Sarah Price never thought she would be a dancer. She has never been athletic and claims to have no rhythm. But that didn’t stop her from falling in love with dancing at Fred Astaire Dance Studio of Morristown last year, and she hasn’t stopped dancing since.
In May of 2013, her life in Morristown, N.J., changed forever. Sarah, now 46, was diagnosed with breast cancer and spent the next two years undergoing treatment and reconstruction. She left her job as a college professor to pursue her dream of becoming a full-time writer. Now, with more than 30 novels in print and ebook formats, she is a best-selling author on Amazon and couldn’t be happier. According to Sarah, her cancer diagnosis changed her in a big way.
“Now I have that attitude of ‘I don’t want to say no to things anymore,’ ” she said. “You never know what could happen.”
Sarah lives in Morristown with her husband and two children, just minutes from a Fred Astaire Dance Studio. She never had the courage to walk through the door until this past year. Sarah began dancing with the studio in July, 2014, and though less than a year has gone by, she is addicted.
After beginning the recovery process and just finishing her chemotherapy treatment, Sarah’s new found appreciation for the gift of life led her to say yes to an opportunity she never would have considered before: “Dancing with the Survivors,” a ballroom dance competition to raise money for The Pink Fund, which provides financial assistance to people with breast cancer. The event, which took place in October, 2014, featured breast cancer survivors partnered with professional dancers from Fred Astaire Dance Studio.
After the competition, Sarah continued to take lessons at Fred Astaire. She attends practice groups, private lessons and socials. She even danced in another competition, the Metropolitan DanceSport Championships, in Atlantic City, N.J., just a few weeks ago despite having recently undergone reconstruction surgery.
“My doctor said to take it easy, but I told everyone, ‘I have to go back. I want to go back,’ ” Sarah said. “It was like coming back home.”
Sarah, who has struggled with exercise in the past, said dancing has made her feel great in her new body – she’s even gone down two pants sizes. According to Sarah, the environment at Fred Astaire is really what kept her coming back.
She said it’s social and inclusive, and she’s made lots of new friends through her experience. She’s even convinced her husband, who “cannot dance to save his life,” to tag along. Now they waltz around the living room together, and she hopes to get him to some dance lessons when he finds the time.
“Their passion is not just dancing but helping other people become more confident,” she said. “It’s an amazing group of people, and you just leave feeling so much better about yourself.”
Not only has dancing improved her health, but it’s impacted her writing, as well. Sarah just recently sent in her latest manuscript, which incorporates some of the dancing she’s learned at Fred Astaire. The book is set for release on October 29, and she intends to include dancing in more of her work in the future.
And she plans to dance even more in the coming months. She is hoping to dance in three more competitions this year alone and wants to increase her dance practices from twice a week to every single day. She also plans to once again participate in Dancing with the Survivors, 2015.
“It’s helped me regain my confidence,” she said. “I’m completely hooked.”