74 year-old "Rhoda" star Valerie Harper's appearance on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" would have been inspiring all by itself. But when you add the fact that her appearance on the show came on the heels of a diagnosis of brain cancer earlier this year, inspiring doesn't come close to adequately describing its potential impact for good.
There are actually three inspiring aspects to this story.
The first is the fact that this 74 year-old woman had the courage to get heavily involved in ballroom dancing at all. That should send a message to senior citizens everywhere that your lives are far from over. You don't have to spend your lives sitting in a rocking chair on the front porch or in front of the TV. There are all kinds of invigorating activities you can get involved in, including ballroom dancing.
The second is the fact that Ms. Harper went ahead with this engagement knowing she has brain cancer. She went ahead knowing that she would have to endure the grueling preparation that goes with performing the kinds of dances they do on "Dancing with the Stars". Even the much younger celebrities and athletes who have appeared on that show in the past have testified of how physically demanding it is. Yet Valerie persevered.
If you're a senior citizen, regardless of any physical maladies you might suffer from, there are dancing programs out there that can work for you. You just have to go look.
The third inspiring aspect of this story is, I think, a bit more subtle - at least for us "regular folks".
Remember, Valerie Harper is an actress. And what attribute do we often associate with actresses and other entertainment and sports celebrities? A big ego, right? Obviously, that's probably too broad a brush to paint all celebrities with, and I have no idea whether Valerie Harper has a big ego.
What I do know is this: Anyone of her age, and in her condition, might seem justified in hesitating to risk making a fool of themselves on national TV. Yet she did it.
Are you hesitant, for any reason, to risk embarrassing yourself on a dance floor? If you are, draw whatever courage you need from Valerie Harper's example. I'm sure she'd be happy to share it.
Whatever your age or condition, if you'd like to experience the world of ballroom dancing in your own life, you can learn to dance from professional instructors in an elegant dance studio. You can start by contacting us online or calling 732-617-2442.