Tag Archives: motivation

Why Dancing Makes You An Irresistible Lover

13 Feb featured-image-IRRESISTABLE

image

Ok I admit: I’m a dance lover.

Seriously. From the dance floor to dating… who would have thought a sweet dance class can translate into a sweeter Valentine’s Day?

Or ANY day for that matter.

Because you don’t need a special holiday to dance- or to let someone special know that you got moves. In fact, the way you move on the dance floor is a pretty strong indicator of how you move somewhere else…

…so enjoy this throwback newspaper feature in Toronto’s Town Crier. I discuss with reporter Meagan Bowden three basic techniques to help build a strong relationship even AFTER the “day of love” passes.

Can you relate? Or do your hips lie? Share your comments,

- @ShawnByfield

Black Canadian Awards: VOTE Shawn Byfield

12 Feb
Black Canadian Awards nominee Shawn Byfield on stage with Samba Squad

Black Canadian Awards nominee Shawn Byfield on stage with Samba Squad – Ken Dobb

So if you didn’t know, I OFFICIALLY got word I’m a nominee for the 2014 Black Canadian Awards! (Best Contemporary Dance Act)

Here’s the email:

“We are excited to inform you of being in our Top 6 nominees from over 20,000 total nominations in the past eight months. We strongly believe all our nominees will benefit from our local and international publicity and media initiatives. Winners will be announced at the Black Canadian Awards on March 1st 2014 at the Queen Elizabeth Theater. The complete nominees list is on www.BlackCanadians.com… Final voting will run from February 13th to 26th…”
VOTE Black Canadian Awards nominee Shawn Byfield

VOTE Black Canadian Awards nominee Shawn Byfield

Pretty sweet yes? Top six out of TWENTY THOUSAND nominations is a big deal. But it’s not over ’til it’s over… Most nominees win by a VOTE from awesome people like YOU. And awards are awesome!

Please support what I do, and support your favourite Black Canadian artists by VOTING HERE. It will only take a few seconds. THANK YOU so much.

You can also get tickets to watch the Black Canadian Awards show LIVE, so come on down and support some fantastic leaders. Stay tuned…

- Shawn Byfield

ATTENTION: All Impatient, Entitled, Wanna-Be Choreographers, Actors, Directors, etc- Here’s A Harsh Reality Check Worth Reading

21 Jan Featured-image-REALITY-CHECK

Gene_kelly

Unlike the dapper gentleman above, this post isn’t pretty. So if you’re looking for an article that leaves warm fuzzies, shuffle away. But if you can handle some truth sprinkled with sarcasm…

Listen up.

One of the most iconic directors, choreographers and entertainers of our time, Gene Kelly, had to WORK his way up the ranks. Imagine that! And if that word WORK made you shudder, you definitely need to read the rest.

This quick story may resonate with you:

Before even making it to Hollywood, Gene Kelly did what other parental pleasing kids did. What’s that, you ask? Answer: He went to university. For something OTHER than dance.

But wait- wasn’t he a child star? Hell no. Sure, today you know him as “GENE KELLY, OMG he’s so freaking famous and successful! I love Singing In The Rain!”

But guess what? He didn’t start all Hollywood. Far from it. In fact, Pittsburgh-born Kelly went to university and got a BA in Economics in his town.

Boring? Yes. Fact? Yes.

Wait, You Think YOUR Life Sucks? His Gets Even More Uninteresting

Graduation plaque

Then! Wait for it… he went to Law School for a bit.

Even more yawnage.

So guess what did he did while in post secondary? C’mon guess! You’ll never guess… He taught dance at his family’s dance studio. Like who does that? Oh wait- pretty much every dance studio kid with no idea of what to do in life once they hit 18.

And… that’s it.

No really, that’s it.

Sure, he had ambitions, and was passionately talented. That’s what made him so remarkable to watch. So in 1937 after getting his BA in Economics, he quit law school after 2 months (because that’s what lost youth do, “I think I’ll get ANOTHER degree in something I don’t like”) left his teaching gig at the studio and off he went to big ‘ol New York for a couple years to be a choreographer.

And guess how that turned out? Wikipedia: “After a fruitless search, Kelly returned to Pittsburgh…”

No surprise there. Cue movie man voice:

A heartwarming story of courageous small town cutie. Despite having [deceased parents] [disgruntled step dad] [no support whatsoever], cutie uses her burning passion for dance, a dry turkey sandwich and sells all her sh#t to scrape together enough pesos to live in Big City USA for two gruelling, roller-coaster weeks on her quest to make it.

Pretty much sums up every dance movie EVER, right?

Anyway. So a year later, Kelly went back home. Defeated. Whomp whomp. Hey, Broadway happens.

=== FUN FACT: If you haven’t seen Gene’s “Gotta Dance” scene then find it. It’s a montage of what he went through during this time. ===

Of course, he was always a star to his parents. Awww. His friends most likely enjoyed his Playhouse theatre performances.

Speaking of performances, visit my Toronto dance studio if you want to tap dance like he did.

So Did He Nail The LSAT? Is District Attorney Gene Kelly Finally Born?

Gene Kelly - Better than law school

He said “eff that, I’m gonna dance!” (or something like that.)

Kelly never returned to law school and FOCUSED his time instead on choreography for the local Pittsburgh Playhouse Theatre.

=== FUN FACT: one of the numbers he choreographed at the local theatre ended up being re-worked for a major movie EIGHT YEARS LATER. ===

His first taste of Broadway came because a choreographer at the time (Robert Alton) saw Kelly teaching at the Pittsburgh Playhouse and was impressed.

Pretty boring story huh?

Slow down, grasshopper, there’s more…

It was only from working his way up as a performer for three more YEARS did Gene Kelly finally get noticed and represented by Hollywood execs. Once there, his first movie was with, get this- Judy Garland, who was a mega film star- in her teens.

Yeah, no pressure… working with the seasoned singer/actress who already made ruby slippers and terriers famous. Fast forward to a few years of success… and you’d be singing in the rain too.

Ok Shawn… I Don’t Get It. But What Should I Do?

savethelastdance

So what’s the moral of this story? If you’ve read this far, you most likely take yourself seriously and you’re passionate about what you can offer.

So here’s an easy to follow, bubble-bursting, reality based checklist every aspiring Coyote Ugly bartender or Julliard bound ballerina should magnetize to your fridge and read daily:

1) SHUT UP, Listen To Your Parents And Get An EDUCATION.

At the very least, find other passions in a different field of study. Because if your “thing” doesn’t work out then you can always fall back on Law School, Economics or some other sh#tty program. It’s hard work either way.

And when you graduate, you’ll hopefully get paid in your field, which will make you AND the ‘rentals happy. Plus, being smart is sexy. Especially in big cities. And ready for the Win-Win? Smart people can drop out of school and be wildly successful on their creative ideas. (Sergey Brin and Larry Page for example.)

2) Teach At And SUPPORT Community Theatre, Local Shows And Events.

That’s where you build your chops. Or props, tee hee. You’ll meet who you’ll meet. Some will be not as talented as you, most will burn circles around you.

But guaranteed, years later, some jerk you worked with then lands a BIG break. If you were a no-drama, no-attitude, humble to work with kind of person back then, you’ll be remembered and rewarded with a bigger role in the future.

3) Put Your Big-headed Ego Aside And EARN YOUR STRIPES.

You won’t be handed the top paying, most important role right away. “Oh, I’m sorry? You just graduated from theatre school and think you should be artistic director of the whole place? Yeah… NO. You’ll start as an usher, hand out f#ckin programs and sweep popcorn. Here’s your hairnet.”

THAT’S how this biz works. Do the sh#tty gigs before you earn the big ones.

4) Be Patient And WAIT YOUR DAMN TURN.

There’s already a seasoned director/choreographer/actor who has a track record for success. If you’re some fresh-off-the-Greyhound keener from Moose Jaw, then guess what?

Exactly. We don’t have time to guess. I don’t know you. And neither does anyone else. We’re Canadian. Which means we don’t handle risks well, so DO SOMETHING that might get you noticed over a long period of time and eventually, someone will catch on. When they do, you’ll be ready with a ton of experience.

5) Lastly, Learn About The Experts That Are ALREADY DOING IT.

More importantly: Learn about the people that DID IT BEFORE. In every school on Earth there’s a subject called History. Whatever industry you’re trying to get into, research it’s past and who created the present. There’s a big chance whatever your brilliant mind though of, somebody else already beat you to it.

Take time to Respect the work that others have done before your arrogant self showed up. If it weren’t for leaders busting their butts in the past, you might not even HAVE an opportunity today. With the FREE tools available to you to learn, improve your craft and even GASP- contact the person who has the job you want and ask for apprenticeship, you have no excuse.

Hey, this is what worked for Gene Kelly. I’d say he did quite well for himself. No handouts, no horse shoes up his butt, no silver spoon. Just hard work, patience and more hard work.

There is no shortcut to success in entertainment. If you aspire to do great things and leave your mark on this stage, there’s your exact process to follow. Use the tips to your advantage, and you’ll find your name in lights with the rest of them.

Merde! And Share your comments below if you found this useful- or know somebody who needs this wake up call,

- @ShawnByfield

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Shawn ByfieldShawn Byfield is a sought-after dance choreographer, performer, presenter, coach and entrepreneur. His unique perspective is enjoyed by thousands who dance, train and mentor with him every year. Visit www.ShawnByfield.com to discover what you’ve been missing.

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Ancient Sensei Wisdom That Will Help You Crush 2014 Like A Ricecake

15 Jan feature-image-WISDOM

pai mei

Ancient Sensei Wisdom That Will Help You Crush 2014 Like A Ricecake

Happy 2014! Sending you the most positive energy you can handle this new year.

Come, let’s sit. Remove your shoes grasshopper. Have some tea.

Slow your breath. Fill your lungs. Focus on only the words on this page.

Now. Let’s reflect on the many positive experiences that you enjoyed last year. Start this year appreciating the friends you’ve made, and raise your tea to the wisdom you learned. You are truly blessed.

For that, you should smile.

And with the good comes the not so good. Reflect also on the disappointments you had to overcome, and any obstacles you’ve conquered. We ALL face roadblocks and walls in our path. Everything is about balance, that’s just a part of life.

Raise your tea. Because for that, you should also smile.

“A master is not one who does not fall down;
A master is simply one who gets up quickly.”

You will be knocked down. We all fall down. That’s part of the Good Fight.

But persistent, positive people always choose to trek forward. Because of that determination, we manage to find the right detour.

So remind yourself to:

  • Celebrate your successes
  • Learn from your lessons
  • Accept the Yin AND the Yang
  • Embrace the good WITH the bad because we need both

You should be proud of yourself. Despite everything you went through last year, you’re STILL here.

Whoosh! Faster Than A Speeding Bullet (Train)

Bullet-train

Isn’t it amazing how quickly a year can fly?

So much happens in 365 days. Many great memories, some not so great. And some entire days you can’t remember at all!

That’s just how the sushi rolls.

Guaranteed, the world will continue turning. Streams will continue to flow. You are never defeated, because tomorrow you’ll have another spectacular day of adventure waiting for you.

ZEN QUESTIONS EVERY WARRIOR MUST ASK ONESELF:

Are you happy with how things turned out last year? Are you content with your lessons? Are you eager to continue walking your current path?

Or…

Do you seek a new path this year? Do you secretly desire something to change? Do you wish to learn something new? To work somewhere different? Do LIVE and BE MORE?

Contrary to what some people around you may say, you don’t have to settle and accept where you are. You can do whatever you want. If you want to change something, then you don’t need their permission to change it.

Ancient wisdom states:

“Expect the best, then detach from the outcome”

When you do this, you put your best vibes out into the Universe and set yourself up for success. Whatever it is you desire, start with trusting yourself. But know that whatever you put out there may not fully make it back to you when you expect it.

And, give yourself permission to trust in your own instincts.

neo

“I Know Kung-Fu…”

Isn’t it amazing how time flies?

They say patience is a virtue. It’s true. You don’t get a black belt in Kung-Fu in a week. Or a month. It takes years to learn the katas slowly, step by step. You gotta fight for it.

Just like Neo in The Matrix, sometimes you must slow things down and assess your immediate situation. Take time to study.

Remember how he skillfully dodged bullets on that rooftop? They were coming at him at lightning speed, weren’t they… So what did he do?

He chose to slow his world down to do some fancy evasive maneuvers.

You can too.

Sometimes that choice is hard. Sometimes making a choice that can improve your life is a scary fight. But what’s waiting for you on the other side could be life-changing.

Arm yourself to fight for what you truly want this year. In true Sensei style, here’s some powerful kung-fu techniques you can actually use immediately:

4 Hands Free Kung-Fu Master Moves That Once Perfected, Will Help You Dominate This Year Like You’ve Never Done Before

Jackie Chan

1) Be honest with where you are now, and envision where you want to be in the next 12 months

Think big, don’t be wimpy. It takes no more energy to think BIG than it does to think small, so give yourself a fighting chance!

Break down your vision into chunks: What do you need to do monthly? Weekly? Daily? Write it out, then put it somewhere you can see and be reminded of it daily. I’ll be doing more of this and I highly suggest you do the same.

2) Work your ass off the SMART way, to make it work out

I do mean work. And I do mean SMART. Because reality is: whatever you want WON’T happen overnight. If you’re looking for something remarkable to come your way, you need to clear a path. And most of us have a lot of sh*t blocking the way…

…so you’ll need to put consistent sweat and effort, over a long period of time to make a path for your desires to present themselves. One year will come and pass just like the last one did. Will you let the days pass you by?

3) Be willing to give something up

The word is called… SACRIFICE. Gasp! Most times, whatever it is you want- to learn something new, start your own business, have more family time, travel and explore, or have more YOU time- takes some sort of sacrifice. I don’t know what that is for you. But I do know this:

Your mother sacrificed 9 months of her life to bring you into this world. Are you willing to sacrifice at least 9 months to bring YOUR desires and changes to life? I suggest you get off Candy Crush, stop partying like you’re on tour with Aerosmith every weekend and invest those extra hours into something productive. Because you will never regret something that you put your ALL into.

4) ASK for help. ASK for assistance. Just ask

This could potentially be one of the most important tips to help you grow and succeed in your new year. Go out and find the people that have the expertise you need, and ASK THEM for their advice. Because as they say, “If you don’t ask, you…”

And… Stop being a chicken. Pick up the phone. Send them and email. Attend their event and speak with them after. Quit making excuses for why you “can’t” ask for help. There are good people in this world who want to help you! But you must ask. Whether you pay for the right service, hire a seasoned consultant or team up with a respected business leader- find the RIGHT person qualified to give help.

SENSEI SAYS: Your friends and family most times WILL NOT be the right people to ask. Seek those who have experienced what you want.

Friends and family want to keep you safe. But… if you want the ripest fruit, you must climb up the tree.

There you have it. Use these skills to your advantage, but only use these techniques for GOOD. Remember, Neo knew when to ask for help. Will you go and do the same?

And never, ever stop believing in what YOUR heart speaks to you. You’re unique for a reason. Listen to YOUR inner wisdom

Share that with everyone you encounter this year and the next. Leave your mark!

- Shawn Byfield

Shawn ByfieldShawn Byfield is a sought-after dance choreographer, presenter, small business coach and entrepreneur. Shawn’s refreshing advice is enjoyed by thousands who work, train and mentor with him nationwide. To book or interview Shawn, visit www.ShawnByfield.com

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Dance Coach Saves Toronto City Hall

18 Nov
Dance Intervention for Mayor Rob Ford? (Rick Madonik/Toronto Star)

Dance Intervention for Mayor Rob Ford? (Rick Madonik/Toronto Star)

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s Ugly Crack Habit, Booze Addiction And Spiralling Depression Saved By Dance Class Intervention

(Toronto ON- November 18, 2013) It’s not easy to kick a bad habit. But kicks, along with jumps and basic footwork- are exactly what Toronto Mayor Rob Ford needs. A hip hop dance class is a healthy choice that will finally end the Toronto Mayor’s shocking substance abuse, anger issues and his overuse of alcohol.

Enough is enough! It’s time for an intervention. Our Mayor needs to know there is help. And dancing is a proven alternative to the crack pipe,” shares leading dance authority Shawn Byfield, and owner of popular dance school Byfield Dance Experience. “Dance puts you in a great mood by boosting endorphins in your body, which gives you a rush and that ‘high’ feeling. Drugs and alcohol do that artificially. Plus, a sweaty session on the dance floor helps you relax after.”

With the multitude of tasks required to manage city hall, no wonder the city’s Mayor is under so much pressure to escape the daily stress. Running Canada’s top marketplace clearly has a toll on Toronto’s top employee. Byfield’s prescription? “A beginner hip hop dance class twice weekly is an excellent start. I’d even give him free classes because I know it will change his attitude right away- and that’s exactly what our city deserves.”

With all the bad press of his overuse of drugs and alcohol, Mayor Ford has nothing to lose by trying a natural alternative. But there’s a catch, Byfield warns. “Dancing can be quite addictive… But dance is the purest form of stimulant with zero side effects. In fact, Ford may even lose a few pounds.”

# # #

Shawn Byfield Dance Authority & EntrepreneurShawn Byfield is an award-winning choreographer, leading dance coach and owner of Toronto’s favourite dance studio Byfield Dance Experience. Shawn teaches residents how to lose weight and boost confidence- all while having fun learning head-turning moves on the dance floor. CONTACT SHAWN TODAY

2014 Black Canadian Awards Add Shawn Byfield To Nominees

9 Nov

A HUUUUUUGE THANK YOU to everyone who’s supported me in the Black Canadian Awards. This is the LAST weekend to VOTE.

I hope to hear from them this week… and I hope I’m still in the running! As I mentioned on my website, I’m so thrilled and honoured to be officially nominated in Canada’s top Black leaders. The official award show is in March 2014.

Black Canadian Awards Nominee Shawn Byfield

Black Canadian Awards Nominee Shawn Byfield

If you haven’t voted in the Black Canadian Awards yet, please write my name here

and select
– 1.) BEST DANCE ACT and
– 2.) LEADERSHIP

Voting ends TOMORROW… Wish me luck!
- Shawn Byfield

Is Your Season Ending Or Just Beginning?

27 Aug

image

REMINDER: Summer’s almost over.

Remember when you said you would dance more this year? Remember when you said once exams were over you’d take more classes downtown?

Remember when you said “f*ck it, I need to do more of what I love?” Remember that time you said YOU were going to come first?

Remember when you said once you settled into your job things would be different? Remember that New Year Resolution to not fall into the same habits?

Remember when you said once the renovations were over you would have more time? Remember when you said once you have more money you’ll get started?

Remember when you said “once the kids are older…” Remember when you were fed up with negative people? Remember when you were excited to move out and live on your own terms? Remember when you were SICK AND TIRED of missing out? Remember when you swore you weren’t going to repeat the same patterns you did last year?

Do you remember?

So what happened?

Summer’s almost over. But listen:

It’s NEVER too late to start a new season in your life. Plant your seeds in fertile soil and they will grow…

…but if you plant nothing, your garden won’t flourish.

Never stop blooming.

Nurture yourself. START TODAY! DO what you said you wanted to do, because your new season awaits.

- Shawn Byfield

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