Owen Hortop on Taking the Plunge


While I was shooting portrait shots of Owen, I found out that he had recently made a life altering decision to move from the world of academia and finance to full time dance instruction. Admittedly, my immediate reaction was, “whoa, are you sure? Dancers are hobo poor! What if you get injured or get attacked by a brown bear? What is your back-up plan?”.

However, the more he told me about how he came to that decision in his life, the more it sounded like it was less a decision than a calling. There was nothing else in the world he would rather be doing besides teaching and dancing, it was in Owen’s DNA! What’s really interesting for me was to hear that instead of dipping his toes in the shallow end, he just went full on cannon-ball dove right into the deep end. Major props has to be given up for that kind of risk-taking that I’m sure many of us (including myself) would love to do perhaps one day.

As you may or may not know, Owen teaches lindy hop classes at Cats Corner but also recently started a shag troupe. Knowing how hard it was to start a blues troupe in Toronto and Montréal form scratch first hand, I can only imagine the logistics and promotion challenges of starting a shag troupe. Yet, he was able to do it and now it happens every Sunday afternoon at the studio.

That is why I love our dance community so much and how I’m lucky to be able to travel for my dance and work life. I meet so many uniquely interesting people that have this crazy drive to not only succeed but also have the uncanny ability to really focus on what would make them happy.

Instead of trying to fully re-tell Owen’s story, I would just suggest you stop on by his blog: http://stompoff.blogspot.ca/. He has some really interesting posts about dance, life, and the culmination of dance-life.


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