The other night, I got up on stage at the Spotlight Live during the 2008 SearchBash in New York City party while at SES NY. It was out of character for me, I suppose, to some of my friends and associates. For those who really, really know me, it was exactly and perfectly, Kim.

I had attended the SearchBash while at SES San Jose last August with my friend of 10 years, and forums co-Admin, Bill Slawski. We had V.I.P. status because it was Cre8asiteforums’ 5th birthday and we were celebrating with our friends and supporters. It was a wild party. I loved the music.

I loved the music even more at the Google Dance party held for SES San Jose attendees. All I wanted to do was dance with all the others who were dancing their hearts out, but I didn’t. As Greg Boser teased me correctly in the bar this week at SES NY, I am one of the “old ones” from the SEO/M industry. I guess there’s a time when you have to stop dancing because god forbid, your clients should see you having fun.

The Whirling Dervish

It was painful for me to hold back at SES San Jose. In my heart, I’m still running towards stages, holding up a lighter, and screaming my lungs out for “MORE!”

You see, I came of age during the 70′s. For me, every weekend was a concert to go to. Pink Floyd. David Bowie. Eric Clapton. YES. Peter Frampton. The Grateful Dead. Neil Young. ZZ Top (I snuck off and hitched a ride to see them.) Talking Heads. I lost track of all the concerts. Tickets were relatively cheap. Every concert was an adventure and a story that today, my kids aren’t sure whether or not to believe.

In the 80′s, I had a crew cut and was in love with punk rock. I went to a place in New Jersey called “City Gardens”, which was a gigantic building with bars, pool tables, dance floor and stages. I went there to dance all night. My favorite bands were the Dead Kennedys and Our Daughters Wedding. Years later, I would learn that Bill Slawski was there too, at the same time I was.

By the end of the 80′s, I had dated several guys from different local and NJ shore bands and had gone on the road with one band as an official “groupie”. I danced and danced. Slept in strange hotel rooms with piles of people. But all I cared about was the music and I longed for the next night when we’d be dancing again. I wore all black in those days. My hair was always long. I was slender. So, so slender! This was before kids. Before marriage. Before “settling down”.

The last time I danced was in 1988 when I married the father of my kids. I insisted on a wedding reception with a big dance floor and fussed over the music the way most brides would fuss over their flowers.

The Professional

Despite that persona of groupie dancing fanatic, I had another, quite serious side. By night, I was a dancing fool. By day, I was working for political lobbyists and county commissioners. I worked for my state’s Treasury department. I was responsible for entering all the House and Senate Bills into a database as a side job. I managed a company’s manufacturing inventory and computer system for 6 years. In other words, I had this professional life that was completely different and separate from the dancer.

When the kids came along, the dancing had long ended. Divorce, career changes, single motherhood, starting a business, founding a forums, remarriage, step-son, volunteering for all kinds of things, buying a house…

In my head I continue to dance.

You can’t lose weight by dancing in your head. And besides, the music is different nowadays. The dancing is different. I’m 49 years old. There’s this stigma of an “older” woman, full-figured and busty, wiggling around on stage like a teenager. I figured that my days of dancing the Charleston on a bar with a patron (Yes. I did that. Fell and broke my ankle.) were just memories that I would share from my porch rocking chair. Maybe my grandkids would like to know their Grandmother was a hoot in her day.

However, my friend and work associate, Li Evans, doesn’t accept any old lady thoughts rolling around in my head. Maybe it’s because she has taken the time to get to know me. She’s gotten past the barriers I sometimes throw up. Which brings me to the SearchBash this week.

And We Danced

The Spotlight Live is right smack in Times Square. A place that, had I been younger, I would have properly dressed for by wearing something outrageous and easy to dance in. But, being who I am now, I came with my husband, Eric, and some friends, in whatever we had on that day because we already checked out of our hotel. We could only stay at the Spotlight for 2 hours, and then needed to drive home that night.

Karaoke was the main party focus. I can sing, but have never sung into a microphone. I haven’t danced in years. Not real dancing, where my body would go fluid and my soul would soar. When my friend, Avi, wanted to sing Blister in the Sun, he wanted some company on stage. Li BEGGED me, for a good 20 minutes, to go up there and be a “backup dancer”.

For that mind blowing, scared to death, 20 minutes after I first said I would do it, I said no. I tried to hide from her, twice. I had butterflies. I was scared. Avi and Li kept insisting I go up there. My husband, Eric, who wouldn’t dream of stopping me, thought I should do it and of course, so did my friends like Matt McGee and his terrifically fun wife, whom I pleaded to go up with me. When Avi’s turn came up, I just took those steps towards the stage because in the end, I couldn’t let down my friends. Li yanked another friend named Jill at the last second and we all went up there.

The lights were very hot. The music started. I could hear people yelling and clapping. I looked up to the higher floors and did what came naturally. I rose up my fist in the concert stance and yelled “Whoo Hoo!” just like in my Grateful Dead days. I started to dance but I was distracted by a friend taking pictures to my left. Then, I saw Eric in the crowd below, rooting me on. For some reason, every ounce of fear I had disappeared the moment I saw him smiling back at me. I blew him a kiss. Seeing him there and having Mary Sue taking pictures with Li’s camera so close by, I felt that what I was doing, however impossibly silly I looked, was exactly what I wanted to be doing.

Eric told me later that he heard somebody yell, “That’s Kim Krause up there!”

Yes. It was.

When I turn 50 in May, I want to dance again.

avi, li, jill and kim

(Left to Right – Avi, Li, Jill and Kim)

Photo courtesy of Li Evans.

View the entire WebmasterRadio.fm SearchBash @ NYC 2008 Set by Li Evans.

Kim on stage, raised fist.

My raised fist, “Whoo hoo!” moment.

View entire SES New York 2008 Set by Li Evans

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cre8pc

Kim Krause Berg’s long background in web design, SEO and usability includes software application functional and user interface testing, accessibility, information architecture and persuasive design. She shared her passion for Usability and SEO through her site and private consulting at Cre8pc for 17 years. Kim founded Cre8asiteforums in 1998. In the fall of 2012 she sold her forums to Internet Marketing Ninjas and retired from private consulting to join their Executive Management team where she continues her work in usability testing, customer experience and conversions design.

My Online Course: Web Site Usability 101

Member:

American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T)

Information Architecture Institute

Usability Professionals Association (UPA)

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