If you are just tuning in...Thanks! This blog is a haphazard auto-biography of how Dustin Anderson discovered the treasure of performing for children and became the Purple Pirate....now on with the entry! During my brief stay on the Royal Majesty I fell in love in inline skating. I would skate downtown Miami from the port and would go on adventures wherever I could. I loved it. I loved the sense of flying and the rhythm of using my whole body. I never played hockey as a child (believe or not most Canadians don't play hockey) or got into ice skating. The idea of skate around in circles never interested me...but exploring a city and jumping park benches really appealed to me. Steve and I stayed with another Canadian, Altan, in his dads condo in Fort Lauderdale, soaked up the sun and prepared for our hand balancing debut. Recalling the freedom of that time in my life is quite fun. After a couple weeks we boarded the Costa Romantica and did two weeks of rehearsals while in the Caribbean going to places that were more interesting than any of the ports on the itinerary of the Royal Majesty. But...we only got to see them from the ship as we were learning the shows and getting costumes fitted. The shows and the show room were more interesting for me than the previous ship. We had a real stage in a several hundred seat theatre. After a couple weeks we set sail for Europe. Crossing the Atlantic on a ship was quite interesting but after 4 days at sea we started craving skating so we skated below decks. It was amazing to pass the Rock of Gibraltar and land in Funchal, Portugal. We skated all over that beautiful community and almost wiped out several times as it was quite hilly and the roads could have rocks cemented into them. In the first 2 weeks we stopped in Casablanca, Korfu, Livorno, Villa France, Cannes and other really interesting ports in the Mediterranean. It was a fantastic time and I was really enjoying the different food and experiences. Steve and I lost momentum with the hand balancing and got distracted with our social lives. We worked a total of 12-14 hours a week and got exploring the ports....by skates. I told a passenger that I was going to skate to the top of a mountain we could see off in the distance. 2 weeks later I convinced Steve to do it with me. My passion for skating inspired a couple dozen people on the ship to buy skates and myself and a few others led an expedition to a castle in Palma de Maorca. I led my group astray and we got lost. We made it there eventually. It was a magical time. I made teenager skating friends in Maorca and Napoli and would meet up to skate with them. Skating and exploring were my life on the ship. The dancing was a means to an end. I had lost my passion for dance as I my heart was captured by the exploration bug....a seed had been planted.