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Dancing in the Dark

“You’ll learn, as you get older, that rules are made to be broken. Be bold enough to live life on your terms, and never, ever apologize for it. Go against the grain, refuse to conform, take the road less traveled instead of the well-beaten path. Laugh in the face of adversity, and leap before you look. Dance as though EVERYBODY is watching. March to the beat of your own drummer. And stubbornly refuse to fit in.” -Mandy Hale Dance has followed me my whole life. I grew up in NYC, and I remember my mother taking my sister and I to ballet classes in Manhattan. As we went to our beginner class, we would pass by the more advanced classes. I would see the ballet dancers on point with their beautiful, pink ballet shoes, gracefully plié, arching over, arms raised up, and I wished to be them. God didn’t make me as coordinated as my older sister, so while she excelled I was the clumsy little sister with two left feet. In my preteens, I danced the hustle. In my later teens, I danced to the Cure and Duran and went to church dances meeting my first husband. Fast forward to me in my forties. Just getting out of a twenty-two year marriage, I needed something to bring the light back to my eyes. I had come back from Puerto Rico after my grandmother’s funeral, fascinated with salsa. I had watched my cousins dance with passion and wanting to reconnect to my roots, I jumped right in. I began salsa lessons and pretty soon was proficient enough to dance in clubs, finding my inner Salsera, and finding love again and a side gig as a Zumba instructor. Dance has always guided me out of the dark and into the light, and now in the time of COVID is no exception. I recently went back to dance. It had been 8 months and after a long time of no music or dance, I was able to go out once more. We wore masks, but the joy in everyone's eyes said it all. Follow your bliss they say. I followed mine and found friends, life, love, freedom and magic.

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