Can you *feel* it?

Myra takes a bow

Myra Coffield with teacher Sergey Izyumov taking a bow after ballroom dancing


In my day job I’m part of a virtual team in the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. Members of the team, as well as the customers we serve, are scattered all over the country.

Mostly, we use technology for communication; email, Microsoft Lync or Live Meeting for screen sharing, loads and loads of conference calls, it’s all very high tech.

For months, Myra Coffield existed virtually, a voice on the phone, emails, screen sharing. Then we had a face to face meeting, the entire team, and Myra became real. We worked . . . hard. We laughed . . . a lot.  I learned of Myra’s phobia, and I won’t mention it because she might faint. I learned of her love for the theater. I knew, when I posted a link to Facebook, The Apothetae Aims to Merge Disabilities Into the Theatrical Mainstream, that Myra would pick right up on it. And she did, partly due to her association with another theatre company that models inclusiveness in the arts for those with disabilities (Quest Visual Theatre).

One Friday afternoon, Myra mentioned she would be competing in ballroom dancing competitions over the next week. Wow! I had no idea that Myra was into ballroom dancing. Everything I know about ballroom dancing I learned at the age of thirteen when my parents bribed me to take lessons by offering Baskin Robbins ice cream as a reward. And here was someone who clearly loved ballroom dancing enough to make it to the level of competition. Competitive ballroom? Where had I been? I didn’t even know there was such an animal!

Upon her return, Myra regaled us with her stories, told with great enthusiasm and rich in detail.  It sounded like she had a blast and came away placing first in all her rounds. Last May, Myra was awarded Highly Commended Associate certification in the London-based Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing, which embodies the world’s acknowledged leaders of the dance profession.

Movement. Dance. Freedom. Joy shared with others. Here’s Myra competing in the Washington Open DanceSport Competition in May.

Can’t you just *feel* it?


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