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My Experience as a Host
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 6:03 pm    Post subject: My Experience as a Host Share topic on FB Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

This past weekend, I had my first experience hosting dancers for an exchange. I have gone through many feelings about doing this throughout my years of dancing, from "why in the world would I ever allow a stranger into my house" to "it sounds like too much work" to "I wish my roommate understood that swing dancers just do this".

Finally, I live somewhere where it was possible to host when NSB 2010 came around. There was also the added excitement for me as a newlywed to have our first house guests of any kind. We ended up hosting 6 people, only one of which either my husband nor myself have ever met before - two hailing from Chicago, three from Madison, and one from Milwaukee. And I learned a lot from the experience, but mostly that hosting really enhances the experience of the exchange or workshop weekend. Here are some reasons why:

1. New leads (or follows) to dance with. I had multiple dances throughout the weekend with the awesome leads that stayed at our place. David had the same with our follows. It was easy to ask them to dance (and visa versa) since we have spent a lot of time together. And as we all know, dancing with new people make you a better dancer. Therefore, hosting makes you a better dancer Smile

2. Awesome conversation. In going to dances, home from dances, late night food with people, I had a lot of great talks with my new friends. Each of the people we hosted were fascinating people who have fun things to share both in relation to dancing and to non-dance things. Also, sharing dance videos Smile

3. Food. We made pancakes the first morning our guests were at our place (fyi - my banana chocolate chip pancakes are now famous). Our second morning, some of our guests insisted on making our breakfast since we were so generous. It was truly awesome to share these meals with our guests, which is not even an expectation of hosting.

4. Generosity. Our guests were so kind to us as well. As a surprise on Sunday morning, we were given a gift bag of some amazing things to eat and drink including references from our amazing weekend together. This was completely unexpected, but so thoughtful! (we would have done the same thing even if we did not get this)

5. New places to visit. After this weekend, we have now been invited to visit three different cities for dancing and already have a place to sleep. This will make traveling so much more awesome! (and cheaper) We are already contemplating when we are going to visit everyone.

6. New friends. Whether we visit them or they come back to the Twin Cities for future dancing events (I think all of them want to come to NSB next year), we will continue to be connected. Within 24 hours of the weekend being done, we all friended each other on facebook, have gotten new phone numbers, and thanked each other for an amazing weekend.

7. Easy. It is so easy to host. All you need is a place for them to stay. All dancers expect is a floor to sleep on - some bring their own pillows, blankets, linens, etc. Transportation isn't a big deal - many of the dancers drove so they have their own car. Or you already have a car, therefore it isn't a big deal to drive your guests as well since you are all going to the same place.

If you are ever able to host for any of the Twin Cities dance events, just do it. I think this past weekend easily became one of my favorite dance experiences, which came a lot from being a host. Hosting truly enhances your experience. And it helps so many dancers - it saves them a lot of money they would have had to spend on a hotel and they may also have had to rent a car to even attend. Out-of-town guests are the most grateful for your kindness and they show it.

Anyone else have great experiences hosting?
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 5:06 pm    Post subject: Share topic on FB Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

I've had great experiences hosting--thanks for writing such beautiful words that really express the joys.
"So grab a newbie and enter a jam. Or challenge some other good dancer with a newbie. Or whatever. Share the joy." -Julius
"I think you're just a syncopation junkie, Katie." -Bilo
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