fulfill your new year's resolution by trying something new this weekend

Variety is the spice of life -- so sprinkle in a little spice this weekend. Whether your New Years Resolution was to exercise more, meet more new people, learn to dance or even to raise your voice in a conversation about social justice, we have a few ideas for your weekend that might diverge from your typical path.
Community Speaks (Vol. 1)
Thursday, Jan. 8th 7-9 pm
Spaces Gallery
2220 Superior Viaduct
Things are weird, so let’s talk it out. Transport yourself out of your typical comfort zone and join Spaces Gallery for an open conversation led by Maria Miranda about racism, ally-ship and community violence. Open a dialogue and raise your consciousness about current issues around police violence and members of Cleveland (and beyond). The event is hosted by She Speaks, a collective of socially engaged women focused on sharing their thoughts through written word and discussion. People of all perspectives, ages and genders are welcomed to attend. 
Big Box '15, Week #1
January 8th – 10th 7 pm
Cleveland Public Theatre
6415 Detroit Avenue 
Tickets $12-15
See what artists have created when they’re given the keys to The James Levin Theatre and the freedom to transform the space for their work. This week kicks off the centerpiece of CPT’s season, Big Box, which provides local artists with the opportunity to create and produce new work. Over seven weeks, Big Box includes nine world-premiere workshop performances of theatre, dance and genre-defying performances. 
Big Box week #1 begins with a play called “Cut It Out” written by Andrew Kramer and directed by Sarah Greywitt. As their website states, “Rebecca Helmer is a wife and mother becoming increasingly unsettled by her seemingly perfect life. Suffocated by the comfort of this illusion, she embarks on a journey of ‘remaking herself.’ Quite literally—with plastic surgery.”
Lakewood Masonic Temple Swing Dance
Friday, January 9th 8 pm -12 am
Lakewood Masonic Temple
15300 Detroit Avenue, Lakewood 
Tickets are $12 / $10 for students and seniors (with valid ID)
$5 if you’ve never been to a Get Hep Swing Dance!
Vintage swing is Valerie Salstrom’s thing — and it can become your thing, too. Salstrom is an international swing dance champion and founder of Cleveland-based dance company Get Hep Swing that hosts events and lessons throughout the area. She has many reasons why dancing can be a great New Years Resolution.
“There is nothing better than feeling the energy on a crowded dance floor,” Salstrom says. “Crush your bucket list this year! You will end up with lots of great new friends and a brand new skill set that will instantly make you the life of the party.”
Arrive at 8 pm to participate in the easy jitterbug lesson. There is no need to have previous dance experience or a dance partner. Remember to wear shoes that are “comfortable and not too sticky on the bottom.” The Demetrius Steinmetz Band will kick off at 9 for a night of live swing until midnight.
18th Annual Tri-C High School Rock Off
Friday, Jan. 9 / Saturday Jan. 10 (doors 5:30 pm)
Friday Jan. 16 / Saturday Jan. 17 (doors 5:30 pm)
Friday Jan. 23 / Saturday 24 (doors 5:30 pm)
Febuary 7 / Final round (doors 5:30 pm)
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Tickets are $10
This weekend kicks off the first week of Tri-C’s High School Rock Off. Nearly two decades ago, the Tri-C High School Rock Off first began as a way to encourage kids to form bands, make music and be creative. Currently, the event receives far more submissions than it could possibly showcase over the course of six weekend semi-finals, each showcasing 12 bands.
You truly never know what you’re going to see. The prominent local quartet The Modern Electric won the Rock Off back in 2008. Each evening, three winners will be picked by a panel of music business judges, and those bands will go on to compete at the “Final Exam,” also at the Rock Hall, on Saturday, February 7th. A ticket also includes admission to the museum.

Dirty Snowflake Prediction Run
Saturday, January 10, 2015 10 am 
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
4570 Akron Peninsula Road
Tickets are $30 or $35 on race day
The fastest runner doesn’t win the race; Dirty Snowflake Prediction Run is judged upon whether you know your body so well that you can calculate your pace in any kind of Ohio weather while running over trails of rocks and roots. Stand up to the challenge this Saturday beginning at Cuyahoga Valley National Park’s Ledges Shelter. The Dirty Snowflake Prediction Run requires you to predict how long it will take you to complete the four(ish) mile loop. The winners are the top 10 people that finish closest to their predicted time. There’s another catch — you are required to leave your watch and GPS at home.

Read more articles by Jacqueline Bon.

Jacqueline Bon is a freelance writer that has been contributing to Fresh Water Cleveland since 2014. As a journalist by trade and self-taught photographer, she has a lot of curiosity in people and their stories. She is a graduate of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University and has pursued film and digital photography for a decade. She is likely to be the first person on the dance floor, especially if you put on Prince.
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