Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

poem-reality June 21, 2017


Reality has to intervene.

You’re not destined for the NHL

Or the corps de ballet

Your voice will not sell

A million records.

Simon sends you packing.


Reality can suck.

But if playing hockey

Brings you happiness

Why stop just because you’ll never hoist the Stanley Cup?

Dance like nobody’s watching

Sing until you’re smiling.


Don’t let reality rob you of the joy

Of the activity itself.

The rush of a beautiful pass and goal.

The beauty of a perfectly formed pirouette.

The harmony than hums in your ear.

Celebrate those moments for ten thousand hours.


They say ten thousand hours yields excellence.

Perhaps you’ll need twenty.

Or thirty.

Embrace the joy.

Share in a community of like minds.

Perhaps after forty thousand hours

Your reality will change

And if it doesn’t,

At least you’ll nurture your soul.

Like reality,

Success has many faces.


poem-dance March 29, 2015

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 1:08 am
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The music echoes through her bones

throbbing heart beat,

quivering quavers,

filling feet with rhythm.

Eyes scanning for possibilities,

Whose arms will encircle her?

Will he be the one to enfold her,

entwine their bodies,

make her sway

under his percussion?

She watches and wonders,

Shall she dance?




(Inspired by Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez tonight)


poem- dancing July 13, 2014

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 2:23 am
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She wouldn’t dance.

But still

he spun her in circles

twisted her arms

flipped her over

spun her again

’til she was dizzy.

And yet

she wouldn’t dance.


dancing September 23, 2012

Filed under: Commentary,fun — Shawn L. Bird @ 6:57 pm
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I’ve been off the blog because I’ve been attending dance workshops the last couple of days.  Get Bent Yoga and Bellydance came up from Penticton to do some classes with us.

If you are in Penticton, you need to check them out, they have drop in classes! If you’re in a town where they tour, you won’t be disappointed with their show!



When I’ve recovered from the exhausting hours of exercise and mental effort, I’ll write you a fascinating blog post, I promise.  Well.  I’ll write a blog post, at least! 🙂


Dance dance dance! September 19, 2012

Filed under: fun — Shawn L. Bird @ 11:39 am
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The high school where I teach English and Drama this year, is famous for its amazing dance program.  Here’s a Youtube video of the Pleasant Valley Secondary Adrenaline Dance Team in action:



The camera was really close in ^^^^ that version ^^^^ though the energy is particularly high because it’s a competition.  Here is a performance of the same number, with a wider perspective:



solution to the Hunger Games April 23, 2012

Filed under: anecdotes,Commentary — Shawn L. Bird @ 3:25 pm
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Overheard in my class room:

If I was a tribute in The Hunger Games I’d make an alliance with everyone and teach them to dance, because everyone knows you don’t murder a flash mob.




Jamila Mai at the Roots and Blues August 23, 2011

Some members of Jamila Mai performing at the Salmon Arm Roots and Blues

Jamila Mai Belly Dance of Salmon Arm offers classes for beginners and intermediate belly dancers of  all ages.  Classes run in three sessions a year: generally Sept to Dec, Jan to Mar, Mar to May at the Downtown Activity Centre (former Salmon Arm Elementary).

For details, contact Rachael  at two-five-zero-eight-three-three-nineteen-fifteen or email her at


Roots and Blues August 20, 2011

Filed under: Pondering — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:01 am
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Having read all last night, (The Help) and getting only 3 hours sleep before I had to start my day, I’m now sitting here at 11 p.m. having awoken from a five hour nap, listening to the music from the main stage of the Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival.

This is quite a lovely festival, with generally well-behaved guests of all ages, who listen to a variety of music from around the world on several stages throughout the day, and settle in for the main stage once night falls.  A significant portion of Salmon Arm comes free as volunteers for one area or another.

This year I am volunteering on the dance stage.  Various  local dance groups are performing a little, and then leading a participation workshop.  We’ve been practising all summer, which is good, because usually we all desperately miss dance between the spring and fall sessions.

Lots of people make up these local festivals, doing all sorts of little jobs.  Our time makes it happen.  Come on and enjoy a day with us!


Some days you just gotta dance… July 22, 2011

Filed under: Commentary — Shawn L. Bird @ 3:48 pm
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I can’t think of many better things to do than to travel the world dancing.  How fun is this?  Where the Hell is Matt is a blog that shows where Matt is travelling and dancing.   This is proof that you don’t have to have a lot of fancy moves to make the activity worthwhile!  All you need is a little enthusiasm.  Enjoy!


PS.  He’s heading off again, so if you want to join him, fill out this  form on his website.  His website is, as might be expected, rather entertaining.  You will probably enjoy hanging out there.



Dancing in heaven May 12, 2010

Filed under: Commentary — Shawn L. Bird @ 5:58 am
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Doris Eaton Travis has passed away at 106. What a loss. What a life to celebrate. Who was Doris Travis, you ask? Quite simply, Doris was a legend. She was the last of the Ziegfield Follies and she was still dancing! What an inspiration.

Theatre gets in the blood, and the more you’re under those lights, sharing the rush of adrenaline with a company of like-minded souls and basking in the applause of an appreciative audience, the harder it is to escape the pull. I know why she loved Broadway and kept dancing throughout her life. It’s also no surprise that dancing kept her young and fit. Remember that episode of Fame from 1982 where the dancers left the rival school’s football team in the dust?

For years I struggled fitting exercise into my routine. I knew that I wouldn’t keep up a regime of jogging, swimming, cycling, or aerobics no matter how many people told me those were the best exercises for me. Yech. I have to be having fun with people I enjoy. I can’t socialize while swimming laps, and there’s no variety in jogging down the road. Dancing makes me happy. I love going to my twice weekly classes, laughing with good people as we try to learn new choreographies, and keeping fit in a fun way. It is always a rush when we perform. Oh, I know that I am not the best dancer and I struggle to remember everything I’m supposed to be doing from week to week, but that’s the laughter factor, and laughing is good for the heart, too.

I hope you’re dancing in heaven, Doris. Keep a place in your heavenly chorus line for me!


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