Some time ago, I had the pleasure and honor of meeting Mary Ann King. Some of you may recognize her as Miss Mary Ann from the delightful children’s show The Romper Room, which aired from 1966-1976. It happened to be that Mary Ann was the president of several local women’s clubs and through a mutual acquaintance she learned that I was a bellydancer. She hired me to perform for several of her groups and over time a friendship was born.
As our friendship grew, Mary Ann revealed to me that her husband had passed some years prior. Having now been on her own, she came to the realization that only she was truly in charge of her own life. Her mantra was, “If it’s to be, it’s up to me.” This simple phrase struck me and has remained in my heart so many years later. I have carried this mantra with me through the ups and downs of life. It has reminded me that I can choose to follow the up or follow the down.
If you are waiting on others to eat healthy, exercise, find joy, etc., you could be waiting forever. It is truly no one else’s job but your own. If something in your life isn’t going as planned, you can choose to go down with it or choose to be ok. It is a choice you make at any given moment. For me, that also means that when I find something in my life that makes me feel good, I run with it. You won’t be surprised to hear that the thing that has carried me through life with the most joy is Bellydance.
Bellydance allows me to express joy, sadness, and everything in between through music and movement. It supports both my mental and physical health. The classes I have with all of you and my many performance opportunities have also allowed me (and you–I hope) to form beautiful friendships, such as with Mary Ann, and fulfill my social needs. When I dance, I do what I love. I look forward to continuing to share that love with all of you.