Tonight’s celebration of my birthday with MY WONDERFUL DANCE FRIENDS is a very special event for me. My dance career and accomplishments have been made possible because of my deep love for dance, shear determination and strength provided by God, and you. One of my saving graces has been to stay with the dancing, and I wish to share this with you. This message is simply meant to thank you and inspire you.
“That’s not an option!” I told myself when three times in my life doctors told me that I had to stop dancing. As I have overcome major obstacles, I feel that this birthday is a new beginning for me.
If you wish to know the background, please read on.
Shortly after winning the Western Regional and National Championships, my feet began to fail me as arthritis was settling in. I was told then that by the time I was forty (coming up next year, tee hee) I would have a hard time walking, let alone being able to dance. I said to myself, “THIS is not an option!” I never left dancing!
Then in the late 80s, the stress of taking care of my father who had cancer, my Mother, and my dance studio resulted in a very stressful situation. I’m sure you can relate!!! I was told I had to stop dancing. I said to myself, “THIS is not an option!” I regenerated my body back to health, and I never left my dancing.
In 1995, I began a 9-year personal journal spiraling downward coping with 7 major stress loads. I tackled each one and the last was taking care of mom for five years. Of course I continued dancing. By 2002, I was hospitalized with exhaustion and a serious health condition. Guess what the doctors told me? “I HAD TO STOP DANCING!” I told myself, “THIS is not an option!” I never left dancing!
Mom past away a year ago July and I went on a mission to regenerate my body and my health and KEEP DANCING!!! Doctors told me that it would take 4 1/2 years to feel good again. After only 7 months, I feel healthier than I was in my 30’s, love life, love God, and love all of you. Last month performing my beautiful Bolero routine, which I found challenging even when I performed it 20 years ago, was for me equivalent to Lance Armstrong’s overcoming cancer and winning the Tour de France.
If you have been in my life during these years, you unknowingly, by your attendance in classes, by your appreciation for my teaching and dancing, and by your encouraging comments, have accelerated my healing and kept me dancing.
FOR THIS, I THANK YOU!
TONIGHT WE CELEBRATE!!
AND, OF COURSE, KEEP DANCING!!!
Love, Mary Manzella