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Accidentally social entrepreneur

published Aug 17, 2017 01:10   by admin ( last modified Aug 20, 2017 05:59 )

Photo from a recent party of ours, © Mikael Ståldal

To be a true entrepreneur, there should be a legacy, something that continues after you quit. It seems I made it, in the unexpected field of sobriety, joy and dancing, of all things.

Five years ago we started monthly sober Saturday night dancing parties in Stockholm. Two weeks ago, after about 60 parties averaging around 150 jolly dancers each, I called it quits.

But the Men Dansa party machine will go on without me. It's cooperative, value driven and supported by many. Here is my thank you note on Facebook:


And come to think of it. I do not own Facebook, but I do own my blog. so here comes a copy of the message in text format:

After five years of Men Dansa parties I have decided to step down and let Men Dansa continue with its current strong lineup of board members, organizers and volunteers. 

And remember, due to the sheer number of motivated people involved, the parties will continue to be just as awesome :)

I took the initiative to and then co-founded Men Dansa with Janne Pettersson and Mikael Ståldal. This is more than five years ago now. We started the Men Dansa as a non profit organisation and decided that Men Dansa should be built on voluntary work, including ourselves: The only one who gets paid is the accountant. If we get a surplus at the end of the year, we donate it. So far it has been to “Cancerfonden” each year. 

Through the years hundreds of volunteers, dozens of organizers and teachers and DJs, and a bunch of board members have helped making the Men Dansa parties the most open, cozy and welcoming Latin dance parties in Stockholm ( in my humble opinion :) ).

We wanted to get new people into the fantastic Latin dance culture where alcohol can not only be absent, but is truly irrelevant, and where drunkenness – given the complexity of the dances we offer – becomes impossible. We wanted to give a solid alcohol free Saturday night alternative to hanging out at drinking places.

Me stepping down is not due to any conflict, it’s rather that I think that we have a really strong lineup of organizers and members of the board, so I feel that I can leave and the show will go on. This will be a very managed handover. In fact I have tried to wind down my participation for some time!

There are so many people I would like to thank: The board and organizers warrant a special mention. You guys – past and present – are ultimately the guys that define the organization. In my experience the volunteers at these passionate dance parties, the organizers, dance teachers, DJs, and all the people who have handled the door & the food – in all we are talking of hundreds of people – are some of the nicest people I’ve met. I’d like to thank you all for having created such great parties together with me and all our guests!!