Dancing and travelling: a match made in heaven. I swing dance my way around the world and it’s nothing short of awesome
Think about the benefits:
- Meet new people in every city. Often more genuine and like-minded than you might meet at a pub or party.
- You instantly have something in common with new people! It makes starting conversations so much easier when all you need to do is say ‘Would you like to dance?’
- Learn from new teachers in every city.
- You get to meet actual locals (not just other travellers).
- Regular exercise.
- Learn about the local culture. Depending on where you are, different styles of dancing might be more popular than others. For example, I plan to learn tango when I’m going through South America.
- Have lots of fun – dancing makes you feel great!
In fact, many cities encourage travellers to come to their dance events by holding exchanges, dance camps or even just workshops.
Sure, it’s expensive sometimes, but you can cut many of your costs by volunteering at events. Most events need people to help set up, close up, host, or pretty much everything at camp, as in the case of Herrang Dance Camp.
I love volunteering, it makes the experience so much more amazing. You get to know other people who are likeminded and similarly passionate about the activity you’re helping with.
In one of my recent travels, I was working at a laundry at dance camp. It was a brilliant way to meet staff and students at the camp. Also, a fun way to spend longer at the dance camp. Work all day, dance all night, sleep, rinse and repeat. Imagine 4 weeks of that in a gorgeous swedish village.
Then, you go to hang out with all the friends you’ve met in their home towns.
Being hosted by dancers is also a fabulous benefit of travelling to dance. I’ve been hosted by fellow dancers in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, New York, Sacramento, Washington D.C. , Seattle, Stockholm, Paris, Christchurch, just to name a few cities.
Hospitality has varied from just a couch to crash on for the night, to also driving me around their city, or even picking me up from the airport. All because they know I’m a dancer.
Of course, I repay the favour whenever I can. I’ve hosted plenty of people wherever I’ve lived, I’ve done airport pickups, tours of my home city as requested. It’s all about continuing the goodwill, and encouraging the social network that results.
So yeah, dancing and travelling. Totally awesome.
A few pointers if you’re being hosted by someone:
- Don’t overstay your welcome. Make sure you establish how long you’ll be staying before arriving. If plans change, clear it with your host before you stay longer.
- Prior to arriving, ask whether you need to bring anything like: a towel, or a sleeping bag/sheets.
- Be sure to show your host appreciation. Perhaps a bottle of wine, maybe buy them dinner, or another gift.
- If possible, ask if they have a spare key. It makes coming and going MUCH easier, especially if you’re staying more than one night and not following your host around.
- Repay the favour if you can!