joeltorgeson.com

About

“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself – and you are the easiest person to fool” – Richard P. Fenyman

How does one write an about page? Is it a resume? Is it a list of achievements? Of aspirations?

How should I encapsulate who I am and what I’m trying to do into some pithy prose that won’t make you roll your eyes or close the tab? Like schrödinger’s cat or an electron, do I change my own state by observing it? Am I unbearably obnoxious for making that reference? Probably.

Quite frankly I have no idea. Maybe you’ll hate this. Maybe this will lie closer to farce than fact. Maybe you’ll come out of it thinking I’m a total narcissist. Maybe not. An action is generally better than inaction though, so I’m going to try. Please let me know if I’m materially different from what I choose to portray here.

The Short Version is All You Need:

Hi, I’m Joel. I love to dance. You probably already knew that.

What you might not know is that I’m an avid thinker. I love to dissect things and look for deeper meanings and harmonies in the major activities of my life. I have neither notable national titles nor artistic credits, but I do have the confidence (or hubris?) to put my thoughts out into the world here on this small piece of internet real estate. I hail from small-town Minnesota and studied biological anthropology at the University of Minnesota, a perspective and style that I bring to much of my writing on this blog.

The quote that leads this off is important to me because I know how easy it is to tell myself stories that can justify nearly any form of untruth. Much of the writing I do here comes from my internal monologues, things that I believe I need to hear in order to continue finding value and progress in my life.

I’m currently living in Los Angeles, teaching at a studio called Just Dance Los Angeles, and traveling to as many West Coast Swing competitions as I can. I compete in the advanced division (hopefully All-Star soon with a little luck and a few months!) and am working on a Rising Star routine.

I’d also like to point out that, as a straight white male I’m one of the most privileged kinds of people you’ll ever meet. I try to be self-conscious (in the positive sense) about it to the best of my ability, but I often make mistakes. Please forgive me, and then tell me where I’ve gone wrong. I can’t improve if I don’t know I’m messing up, and when life hands you all the cheat codes at birth, sometimes you don’t realize the realities of the game everyone else is playing.

And that’s mostly it! There is, of course, more, but you can probably glean most of that by perusing some of the articles on this site. Or find me out dancing and strike up a conversation!

One last thing:

 

Here’s my first tango, one of the first dances I ever performed. Go ahead, watch. I’m #112. My favorite moment is at 1:36 as I exit stage right…

I love that video because it not only reminds me of where I come from (baaaad dancing), but it convinces me to lighten up a little bit. No matter how hard I’m pushing myself at any given time, it’s always useful to take a moment and appreciate the journey I’ve already been on, as trite as that may sound.

 

Anyways, what are you still doing here? Go! Read! Or close the tab. Thank you for giving me the time that you have so far, either way!