If you've listened to Woody & Jim Show lately, you've probably heard us talking about Dancing for Safe Haven, a charity competition that benefits families in Nashville experiencing homelessness.
I was asked to participate about 4 weeks ago when another contestant had to drop out unexpectedly -- so I didn't have much time to fundraise or learn a routine. Regardless, I was totally honored and didn't hesitate to say yes.
I was assigned a professional partner, Michael Hosale [go find him at Nashville Ballroom & Co., you won't regret it], and felt comfortable with him immediately. He was 100% accepting of my goofy, eccentric personality -- and even all the embarrassing/gross things that happened during rehearsals. [see below for the time that I had a cold and my runny nose attacked him mid-spin.]
We ultimately decided to let 107.5 The River listeners choose what song we'd dance to, and you guys picked The Time of My Life from Dirty Dancing -- expecting that we'd throw in the iconic/terrifying lift at the end. [thanks for that, LOL]
When the big night arrived on Saturday, I was absolutely PETRIFIED. Like, so scared that I actually told Michael right before we went on stage that I had completely forgotten ALL the choreography. "I've got you," he said. "If something goes wrong, just trust me to fix it -- but it's gonna be great."
As a perfectionist, I'll be the first to admit that I've been kicking myself nonstop the past couple of days, imagining all the ways that I could have performed better. But overall, I'm overwhelmed with happiness. Not only did I have the most amazing, supportive partner ever in Michael, but additionally, a record of over $400,000 was raised for Safe Haven. And not only that -- I had so much love and support from friends and family that I could just explode.
My 4 year old son (and love of my life) attended, and was a well-behaved dream the ENTIRE TIME, even though I was the last to perform and the food was too fancy for his taste. [lol! don't worry, Michael snuck him a couple of cookies.] He waited patiently through seven other performances, and proudly waved his little glow-stick when I eventually twirled around the dance floor. I gave him my trophy afterwards for being The Best Little Boy Ever.
Plus, my best friends, Kait & Kati, came with my wonderful mom and Wolfy to cheer me on. I cannot even begin to describe how amazing it feels to have women like them in my life. They bring me joy every single day! Knowing that they had my back even if I face-planted and lost all my teeth is a comfort I'll be forever grateful for. [Get you a girl-gang, honey. There's nothing like it.]
Now that the whole thing is over, I've come to a couple of conclusions.
1. I've got to keep dancing, because dancing with Michael is not something I think I can live without now. Too many laughs, too many outfits that my booty looks better in now (sorry not sorry) -- he's stuck with me.
2. I'm definitely going to stay involved with Safe Haven Family Shelter, because the service they provide for families in need is just invaluable.
Try to remember the last time you felt stressed about your bills -- can you imagine if everything really did fall apart for you? Where would you go? Where would your kids go? The answer is simple: Safe Haven. They provide consistency for families going through the most stressful time of their lives, and help them get back up on their feet.
If you're looking for a way to give back or get involved in something bigger than yourself, please consider them.
I want to sincerely thank everyone who followed my Dancing For Safe Haven adventure! And to those of you who donated to the cause in my name, from the bottom of my heart, thank you so much. There's nothing more important in life than pouring love and kindness into others. Thank you for helping me do that.