions had not been named yet. Um, but in the smooth world we have new champions. Oh boy. Um, so I am, I make zero promises to you listeners, but I'm going to do my best to get, um, those lovely, amazing couples and dancers on to talk about what that feels like to be newly crowned world champions and what their mindset has been the last year in order to get to that point. And what their mindset is going forward, because that is a huge step up. That is a huge change. That's a lot of pressure to get there. And then a lot of pressure to maintain that, I imagine. So, I'm in talks to try and get our new professional world champions on the podcast for a future episode. Uh, but with that said, That's really all I've got for you guys today.

I didn't want this to be a super long ranty video where I just go off on a tangent because I'm the only voice in the room. So we'll keep it short and sweet today.

As always, you can find this and all of our past episodes at You can watch the YouTube versions of these episodes at the Love.Live.Dance YouTube channel. You can find us across social media on Facebook and Instagram at Ballroom Chat. We do have a Patreon account for Ballroom Chat and I found out way too late that we actually do have a patron. So thank you, patron. I did not get notified when you, when you signed up to support the podcast and I feel really bad about that. And then the episodes just dropped off and I feel really bad about that too, but know that your support genuinely, it means the world. The fact that somebody would want to monetarily support this podcast is absolutely insane to me. I appreciate it. I love it. I want to see more of you amazing patrons.

Maybe that that'll be the kick to get these episodes out more often. I'm kidding.

I'm working very hard to get more episodes coming your way and to keep these conversations going. But, yeah, if you've liked the content thus far and you want to support us, follow all of the social media pages. Find us on Patreon. Tell a friend. Tell your instructor to reach out, to see about being a guest. Do all of the lovely things.

Stay safe, stay positive. And I will see you very soon in the next episode, or on a dance floor near you.