Dance Diaries: Learning Ballroom Dance: What I Wish I Had Known (Book #1)
Why didn't anyone tell me? Ballroom dancing is fun, magical and, most of all, life-changing. When I first started learning ballroom though, I fumbled around awkwardly and sometimes painfully, figuring things out as I went along. Certain things weren't explained or just never came up in conversation. From what to expect in class to how to find the right teacher or dance partner to how much ballroom really costs, Dance Diaries: Learning Ballroom Dance covers the things that I wish I had known when I first started learning ballroom. This quick read is your cheat sheet to help you get the most out of your ballroom experience.
Dance Diaries: Ballroom Budgeting: How I Afford to Dance (Book #2)
Anyone who tries ballroom dancing quickly learns how expensive it can be. From private lessons to competition fees, the monetary cost of being a ballroom student can quickly skyrocket. In my experience, the high cost is the most frequently cited reason for quitting dance. It shouldn’t be that way!
I live paycheck to paycheck, carry credit card debt, and still dance and compete in pro-am ballroom. In my first two years as a pro-am competitive ballroom dancer, I entered five competitions, had the money reserved for two additional events, and, at the same time, reduced my credit card debt by almost 50%!
I wrote this second book in my Dance Diaries series out of a desire to help my fellow struggling dancers do the same thing. From budgeting basics to specific tips on how to save on ballroom dancing, in Ballroom Budgeting, I share exactly how I dance and compete in ballroom while living paycheck to paycheck AND reducing debt! I even provide the tools I use to help you start organizing your own ballroom budget right away! Stop stressing over the cost and focus on what is important – the dancing!
Katie is known as the Girl with the Tree Tattoo because of the tree of life tattoo that covers her entire back. She has been taking ballroom dancing lessons since December 2012 and competing in pro-am ballroom competitions since April 2014. It was through ballroom dance that Katie started to discover who she really was and what she was capable of, despite the demons of fear, self-doubt, and anxiety that live in her head. Through sharing her own experiences, Katie hopes to lead others to experience the amazing effect ballroom dancing can have on a life.
Interview with The Girl With the Tree Tattoo
There are many books out there about ballroom dancing. What makes yours different?
My books are written from my personal experiences as a ballroom student, not as a professional recalling what they went through years and years ago. I still use the tips and tricks in Ballroom Budgeting to afford my lessons and competitions. I also don’t sugarcoat the experiences. I love ballroom, but acknowledge the ballroom world isn’t perfect. I believe this attitude gives my books a welcoming and honest introduction to ballroom.
How did you do research for your books?
I lived them! For Dance Diaries: Learning Ballroom Dance, I put together all of the information that would have made things easier for me when I first started learning ballroom, including the good, the bad, and the awkward. For Dance Diaries: Ballroom Budgeting, I was driven by a desire to help anyone in a similar position as mine, where their passion for ballroom was a lot larger than the size of their wallet. So I put together all of the strategies, tips and tricks that I’ve used to afford ballroom.
Do you have another profession besides writing?
My full-time day job is as a technical report editor for an environmental consulting firm. It is pretty much the opposite of the dancing and creative writing that I do in my off hours! My work keeps me engaged for the most part, but I do hope to transition to a full-time writer/dancer and no longer require a separate day job to fund my passions.
If you could go back in time, where would you go?
I would go back to 1952 and the night of the premiere of Singin’ in the Rain! It is one of my favorite movies, and I would love the chance to meet Gene Kelly in person. He is one of my favorite dancers, and his famous pose on the lamp post symbolizes my love of dance in my tree tattoo.
What is your next project?
On the dancing front, I really want to get back to competing. Due to challenges outside of the ballroom, I have only been able to afford one competition in 2016. I aim to make 2017 a comeback year! On the writing front, I have a few different ideas, including a third book in the Dance Diaries series.
What advice would you give budding writers?
Don’t give up! It’s perfectly normal to feel like you suck or to be afraid that you’ll be called out as a fraud. Every writer deals with these feelings. Don’t give up. Keep practicing your craft, try different things, but in the end, write honestly. I have found that readers respond most to a genuine voice, where the writer is being true to themselves and their own style, rather than trying to write like someone else because that’s what they think they’re supposed to do.
YOUTUBE: Watch The Girl With the Tree Tattoo dance gracefully in competition!
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