A publication to engage the dance community. Learn. Discuss. Contribute. Enjoy.

Ich Will – “I Will”

Part Two

By Christine Trask

Marilyn persevered and won several awards, including first place in American Smooth at the Heritage Classic in Asheville, North Carolina, first place in American Smooth at the Capital Dancesport in Alexandria, Virginia, first place in Smooth and Rhythm at the Cleveland Dancesport, and first place in both American Smooth and Rhythm at the Ohio Star Ball.

“This dance is for you, mom!” she would say to herself while competing.

Marilyn retired from competitive dancing four years ago to pursue her other interests as an avid gardener of both flowers and vegetables, as well as being enthusiastic cook. She often cans her produce and enjoys creating meals with homegrown goods. When she and her husband became snowbirds in Naples, she realized she missed competing and started dancing with Andrea Marta. Marilyn is amused by the thought that she would be in shorts and t-shirt “flinging” bark mulch and manure one week only to follow a week later with manicured nails, stage makeup and a gorgeous ball gown.

During this time the infection in Marilyn’s eye worsened. The doctors needed to remove the eye so that the infection would not spread to her brain. In one of her lessons, during an open grapevine movement, she bumped into Andrea because she could not see him. It was at that moment that she finally told him about her artificial eye. “Please do not treat me any differently,” she asked.

Marilyn and Andrea started competing and winning awards in April 2016. In November 2016, she won first place in the Senior Dancesport Scholarship at the prestigious Ohio Star Ball; one month later, she won first place in American Smooth and Standard styles at the Holiday Classic in Las Vegas. She recently performed a beautiful Bolero with Andrea at a studio showcase and is looking forward to the Florida Superstars competition in St. Petersburg in February 2017, where she’ll add Rhythm dances to her competitive styles.

What does ballroom dancing mean to Marilyn? It has helped her overcome her shyness, has increased her self-confidence, and has shown her with the importance of both physical and mental exercise. In addition, the dance world has given her many great friends.

The motto “Ich Will” from her German Oma’s philosophy has indeed given Marilyn the will to achieve her goals. Thank you, Marilyn, for sharing your story of amazing determination and perseverance. You are a great inspiration to the dance community.