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We all have a story as why we started dancing. Whether it be for exercise, fun, or the thrill of learning something new…everyone’s reason is different. For our next Dance Family Spotlight, we are highlighting the ever-so-lovely Annie Crane! Take a look at her dance journey:
1.   How long have you been dancing?
I started dancing 9 years ago.
2.  What got you initially started on your dance journey?
While sitting in a beauty shop listening to conversation about the TV show ‘Dancing With the Stars’, I heard there was a studio offering ballroom dance lessons. This peaked my interest since I’ve always enjoyed trying things I’ve never done.  Two days later I entered the dance studio for my first lesson of an introductory package,   knowing that this would probably be a  ‘been there – done that’ experience.  While checking in at the desk,  Lacey said to me  “We’re going to put you with Maks”.   I never could have imagined that  this was the beginning of  a very special friendship in my life.  Russ and I were spending our summers in Pittsburgh then so after very few lessons I was headed north, but I suffered from ‘dance fever’ all summer,  so back to the studio I went upon our return to Kiawah that fall, at which time Lacey and Maks asked me what my dance goals were.  I hadn’t thought of goals in dance but I did want to stop watching my feet all the time.  They mentioned several things to consider plus dance competitions.     I had no idea one could actually compete in dance and they had no idea that they had just
 ‘lit a fire’.
3.  How has ballroom dancing impacted your life?
Sports have been a huge part of my life as a child and as an adult and competition has always accompanied these sports and was the catalyst for self improvement.  Ballroom dancing entered my life at a time when I could no longer participate or compete in some sports because of age-related issues.   When I heard that dance offered competitions and heard it referred to as ‘dancesport’,  I knew that I had discovered something I wanted to pursue.  To say I found my passion is an understatement — and to find it in my 70’s — what a blessing!   Being a competitive person doesn’t necessarily mean always having an opponent — we compete within ourselves, always striving to be better than we were yesterday or last week.  My forever patient teacher/partner, Maks, understands this personality of mine and works with it to my benefit.   He knows I am my worst critic, that I am often out of my comfort zone, that I get frustrated when I can’t learn quickly or move like I want to,  that I struggle with age-related issues and he knows how to handle each one. His advice has been helpful in other areas of my life too — especially other sports.  Dancing,  on occasion, has brought frustration, tears, and ‘pity parties’ as Maks and I call them, but this is not out of sadness — it’s out of a passion for something I dearly love —-  and then, of course, there is always the unsurpassed ‘joy on the floor’  — all of these add to this dance journey I’m on.   Not just dance steps have I learned from Maks.   He has taught life lessons along the way — to be happy with what I CAN do,  to be patient while learning new things that can’t be mastered tomorrow.  I’ve learned to set goals that are reachable and goals that are not, but that these goals will continually get higher as I progress.   Most of all he has taught me to enjoy every single moment of my dance journey which I continually try to do in other areas of my life as well.
4.  What advice would you give to anyone who is interested in or are just starting on their dance journey?
We all come to dance for different reasons and then wonder how we could ever live without it.    Ballroom dancing offers so much to choose from whether it be social dancing and dance parties, showcase dancing or competition.   There’s always the thrill of learning something new from a talented instructor,  developing friendships with  others who share the same passion,  and being part of an extended dance family.
Dance has enriched my life…..