There Are Three Currencies In Dance Congress Life (And Life In General)

We’re going to do something a bit different with this article and talk about a foundational principle of managing currency that is very important to the deep understanding of going to dance congresses frugally.

That principle is that there are three different currencies you have to deal with when planning to attend a dance congress as frugally as possible.

Some of you play mobile phone games and have encountered games where there are two or more different currencies. You may have coins to pay for some things, gems to pay for other things, and maybe a third or fourth currency in the case of some games.

There are parallels to real life with this – when planning for a dance congress or any other type of trip, you deal with three different currencies in real life.

The first currency is money. This is the obvious one. Dollars, pounds, pesos, rupees – whatever the currency is where you are in the world at the time. Your pass, hotel room, food, plane ticket, all of that is paid for with money. Money is the first and foremost of the three currencies of the #FrugalCongressLife.

But there is a second, less obvious currency you have to deal with: time.

How is time a currency, you ask? Simply put, many of the ways you save money at congresses have you spending extra time.

Let’s say you stay offsite from the event hotel at a cheaper motel or AirBNB 15 minutes away from the event, which to be clear is something we do not recommend doing for a variety of reasons, but that some people do regardless. You may be saving money by staying offsite but for at least a sizable chunk of the money you are saving by doing this, you are spending time instead.

We’ll assume that each day of the event, you travel from your offsite location to the event for workshops, back to your offsite location to shower up for the party, then back to the event for the party, then back to your offsite location to sleep after you finish dancing. That’s two hours you have spent on commuting that you could have spent napping, taking workshops, eating a nice meal, socializing, or doing any number of other things if you had stayed at the event hotel and just had a 30 second walk from your room to the event. What money you saved is offset at least somewhat by time spent.

This is true for many other money saving strategies as well.

If you take public transportation somewhere instead of an UBER, you have saved money, but spent time, as public transportation takes anywhere from two to four times as long as an UBER ride on average.

Same thing with buying groceries instead of eating out – you save money, but spend time. If you go super frugal and make your own food at the congress, you spend even more time.

About the only money-saving strategy that doesn’t also have you spending time is buying your pass early, which is frankly a no-brainer for congresses you know that you will be attending.

Thinking of time as a currency puts a lot in perspective.

But there is still a third currency one deals with in dance congress planning and budgeting: stress.

Stress is a more abstract currency, but it could be classified as a form of currency, because it takes away from your enjoyment of the event and the absence of it adds to your enjoyment of the event. Furthermore, if you have to deal after the event with a stressful caused by a money saving decision made at the event, you have still paid in stress, but it was a deferred payment.

Let’s say the budget motel you stay in is a block away from the event hotel, but your room has a bedbug infestation and some of the bedbugs come home with you in your luggage. You have not really paid in time immediately to offset what you have saved in money in this example, but you have most certainly paid in stress, both instant and deferred. A bedbug infestation you bring home from a cheap motel is something you have to pay professionals to fix and lose your bedding and other possessions as well, so going to a cheap disreputable motel possibly carries extra payments in money, time, AND stress.

If you take public transportation to the event and the train breaks down, you are paying in stress AND time what you saved by taking public transportation instead of UBER.

If you fly a budget airline or take a budget bus line and your trip is delayed or cancelled, you have paid in time and stress as well.

If you stay at an AirBNB, you have the extra time and stress of having to manage your host’s expectations (your host is likely not a dancer and doesn’t fully understand the world of the dance congress) and clean up after yourself a bit more diligently than you would at a hotel that has a cleaning staff.

The key to effectively attending dance congresses frugally without subtracting from your enjoyment of these congresses then, is to know how to manage and balance these three different currencies and understand how one can offset the other. Sometimes it is worth spending a little extra money to save time and stress, the two other currencies of dance congress planning and budgeting. Sometimes spending a little extra time or dealing with a little stress is worth the monetary savings. It’s really more of an art than a science and something that has to be felt out and applied to every individual situation, but that is something that gets easier with time and experience.

I hope this article helped some people gain more perspective as they plan and budget the rest of their congress season.


#FrugalCongressLife Resource Spotlight: Stretching and Core Training Apps

[DISCLOSURE: At the time of writing I am not affiliated with not have been hired to promote any of the other companies or services mentioned in this article.

Any exercise program or regimen carries with it an inherent risk of injury. Consult a doctor before beginning any physical exercise program or regimen.

Read and follow any and all safety instructions on any exercise product that you purchase for your use.

All advice presented in this article is presented as is with no liability to #FrugalCongressLife or the author.]

Welcome to part two of our three part series on fitness resources for the traveling dancer for National Physical Fitness and Sports Month!

Last time we discussed resistance bands, a portable and versatile alternative to free weights and gyms for getting a full-body workout in on the go. The full-body beach-muscle workouts you get from weightlifting or resistance band training programs are certainly very important to strength and fitness for dancers. However, as I said last week, two of the most important salient components of physical fitness for dancers specifically are touched on only briefly by most weightlifting and resistance training programs aimed at bodybuilders, and can be done without a gym, weights, bands, or anything of the sort.

Those components are stretching/flexibility and core training. Training the core, in addition to training the lats, is very important to keeping a dancer’s frame solid, as much of a dancer’s frame comes from the core. Stretching and flexibility are important, particularly for follows who are led into moves requiring flexibility,

The following smartphone apps present comprehensive stretching and core training programs to increase your flexibility and strengthen your abs and core. The exercises shown in the apps are exercises you only need your body and some floor space for and can be done in your hotel room easily, although I would do them while you’re in the room by yourself if you have a lot of roommates as they do take up some real estate on the floor.

High-level dancers and performers will undoubtedly already have stretching and core training programs very similar to those shown in the apps in place already, but the apps offer an excellent framework to beginners just getting into stretching and core training, as well as structured programs.


Start Stretching from Gregory Dunn and Health & Fitness comes with a free stretching program featuring such foundational stretches as the rear hand clasp, shoulder extension, back bend, and lying twist, and two paid premium regular and advanced programs. The app also offers stats on which stretches you have done and for how long, and times you when you select a stretch in addition to showing you the proper form for the stretch in detail both with words and pictures. Stretch duration and countdown times can be customized in the app.

Sworkit’s Stretching app offers three programs: Full Body Stretch, Head To Toe Stretch, and Pilates Essentials, offering a very similar program of stretches as the Start Stretching app. You pick the amount of time you want to spend stretching in minutes, and the app gives you a structured program with a new stretch every 30 seconds, accompanied by videos demonstrating the stretch in detail, and all you have to do is follow along with the voice instructions.


Sworkit’s Abs And Core app offers three programs: Awesome Abs, Complete Core, and Back Strength. Each workout program offers exercises critical to core strength such as the plank, the situp, the 6-and-hold, the twist, the hundreds, and many others. The workout structure is identical to the stretching app.

Both Sworkit’s stretching app and their abs and core app can be connected to your phone’s health app and any music apps on your phone.

The most comprehensive free alternative on the app store is Abs Workout from Fast Builder Limited. The app comes with a staggering eight different workout plans ranging from beginner to advanced: Beginner Abs, Beginner Core, 7 Minute Abs, Ab Blaster, Core Trainer, Plank Challenge, Angel Abs, and the toughest of them all, Hard Core. Workout times range from 7 to 21 minutes. You are shown a preview of the workout before starting and letting the voice guidance take you through your workout in a manner very similar to the other apps.

The app can be configured to skip the countdown seconds, voice guidance, and halfway prompt, as well as connect to Apple Health.


Stretching and core training are some of the most pivotal exercises for a dancer’s fitness and long-term health, and we hope these apps are useful to you in reaching your goals in this area.

If the hotel-room workouts just aren’t cutting it for you, next week we will be covering a possibly revolutionary new app that could make gym access on the road much easier – stay tuned!

Merry Christmas!

Today is Christmas Day here in the US where #FrugalCongressLife is based. We hope all our readers are having a joyous and festive Christmas holiday with your families and loved ones, whether you are celebrating the Christmas holiday today or celebrated on the 24th!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today is Thanksgiving in the United States where #FrugalCongressLife is based. We hope all of you who are celebrating this holiday have an excellent Thanksgiving with your family and/or friends and loved ones and have much to be thankful for! We will be back on December 3rd with our survival guide for one of our favorite US congresses, the Baltimore Salsa Bachata Congress! Stay tuned!

Happy Halloween!

Hope you all are having fun at your respective parties/events/Are You Afraid Of The Dark marathons/whatever!  Stay safe, don’t eat too much candy, don’t do anything I would do, and we’ll be back on November 7th with a write-up on DC’s Sensual Day event!  Be on the lookout!