Dancing to Joy

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Over the years, we have been involved with many charitable causes. We feel that it is important to use art to raise consciousness and awareness for those less fortunate. We were deeply moved to find out that Ireland had the highest incidence of Cystic Fibrosis in the world. 
Sometimes, we forget how lucky we are to be able to dance. As a professional dancer, I can be so concerned with technique and line and performance, that I must remind myself that just being able to experience the dance is a wonder in itself.
As women we can be hard on ourselves, constantly judging ourselves and coming up short in our estimation. 
When working with people with disabilities traumas or neurological conditions, I am always impressed by their determination to find positivity through pain. I am moved by how focussed these students are on the true essence of the dance and on its immense potential and scope. 
As tango dancers we have the immense privilege  to share this beautiful dance with many people. This dance has blessed us with countless opportunities to touch the lives of others and in turn we have been changed by the courage and bravery of the students we teach.
I will never forget a private class we gave some years ago. A lady came to class and was so overcome with sadness and fear that she could not stop crying. Julian popped out for a coffee and left me with this student. It transpired that she had been savagely attacked and assaulted some time previously. It had taken all the strength that she had just to come to the class, but when faced with embracing a man she literally froze in fear.
We worked together for 40 minutes, gently working through sequences. As she moved, the dance flowed through her assisting her to work through this emotional paralysis. We focussed on the music, the movement and the breath. When Julian returned, she was able to enter into open embrace with him- very tentatively and slowly and first, but she was able to make connection. For this wonderful woman, this was a greater achievement, than winning CITA . I was awed by her courage. She had overcome her greatest fear in one hour. 
The next day, she wrote to me expressing her gratitude for the class. She had not believed that she could ever feel safe in the company of a man again. The dance had helped her heal. I am immensely grateful to her. She taught me so much- about life and courage and the tremendous, gentle power of this dance to reach deep into places that words simply cannot.