Tonight I wheelchair danced.
But that’s not where this story starts.
Once upon a time, I was afraid of dancing. In fact, for most of my life I was afraid of dancing. I never was super coordinated and I certainly lacked natural rhythm. I was convinced I couldn’t dance and that I looked stupid trying.
Later, when I was old enough to have a few drinks first, I could get up the courage to dance a bit. And when over a year ago now I ended up in a wheelchair, dancing seemed to be out of the cards forever.
But the world works in mysterious ways. And someone named Jane McGonigal came into my life and with her eventually came her invention Top Secret Dance Off. She and her games have changed my life for the better in innumerable ways and she has truly been a blessing to me, so when I heard about Top Secret Dance Off or TSDO I knew I had to be a part of it.
However, the way you participated in TSDO was by donning a disguise and submitting your video of you dancing to one of the dance challenges. But I was in a wheelchair. I could barely dance before. How could I now? But I am not so easily dissuaded from something I am determined to do. So timid at first I made my first and then second video featuring Finger Dancing!
But then I began to joke to my fellow TSDO players that I would wow them with a wheelchair ballet. Their response to the idea was so positive that I decided that it was something I had to do. So I recruited my best friend and caregiver at the time Sarina (a real former ballerina) to help me. The result wasn’t something either of us expected and the response to the video blew me away. People laughed and cried and were moved and inspired.
For my wheelchair ballet video I won a mask. The only condition of accepting the new mask as a reward was I had to make a video of me putting on the mask for the first time and dance whatever dance came out using a dance move known as “the solar eclipse” which I was told started in the elbows. To this day I’m not sure what happened to me when I put on the mask, but my fear of dancing was conquered! See for yourself…
So tonight I am unmasking myself to all of you because tonight while out to dinner and dancing with my dad and his girl friend I wheelchair danced without any mask at all and I didn’t have to think twice about it. And although I didn’t see it myself, my dad said when I powered on my wheelchair to spin around on the dance floor, the people behind me watching applauded and cheered.
It occurs to me that the world is full of little miracles and hidden blessings like this. Because without a wheelchair and Jane and TSDO I may have never challenged myself to get over my fear of dancing at all.
Tags: art, ballerina, ballet, best friend, blessing, caregiver, challenges, courage, dad, Dance, dance move, dinner, disguise, drinks, Fear, games, Jane, jane mcgonigal, life, mask, mysterious ways, natural rhythm, response, Sarina, ssi, story, top secret dance off, TSDO, video, wheelchair
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