For those who aren't aware, I left my job at the dance studio and am currently traveling through Idaho and Utah to visit family and explore career opportunities. I'll likely be traveling elsewhere this summer as well. It's a sort of vision quest: I realized during the course of my work that I had lost sight of why I was living in the Portland area and what I wanted out of my career. The one certainty was that I loved it. I can recall perhaps three times where I actually felt like I was working, and the feeling often passed quickly (or within the 45 minute block I was accustomed to counting my days in). Usually I simply ended each day with a feeling of content exhaustion. To anyone wondering what loving a job means, this was my answer. I spent the day doing something I often found enjoyable, and at the end of each day I merely felt exhausted. The exhaustion was a reminder that it had been work, though it rarely felt like work.
I'm in the Boise area right now. There are about four studios/instructors/routes for me to pursue dancing here, if I chose to. One is a studio that is serious about technique and competition (perfecting the art, so to speak). Another seems to be a somewhat lackadaisical social studio that teaches in a very social manner. I didn't make the time to explore the other two. From what I've heard and researched, one is a woman who primarily works with couples from a social standpoint. The last seems to be a pair of independent instructors who run a primarily social setting.
As Sparkbombers, I think that many of us fall into a competitive intellectual archetype. That's not true for all of us, but for me this manifests as a thirst for knowledge and a desire to prove myself to myself. Whatever I care to do, I want to be able to do it at a competitive level, but I don't need to use the competition and results to prove to myself that I can. In Yu-Gi-Oh!, this meant that I needed to be confident that I could earn my invite to nationals if I participated in a regional, though I always ended up judging such events rather than playing in them. As a dance instructor, this means that I want to work at a studio that teaches technique and understands the nuances behind it. This is the arguably the most difficult course to take, as it's the most narrow career field.
Yet, what I see as I explore Boise are opportunities for independent or socially-minded instructors. A very modern and artistic piece of architecture called JUMP caught my attention as I cruised into downtown. I love urban skylines and the views that can be seen from vantage points in a city, and JUMP summoned me like a beacon. Sadly, I was relegated to the lobby and don't think that I'll be able to attend a tour given my schedule, but the brief visit was a reminder that my creative side is still very much alive. The next reminder came as I visited the socially-oriented studio in a downtown shopping center. Despite a fantastic location and good atmosphere, the owner and instructor both came across as quite lackadaisical. I saw squandered opportunity and potential.
Meanwhile, I assisted my brother in playtesting a Transformers-based card game that he's been working on as a pet project for some years. In offering feedback, my mind reflected to Turf War. It was those thoughts that led me to write this ramble, as I realized that my creative drive is still very much alive. Dance is my love, my passion, my career, but the creativity that drove Sparkbomb for years is still very much alive, even if it's sleeping at this moment in time.
I don't know how to incorporate my creative drive into dance. Nor am I certain that I want to. But it's been the first thing that I've discovered for a certainty on this journey. I still very much love to create. I still very much love to work on projects. Some of this will come together for this year's All-Stars game in a couple of months. Beyond that, I'm not sure.