You know that feeling when you’re fully engrossed in something you love and you suddenly look at the clock and time has flown by? Or when you’re fully absorbed in a passion and it’s all you can focus on in that moment? These wonderful experiences have the ability to go beyond that one moment – they can bring lasting joy, stress relief, and a reason for getting up in the morning.

There’s a reason it feels so good to be around people – why it warms the heart to build relationships and community. Our brains and souls are made to be social creatures. All of the research on happiness and longevity indicate the same thing – relationships are the key to a fulfilling life.

I came to find my peace and passion through the relationships and joy of dancing. My story is one of hope, found in the rooms of my dance studio. I believe that experiences like these can help anyone through difficult times. It’s my sincere hope that you find a passion like this. Though, I had to first travel through a rough period of my life to find this gift…

My Own Challenges I Had to Overcome

No one is immune to the emotional impact of life events and I’m no exception.

The saying goes, “When it rains, it pours,” and that’s how a three year window of my life felt. Unlike any other time before, I had a series of challenging life events happen in rapid succession. First, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. The treatment required took a toll on my well being – physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

The toughest part of my cancer diagnosis was that I had to overcome the fear of uncertainty and grapple with how I had become sick in the first place. Cancer caused me to examine my life and my relationships. I had always been a very healthy person, but cancer helped me identify toxic relationships in my life and prioritize my well being even better than before.

My relationship with my husband of 28 years came to an end. These events were followed by professional legal issues. Each of these situations would be stressful enough on their own, but I was dealt them back-to-back.

You might think I look back at this time and remember the fear, uncertainty or stress. While emotional struggles were absolutely there, they aren’t what defines that part of my life. This is because it was in spite of these struggles, I discovered my love and adoration for Argentine tango and Ballroom dancing.

Dancing Saved My Health, Body, and Spirit

Ballroom and Tango dancing began as something to distract me. Something to get me moving again after cancer and divorce. It was a way for me to experience affection and connection without the strings attached.

But it became so much more…

The beauty of dance mesmerized me. It’s complexity challenged me. The delicate partnership provided me with intimacy. Ballroom dance pulled me out of my worries and into the present.

With the tango, you must communicate fully and give the dance all of your attention. It’s impossible to keep rhythm and also think about your health, relationships, or business concerns. When I’m dancing with my partner it takes all of my concentration and energy.

Dancing  began to take up a bigger piece of my heart – I was dancing 10 hours a week, started competing, and even began dating a dancer. These events brought friendship, beautiful gowns, glamor, and pure delight. Dance has kept me healthy during tough times – physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

There is nothing I’ve found that soothes my worries and brings me such joy like dance. No matter what mood I’m in when I get to a class or social dance, I always leave feeling inspired, happy, and relieved.

I know that dancing has kept me healthy and happy – I believe it’s why my breast cancer has stayed away all these years.

Finding Your Passion Will Lead to Greater Things

I discovered my passion for dancing at an age I couldn’t have imagined I would!

Now, my question to you is what is your release? What have you found that connects you to your inner being and to others? What can carry you through stress and hard times?

Every day we spend hours within our own imaginations – replaying the past or worrying about the future. Thoughts spent on the past or future are major contributors to depression or anxiety.

When you don’t have something that brings you fully to the present, to appreciate what’s in front of you, it’s easy to get lost in the stresses of daily life. Without community, passion, and inspiration the stresses of life can completely overwhelm you.

If you haven’t found it yet, now is the time to explore what’s out there. You might think there’s a better time to find a new passion, but I can assure you there is no time better than the present. You might think with everything I had going on in my life it would be hard to set aside time to dance. In actuality, it was because of everything I had going on in my life that I had to set time aside for dancing.

We have a world of opportunities available to us – more than any other time before. Find something that makes you feel alive. Your life is precious and unique, I encourage you to make the most of it.

And remember, you are never too late or too old to start – the time is now!