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The Dance of Hope – by Judy Hensley

Posted Mar 11 2013 11:00am

I just caught a few minutes of a show my daughter was watching.It was a dance contest for America’s ‘best dance crew’.The finalist crews’ names were ‘Super Crew’ and ‘So Real Crew’.Each had about 6-8 members.As it showed their journey to the finals, they emphasized that each group had some big hurdles in getting there.

Of course, since my teenage daughter was watching this, it isn’t the type of dance most of us might think of.No cha cha cha, polka, or even disco.No, these young dancers incorporated break dancing and some interesting non-choreographed moves, many of which left you sitting there thinking, ‘That is impossible!’ It only goes to show what the human spirit can do when it is challenged and we devote our effort to a passion – something that is a very part of us, enhanced by the sharing of it with others who are just as passionate.

I was struck by one young man’s statement in his interview about his crew’s performances and their determination to win.He said, ‘You will have to kill us to stop us!’ His crew had come back when others thought they couldn’t win more than any other group in the show’s history – three times.Concerning the other team – one of the judges noted their strong performances and their belief in what they were doing even when some of their family members were not so supportive.He said they believed in themselves, then their crew, and then they made the judges and the audience believe in their passion and their dream.

I stood there and watched just a few minutes, but I was impressed.I thought, ‘These young people may not have been able to do something so impressive on their own, but they worked hard together, taking a shared vision and making it contagious.’They didn’t listen to others who said ‘You’re out of the running!’, but instead stayed with their idea of what would work for them, even when it was atypical to most dance move history.

Now, what these young people have accomplished may not change the world, but it is a shining example of what the human spirit is capable of producing when one believes in oneself, in a common cause, or in success for the future, and all because of seeing that nothing is impossible with those kinds of attitudes.

All that made me think of the times in my life when I’ve experienced a wonderful feeling of contributing to something special.Some of those times include: playing in band in high school, playing on softball and volleyball teams, helping coach a volleyball team that came out of the losers bracket and would not give up in order to win a tournament last year, meeting and talking with others on the internet with Parkinson’s disease, and being a part of the Parkinson’s Unity Walk the last three years.The sports competitions were for personal gratification.The effort I put out for Parkinson’s is a personal passion.

My body has symptoms caused by Parkinson’s and it can make life somewhat more complicated than normal, but I want to stay determined to do all I can to help work toward a cure.I have to believe there will be a cure.I have to surround myself with others who will encourage me not to lose hope – then my spirit will endure!

I won’t make a cure for Parkinson’s disease happen on my own, but with the cumulative power of determined spirits within others who live with Parkinson’s and who want to be a part of something very special one day (a cure), we press on.

Will you believe that we can make a difference?

Will you endure?

Will you join the journey for a cure?

Will you look at each day, determined to find the things that you can rejoice in and revive your spirit?When you can’t seem to find anything joyful in the day, ask a friend to help you find it.Get in the rhythm again.Feel the joy of the dance of life.

The world will look at those of us with Parkinson’s and see us dancing a little bit out of sync on the outside, but they will never know the rhythm of hope we have together unless we can let them see it through our collective efforts of dancing/pulling together.It is then that I think they will see and know that a cure will come, and until it does, that rhythm of hope and belief will be a wonderful healing.



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