Thursday, 22 August 2013

Dreamers Interview Series – Turlough Myers

Meet Turlough Myers, a dance instructor at Cat's Corner.  Although I did attend some classes at the studio (where I met Christine, our previous guest in this series,) this isn't where he and I met.  We actually have Doctor Who to thank for our friendship as we met through this common interest. So, without further ado, Allons-y!

The details of the giveaway will follow the interview.

Tell us a bit more about what you do? a question I occasionally ask myself. I teach Swing dancing at a studio called Cat’s Corner, specifically Lindy Hop, authentic solo jazz, and Charleston.  Basically all the dancing to swing music that you see in old movies, I teach people how to do that. Teaching certainly is my primary practice of being a dancer, but I do get occasional performance gigs, out of town workshops and competitions. But I am at the studio six days a week, teaching, practicing or dancing socially. :)
Was this a dream you had for a long time? If not, how did it come to be?
Yes...well...sort of. It is, but I didn’t know it was until I found it. I was put in Irish dance at the age of six and from there pretty much always dreamed of performing in some capacity; in high school I was involved in theatre a lot, but that was not for me. I didn’t find Lindy Hop until university and it seems now that I have found the dream I had always been looking for, to be a dance teacher.
What was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome to make your dream come true?
The road is bumpy for sure, but it’s hard to say if there has been one thing that really held me back at any point.  Injuries happen, I have had ankle injuries that have kept me from dancing for weeks at a time. The hardest thing to overcome now is more internal, I often find myself thinking “my dancing is terrible, I need to work harder...” but life is about working hard to achieve what you want! :)
What is your next goal? Would you like to own your own dance studio one day?
This is a good question, because I’m a young guy and I still have a job at a call centre to make ends meet. So I still have a long way to go. Owning a dance studio is an option, and that would absolutely be a dream come true. Or even traveling different places in the world to teach workshops for different dance communities. But that is intensely long-term, in the short-term I want to keep competing and keep trying to become a better dancer.
What advice would you like to give to the dreamers who hesitate to take the first step towards their dream?
That’s a great question, in my opinion, you have to fail. Everyone sucks at what the do when they first start doing it, but if you work at it you will get better. so if you’re hesitating to start my advice is to face your fears head on, let yourself fail, and always try again. If you start with high expectations for yourself you’re probably being unrealistic, so be patient and keep trying. As I write this, I realize that I need to listen to my own!
Playwright Jim Burke interviewed two weeks ago would like to know,
"If you were confronted by a student who seemed to have absolutely no sense of rhythm, was horribly self-conscious, and danced like an embarrassing dad at a wedding, would you see him as a challenge to be met, or would you politely suggest that dancing might not really be for him."
This occurrence is far more rare than people would like to believe of themselves.  Here is a conversation that I am constantly having with people: “you can try lindy hop if you want some more fun in your life.” “I am completely uncoordinated and clumsy, I’m hopeless.”
YOU ARE NOT HOPELESS. I believe that you can do anything if you set your mind to it. So to answer your question it would be a challenge for me and a bigger challenge for the person who struggles with it more than others do. While I would see it as a challenge to be met, but I would be honest with him/her about his/her abilities and natural skills so that they know what the road ahead might be like.
Our next featured guest is Marc-André Charron, a French-Canadian playwright, actor and stage director; what question would you like to ask him?

I have a question for Marc-Andre! 
Many people tend to view theatre as a relatively open art form where just about anything is possible within the medium.  With constant new expression and new ideas involved, how important (if at all) is the preservation of “old fashioned” ideas in theatre and what place does “old fashioned” style theatre art have in our contemporary world? 
I would like to thank Turlough for his participation in the DIS. And now, the


For a chance to win a Friday night dance pass at Cat's Corner as well as a half price private dancing lesson with Turlough, leave a question in the comment section.  Turlough will answer all question and whoever he deems asked the best question will be the winner!  You have until Tuesday August 27th 11:59pm ET to enter.  The winner will be announced on Thursday August 29th.


  1. As I keep saying, always follow your dreams. No matter what!

  2. Is dancing ability nature or nurture?

  3. What did teaching others to dance teach you about yourself? Have you made any surprising discoveries about yourself as a result of teaching others and what were they?

  4. There have been great efforts taken to revive Lindy hop as a style of dance. How would you think explains its popularity today? and is preservation more important than innovation?

  5. Is there a style of dance you've always wanted to try, but haven't had the chance yet?

  6. Hi Turlough, I started East Coast Swing Dancing when I was twelve, I have been back at it for four years now. At Swing L'ete a follow (possibly a dance teacher) I danced with guessed from my dancing, that I probably learnt to dance in the fifties to Elvis Presley records. She was right as far as the era but the artists were Theresa Brewer; Four Lads; Glen Miller. My question is do you think I was being complimented on my dancing. She did tell me I was a good dancer at the end of the dance but I felt putdown, any comments, from your experience as a teacher.

  7. Hi Turlougn ! Can you give me a trick to help people to discover their hability to follow the beat?

  8. Analog, and the digital video and the Web played a tremendous role in the spread of Lindy Hop since the eighties. Now, be it motion capture, advanced video playback controls, video annotations, media indexing or other technologies, do you think that IT could make it easier to teach and learn the moves, the technique and the styling of social dancing?

    1. Alexander, the giveaway ended but I will send your question to Turlough. You will see his answer here ( soon.