Several months ago a colleague asked me to participate in the fundraising event, “Dancing With the Doctors,” at the Twin River Casino in Lincoln, Rhode Island. He had participated a year earlier and had a wonderful experience. 

The event involved 16 doctors, each paired with a professional dance instructor; each pair would attempt to master a routine to perform in front of about 600 people.  The format was essentially the same as “Dancing With the Stars”; however, the event took place in one night. 

The goal of the event was to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS).  Of course, I was unable to say no and soon found myself on an adventure to learn a ballroom dance routine in 6 weeks. I had some limited dance experience in my early teen years performing with a Ukrainian folk dance group; however, I was quick to learn that any talent I had developed then did not necessarily correlate to ballroom dancing 35 years later.  

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I was paired with an enthusiastic instructor who was a national amateur champion.  We practiced at the dance studio usually 2 times per week for an hour at a time.  Over the next 6 weeks she taught me a routine encompassing the foxtrot and tango. 

The thought of dancing in front of 600 people certainly was anxiety provoking. However, I focused on the fact that it was for a great cause. Ultimately I had a wonderful time, even as I was doing something that is out of my comfort zone.  The event ultimately raised more than $50,000 for the Rhode Island chapter of the LLS.  

The LLS is the world’s largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. The mission of the LLS is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease, and myeloma, and to improve the quality of life of patients and their families. The LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world and provides free information and support services.

This video provides a brief glimpse into the events of that wonderful evening.