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.