A resin ballerina with a miniature tulle tutu poised with one leg aloft in my mother’s music box. Wind her up; she twirls! A corps of her sisters landed on my birthday cakes for many years. Imagine them pirouetting through a forest of lit candles. And, somehow, in my tiny, North Carolina mill town, a troupe of ballet dancers came through to perform in a special assembly, during which a skinnt-kneed, snaggletoothed, five-year-old iteration of me stared agape and uncharacteristically immobilized by the wonder, the magic, the sheer beauty. That! I wanted that. But the money was an object in my family. No dance lessons. I would have to wait. Quite a long time, it turned out.
Finally, in college, via the P.E. department, I explored ballet and modern and jazz. A short, sweet Eden. Followed by the long and winding road of an adulthood I spent mostly at a desk, writing and editing, getting up primarily to chase my three children. The dance dream lay buried deep in my brain. Like an old land mine waiting for the slightest touch to detonate it and blow the status quo to holy heck. Enter, stage right, ballroom. BOOM! Passionate love at first pattern.
Love so deep that I needed to spend every possible moment with it, getting to know it, becoming one with it. The journey of a million dance steps brought me to competing as the amateur half of a pro-am couple. Oh, my darlings, the delicious glamour of the competition floor satisfies like nowhere else on earth — especially now that most folks seem to inhabit a perpetual Casual Friday or Yardwork Saturday.
I have spent more dollars that I didn’t quite have on Swarovski crystalized dresses than I could have ever imagined possible. I’ve passed more hours in the arms of men that I had no intention of going home with than most red-blooded women could tolerate. And, I’ve experienced a panoply of blisters, ego bruises, simple pleasures and exalted joys.
Along the way, in service of enhancing my own dancing with work that kept me fit, I became a certified personal trainer and a registered yoga teacher. This work serves my dance dream and helps others explore the joys of movement and improve their health. I plan to open my own yoga studio in the not-too-distant future. This blog, The Diary of A Mad Dancer, chronicles some of my journey.