From a wonderful student of dance, Mary J. Judkins

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I recently finished my first ever pro-am novice competition at Pacific Hustle & Salsa Classic. It was a wonderful experience & I met a lot of very wonderful people including Edie (The Salsa Freak!!) & Al (Liquid Silver) ... He (Al) & I were kibitzing in the afternoon before my event in front of his video booth he had set up in the Hyatt Regency lobby (S.F.). I made the remark to him that my main goal was not to fall on my ass. He then startedjoking about how dancers after a fall during a competition could attempt to "cover it up". He even demonstrated this with a little move, a pretend fall, then lying on the floor, doing an extended grand "ta-da" pose while on the floor, & had everybody in stitches.

Little did I know that later on, he was judging my event & I bet by now you can guess what happened to me! Indeed, because of my inexperience, I neglected to sand my well used dance shoes & as luck would have it, I was the ONLY one in the competition who fell down! I didn't need his story to show me how to act, I pretty much laugh at life anyways so when it happened to me, my natural thing was to laugh, get up, take a brief bow, waved to the audience, & continued on with what I love to do more than anything which is the dance of salsa.The audience at first sucked in their collective breath but because of my reaction was soon laughing so hard with methat the whole place applauded! As a result, so many people "remembered" me & commented to me how great I did, even the judges!

And, it would be a great story to tell my grandkids except they were there to see it! They told me that they were proud of their "Mee Maw"! What was it I said, "When I bust my ass, I do it with Class!" I'm still laughing about it. Oh yes, I almost forgot to tell you that I came in second place. Now I got the fever & I can't wait to do it again. Only next time, I might enter the "senior division". Didn't even know there was such a category! Nah, I had too much fun competing against the young'uns!!!!!!!!!!

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

- Mary J Judkins