As a former figure skater, I have always been an active person. However, a figure skater’s career is very short-lived and so I was too old at 18 years of age to continue competing. I made the Gopher Hockey Cheerleading team at the U of MN and thoroughly enjoyed that experience.

I became very ill during my sophomore year. Upon being hospitalized after spiking 104 degree temperatures, I learned my exhaustion, that I had been feeling for some time was actually due to living with a hemoglobin of 4 (normal healthy people have around 7-8) and should be in a coma. After several more flares, hospitalizations, and near kidney failure, I was diagnosed with Renal Lupus in July 2005. I am able to keep my condition in remission with chemotherapy infusions.

I was able to re-enroll at the University of St. Thomas and complete my Bachelor’s degree. A few months into my Master’s program, I was itching to get back into skating or some other form of exercise. However, my diagnosis severely hindered my endurance, so I was unable to continue skating. I have always loved watching the PBS ballroom dance specials and was itching to try ballroom, so I made the call of a lifetime to Arthur Murray dance studio in October 2007.

At first, I just sought out dance as form of exercise to replace skating. I didn’t realize how amazing the staff and students would be. I am very thankful for the great friendships I have made during my time here. In addition, my love for competing has re-emerged, and I have been able to compete in two NorthStar Dance-o-Ramas so far. My teachers have really helped me get to where I am today, always encouraging and offering great instruction.

Dancing has changed my life in so many ways. I have been able to bring in many of my family, friends, and colleagues so they can enjoy it for themselves. What started out as a side hobby has become an important part of my life.

Dancing is a great way to meet wonderful people, make lasting friendships, push my boundaries to improve my technical and artistic skills, and get great exercise all the while doing it. I can honestly say I’m a dancer for life.

Thanks for everything Arthur Murray!

Leave a Reply