One of our Dance Center Clients is 85 years young – that’s right, young! This weekend he participated in The World Pro-Am championship in The Bahamas at the Atlantis Resort. His name is Mike Norcross and he is a staple in the Middle Keys. On any given night you can find him at the Safari Lounge, Loralei or World Wide Sportsman cutting a rug with a young lovely. During the day he volunteers for the park service cutting down and maintaining trails, that is when he is not out flying around in an ultra-light. He is a perfect specimen of health still doing sit-ups and working out. Mike has been a client for several years dancing two or three times a week with my wife Ganine who is also his pro partner for the many dance competitions he has attended. They always win their age division and often in younger categories as well. This week was no different; he placed first or second in everything he danced for his age division.

Over the years I have had the privilege to know many people like Mike who embrace their age and do not let it stop them for doing the things they love. Ninety percent has to do with their attitude and ten percent on health. I say that because I believe their health is directly related to their attitude. In New York, I had one student who was one hundred years young. She was a professional ballerina in her youth, when she came in for her lessons she was dressed in fashion, up on current affairs and quick with a joke.  The common denominator with all the young at heart is their state of mind. The belief that because they were older did not mean life was over or because they couldn’t do the things they did when they were younger life was no longer worthwhile. On the contrary these challenges were motivators and a reason to live life to the fullest. Older individuals who stay active and constantly participate in activities act as if they are half their age. You can feel old at any age and sometimes life’s challenges can be draining. That’s why it is important to recognize these pioneers of living life. Take a page out of their life and find ways to live life in a positive way, embracing change and welcoming life’s evolution. If you or someone you know is feeling or acting ‘old’, engage them in something new. A physical activity that engages the brain is good for the body and the mind.

Congratulations to all the competitors who attended the world championships; they represented the Keys and the United States in true championship style. Countries from all over the world were represented including China, Japan, South Africa, Argentina, Eastern Europe, Western Europe and Canada. Representing the Keys and taking home many first and second prizes were Mike Norcross, Shanann Mitchell and Sondra de la Torre. Bobbie Fitzpatrick won trophies for being the top overall student in two consecutive categories. Mike Norcross made the semi-finals of the World Pro-Am. Two of our students, Kim Van Beuren and Joanne McCorkle, became World Finalists in the highest divisions of Pro-Am competition. In addition, the studio was honored with top teacher status of third in the world. A heart felt thanks to everyone who participated. Ganine and I are extremely proud of all of you!

Dream the life you live and live the life you dream.

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