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Ballroom Dancing

In my last year of graduate school at the University of Maryland, Mike Shay started a ballroom dancing club, later known as B.A.M.--Ballroom at Maryland. I dove in and was taking up to seven classes a week! It was great fun, and I met Sarah Herbelin. She asked me to be her dance partner... mostly because I was taller than she! I danced for about two years, going to workshops and competitions. It was great fun. My greatest learnings were not about dancing skills though.

Through ballroom dancing I learned a lot about partnership. One year I went to the international competition. The Yanks were hosting that year, so the competition was in Florida. Sarah couldn't go, so I partnered with Mike Shay's girlfriend Amy Schure, now his wife. I was seduced by the thought of winning ribbons, and to put it bluntly, I was very judgmental and wanted to blame not winning on Amy. I got to see myself up close and personal. I never saw competitions the same way since. I made my partner the most important part of the event. It was a valuable lesson for me.

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