Barbara H., 82, has been a dance-enthusiast all her life. She loves dance in any and every capacity, whether it’s teaching, performing, or just watching. Barbara worked as a ballroom dance instructor and spent her spare time practicing her own skills up until two years ago when health problems limited her mobility. To satisfy her passion, Barbara became an even bigger fan of the ABC show Dancing with the Stars, making sure to watch as many episodes as possible. Because of her passion for dance and love of the hit TV show, Barbara’s Wish of a Lifetime was to dance at a Dance With Me studio, founded by a previous Dancing With the Stars coach, Maksim “Maks” Chmerkovskiy.
Barbara’s love of dance began when she was just 5 years old. She remembers her father taking her to a tap dance class and proudly encouraging her to go to the front and show her skills to the whole class. From that day on, Barbara loved dance, and grew especially fond of ballroom dancing. She made sure to incorporate dance into each stage of her life by adding it to her daily routine and teaching others to dance. Once Barbara taught her husband how to dance, she caught the teaching bug and eventually began a ballroom dance class of her own. More recently, Barbara took a ballroom dancing class with her boyfriend at least twice a week, and was always happy to stay fit and active. Unfortunately, due to recent health problems, Barbara has been unable to get out and dance on her own, as she is confined to a wheelchair.
On October 29, 2015, Wish of a Lifetime and Brookdale made Barbara’s Wish come true by sending Barbara to a private ballroom dance lesson at the Dance With Me studio in Fort Lee, NJ. Although she is bound to a wheelchair, Dance With Me offers private wheelchair accessible lessons, allowing Barbara to live out her passion once more. Not only was Barbara able to dance again, but Barbara’s favorite Dancing With The Stars coach, Maks, surprised Barbara halfway through her lesson! Barbara loved meeting Maks, and said she felt like she was dancing on a cloud. Barbara enjoyed dressing up in a fancy costume and showing her family, friends and professional dance coaches her skills 77 years in the making!
Photo credit: Andy Katz