“Ballroom Was My Defibrillator” – A Conversation with Elizabeth Thomson

When I first spoke with Nicholas Barkley and Elizabeth Thomson about doing an interview for the blog, I also proposed a second set of individual interviews. Their stories of how ballroom became the key to coping with their PTSD were incredible and deserved their own spaces, separate from their shared story of becoming an amateur couple.

Liz was kind enough to make time for me during one of her visits down to Orange County. We met at my studio after one of my dance lessons and talked for over an hour. While we sat stretched out on the floor of the teachers’ break room, Liz shared her journey, from enlisting in the Army to getting diagnosed with PTSD to finding relief in ballroom. Although she still struggles, ballroom has been Liz’s defibrillator. It brought her back to life and saved her from becoming “just another PTSD statistic.”

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Why You Should Try Social Ballroom

At the same time my competition money was being rerouted to pay other expenses, new opportunities appeared for me to get more involved in social dancing. I’ve mentioned the new Sunday socials, hosted by Teacher’s friend. I’ve also started taking private lessons with Teacher’s friend to work on my social dancing and he plans to take his team out to other studios and dance venues to patronize those establishments as well as spread the word about his events. I have a lot of social dancing and potential dance adventures in my future!

If you haven’t added ballroom dance to your social calendar, here’s why you should:

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