So my immediate and emphatic response was “No!” But this Dancing with the Stars was a benefit for two organizations very dear to me; the Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor, where my daughter, Emily has gone since kindergarten, and Wild Swan Theatre, longtime friends, and simply the best children’s theater around. So I finally said “yes.” It was the best thing I’ve done in a long time.
My three minutes and eight seconds of fame in the Dancing with the Ann Arbor Stars was such a delight that ever since that night I have been contemplating a career change. No, not hardly, but I did have a blast. And even more than the performance itself, I enjoyed the preparation leading up to it. After all, practicing for a dance performance is not unlike rehearsing for a concert; endless repetition of an enjoyable activity—always with the goal of an unattainable perfection worth striving for.
My coach was Jackie Steinbacher, a superb dancer and, if possible, an even better choreographer and teacher. We chose Tish Hinojosa’s beautiful song, Esperate, and Jackie created a routine that combined moves and steps from cha cha, paso doble, samba, and even a hint of swing. She tailored our dance perfectly to the different moods and rhythmic subtleties in the music and the lyrics, creating a challenging and very satisfying piece that somehow also managed to minimize my many, many limitations as a dancer.