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Healing Through Dance: My 35-year Journey with West Coast Swing

Reflecting on my journey with West Coast Swing, I am reminded of how this dance became a beacon of healing in my life. It was 35 years ago when I first encountered this dance, a moment that would shape my understanding of healing through movement. My mother, on a date in Prescott, Arizona, decided to take me along—a rare treat for me, as I was usually left at home to babysit. When I found out we were going to a country barn dance, my heart filled with excitement; as a young child, I harbored a deep love for dance, a trait inherited from my mother, who came alive on the dance floor.


As I sat on the sidelines, watching the adults dance, a spark ignited within me. When my mother's date asked me if I wanted to learn West Coast Swing, I eagerly accepted. As he began to teach me the steps, a new world unfolded. The moment we began to dance, I felt an indescribable joy coursing through me. I wanted to shout to the world that this was the happiest day of my life. Throughout the night, I asked the adults to dance, who graciously accepted. And each time, I felt a deeper connection to myself and those around me.


Today, I look back and see how dance has shaped my life, teaching me that even in the depths of our pain, I can always turn to dance. I realize that West Coast Swing has given me more than just dance. It had given me a path to my healing, a way to rediscover joy, and a reminder that no matter what challenges life may bring, there is always a reason to dance.


West Coast Swing has been more than just a dance style; it has been a lifeline, a way to connect with myself and others on a profound level. The rhythm, the movement, and the shared joy of dancing have all played a crucial role in my journey of self-discovery and healing. Through dance, I have learned to express my emotions, find inner peace, and embrace the beauty of the present moment.


As I continue to dance, I am constantly reminded of the first time I stepped onto that barn dance floor. The excitement, the joy, and the connection I felt then are still alive in me today. West Coast Swing has taught me that no matter what life throws our way, we can always find solace, joy, and healing in the dance. So, let's keep dancing, keep moving, and keep finding reasons to celebrate life, one step at a time.

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