My first web page was a matter of need. As a programmer
I needed a means to distribute the daily changes in the beta version of our
software to those persons across the world who were testing and reporting
on the software for us.
From there I decided to create a personal page. It
included general information and links as well as some information on the
main program I work on. It also included a small number of photos (I've
been a photographer since 1967). That page is now a table of contents gallery
page to regular photos and photos of dancing around Kansas City.
Later I added a set of pages about personal spiritual
experiences and my searches for answers about existence. The baseline experience
was my grandmother's death in 1977 when she appeared to me at the time of
her death, some 300 miles away.
NOTE: this pargraph updated to remove the old link. My personal pages were originally located at http://www.planetkc.com/dancer which no longer exists. Nor, it seems does the service provider. Entering http://www.planetkc.com gets me an outfit in Lynchburg, VA, not in Lenexa, KS on 95th street which is where this hosting service was located in the early to late 1990's (just east of where I used to work at Preco Industries, old location).
When I plunged heavily into dancing in early 1997 at
the Kansas City Swing Dance Club, after taking instruction on a sometimes
on (starting with Arthur Murray), mostly off, basis across the previous three
and a half years (taking time away to work on programs), I found early on
that I and my dance partners were getting praise from other persons in nightspots.
Since we were REALLY beginners at that time I tried
to tell those people who asked us where we learned to dance that they should
head for the Kansas City Swing Dance Club (KCSDC). I would write this note
on a piece of paper. I felt a bit inadequate because I didn't have anything
to hand out.
Where To Learn
So I decided to write a page of information that I could
hand out. I started with a regular word processing document. The idea was
to have a paragraph about the KCSDC, copy it to three or four locations on
the page, print the pages and cut it into strips, each of which I would hand
out. About the same time the Heartland Swing Dance Club was started by Patricia
Searing and I began to attend group dance lessons at Walter's Dance Center,
for ballroom. So immediately my idea expanded to one page with three paragraphs,
one for each of the group lesson places.
About this time I decided it would be handy for a
lot of people if I added this information as a page on my site. I re-organized
my site into a home area, with branches to a spiritual section and a dance
section. For some time the dance section was the original three-paragraph
informational piece on where to get group lessons. Before going out dancing
I would print a number of these pages and take them with me so that I could
give the information to persons who came up to us looking for somewhere
they could go to learn to dance "as well" as us. I say "as well" with some
trepidation because I am still talking about beginner levels.
But I figured that if these people could applaud
our performance and if they wished that they too could do this then I knew
that I could tell them 1) that we we really beginners and that 2) since
we were beginners it meant that they too could get to this level in a short
time and have just as good a time dancing and feeling good about it in any
Where To Go
By this time I was going out to a number of locations
and I wanted to know where else to go. It turned out that even the most experienced
dancers at the clubs didn't have a really good list of nightspots to go to
for dancing. None of the local news sources were any help. The Kansas City
Star's Friday "Preview" section carried a night life section as did the Pitch
Weekly but neither one could tell you where the dancing was. There is a lot
of music but not so much dancing.
So I decided to do my own dance-places page and distribute
it on my web site. It grew steadily as I found more and more places which
had dance floors, or offered dancing or allowed dancing in some other way.
(In Overland Park the zoning regulations put a heavy legal and monetary
toll on anyone with a dance floor so I learned that OP locations, even if
they have dancing often won't say so. They get very guarded when you ask
in person, suspicious, actually, wondering whether I am some undercover
zoning inspector, or whatever.)
By fall of 1997 I decided to turn my information page
into a brochure that I could hand out. I now have a four-section double-fold
brochure that I take with me to hand out and which I also distribute in bunches
around the city for people to pick up. The brochure lists ongoing, open to
all, good group lessons. No one listed in the brochure pays to be included.
I take this around because those first persons
who asked (in Blayney's in Westport) got me started and because I know
there are a lot of other persons who would like to know where to learn to
dance with minimal pain and minimal embarrasment.
Fills My Own Needs as Well
As you can tell, not only did the size of the site grow
but so did its coverage. My original intentions of supplying some helpful
information were long ago supplanted with a whole new set of concepts about
who Kansas City Dancing is for. In the future there are more ideas relating
to promoting dancing. There are personal reasons as well. For so very many
years (decades) I didn't dance. I was hugely intimidated by merely going near
a nightspot with music just because there might be dancing there. I pushed
myself past that point and when I see someone else who would like to dance
and who isn't I really want to get information to them about where to get
The site was originally designed to list only the
low-priced and good group lessons which are available to anyone at anytime.
Most of the focus is still in that direction. I also list those dance studios
which offer private lessons. These too are valuable and every student finds
their own way to learn dancing. I had avoided listing private dance studios
at first because I and many others had paid a lot of money for such lessons
(and they were good) but we couldn't afford to keep spending money at that
level. So I was most interested in lessons anyone could afford at any time
and which were open to all.
Domain Name : KCDance.Com
In the spring of 1978 I changed the site from a regular
dial-up account to a domain name. Domain-hosting prices finally met a range
that I felt I could afford. I don't make money from the site so I can't depend
on the site to pay for itself. That despite the "com" in the name. I felt
a domain name would help to make the site easier to remember and easier to
type. This also allows me to use the commonly expected "www" at the start
of the name rather than the "users" I had had with the previous site.
The hit counter is very simple. I added that in late
1978. The amount shown is an estimate of the number of hits from the start
of this site. I was getting more than 1,500 hits a month at that point. I
then reset the counter number to reflect the hits from February 1997 to December
1978. I started with the hits-per-day at that time and reduced the hits as
I estimated backward. Despite the reduction the hits seemed like so many I
redid the estimate to push the number a little lower. Still, over time, the
hits add up and I suspect the estimate may have been a bit modest.
So, I have more growth with more changes in the future,
both to me and to my site.