Hi world, Ree here.  

If I had to title this chapter of my life, it would reflect the title of this blog.  I am starting a business teaching people how to dance.  I am starting to understand what it means to really connect.  And I am starting to move to that which makes me tick.  My aim is to help others do the same. 

Writing about the former—the experience of starting my business, The 8Count—is a fitting way to begin writing about the latter.  The connecting, and the ticking.  Because every conversation I have had related to my business is really a conversation about those two very human quests.  

"Build your brand," trusted advisors tell me.  "Let the world know what you stand for, what they will get by learning to dance with you."

Market research will help the shape and polish of the brand evolve, but I assure you that certain elements will remain constant. 

This is a brand of social connection.

Connection to people in real time, on levels that go beyond our many avatars (and I don’t just mean the ones we maintain online).  It is about really hearing rhythm, learning how to move, daring to get goofy with our peers.  When those walls come down, we tap into richer bonds, and those are the good stuff of life.  

This is a brand of play.  

Our culture is one of hurrying and gold stars, benchmarks and imaging.  I acknowledge this and am, of course, a product of it.  But we need a space away from this structure to feel freedom from our own self-importance.  To laugh because we are naturally silly, uncensored, bold, and because we crave a chance to remember it.  

This is a brand of sensuality. 

I find that people often blur the meanings of sensuality and sexuality, and I don’t mind it.  One should include the other, and vice versa. But sensuality—to experience all of the senses—is inherent to dance.  The emphasis may fall on the sights and sounds, but movement can capture so much else.  The smell of someone’s shirt as you dance close; the taste of your own sweat as you rock out on the dance floor; the texture of your hands as you clap to beats. These are our basics, and we are fortunate if we can experience them.  We just have to notice.   

So here you have it, and me.  I’ll write as the inspiration comes, and not more.  I’ll post photos and quotes that reflect the above, or that I just happen to find intriguing.  Because hey: who wants to have to fit in just three categories?!  Whether or not we cross paths on the dance floor, I do hope that my words at least will help you ask the question:

What counts?