The Last Birthday Dance?
Ten minutes later came a knock and the host entered and we started to chat. Long story short, she told me that this could possibly be the last birthday celebration she and her husband would have. Turns out the birthday boy, who I just chatted with, took photographs with, and laughed with, was struggling with cancer and it was not looking good at all. In fact the reason the whole family had flown in was due to his deteriorating state. After my performance, she said that their children had prepared dances in honor of their father, and that their teen daughter would dance a waltz with her father due to the fact that he might not be around long enough to do this with her when the time came.
I just looked at this woman and I did not know what to say…what could I say? Finally I felt some courage and told her to be strong, that she had a wonderful family, and that sometimes miracles do happen, but what an overwhelming feeling of sadness that raced into my heart. So why do I tell you this story? Because it made me realize that at these private parties it is so much more than a show, it is a memory that lasts forever. I will never forget this family, and I will never forget now how precious every moment is.
I appreciate my clients so much, but now I see things more deeply than ever. Dancers, never forget the impact you make on others lives at every moment. It can be the last time you see them, it can mean inspiration to start dancing themselves, it can mean families reuniting after years apart, it can affect how younger children feel towards get-togethers, and it can cause a strengthened bond between family members after the event. I will never forget this man and his big smile and kind words. Happiness is the feeling I will always remember him and his family by, and that is what you always want to know as you leave. Twenty or thirty minutes of your time, can mean a lifetime of memories for a family, so make the most of every moment, never give anything less than 100%, and never forget that this can be the last time. So make it the best moments of their lives.