Dancemax Letter #29, Thursday Dec 14, 2000
Died while Dancing
That doesn't sound like much fun, Does it? But it could and does happen.
Please read the following quotes from recent magazines: (Today's letter is on
health and specially for those who have celebrated their 40th birthday).
The Hub Ballroom, Located on Main St, Edelstein, Illinois is now "CLOSED" and "For Sale". In September, Ray Hanlon, owner of the Hub Ballroom passed away while in Cleveland, Ohio. He was attending the annual convention of the National Ballroom and Entertainment Association. On Monday evening Sept 18th, he was honored with a plaque as he was voted N.B.E.A. Ballroom Operator of the Year. Several hours later he suffered a fatal heart attack. His wife has since opted to sell the business.
and the following from an article published in October 2000, Ballroom Dancing Times":
The Five Positions and Teaching jive by Norman Yates: This, sadly is the last feature Norman Yates will ever write for us. He died suddenly on October 2
and the following e mail from my dance teacher
Date: 12/1/00 8:12:23 PM Eastern Standard Time Max, I don't know if you've heard sad news - Joe Baca has died... Funeral tomorrow at 10am at the church across the street from the Dance Scene... Heart attack...
and the following is true personal story.
I almost died while dancing: Time is around 1995 when my brother sustained a heart attack and nearly died but the wonderful team of doctors at St Joseph Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan (USA) revived him and with god's help gave him a new life.
With above family history, I thought for sure I will be the next. Genetics is like carbon copies of a document. I got tested and everything came out perfect including a stress test. I was 50 yrs of age.
Not even 6 months had passed, calamity struck me. Doing a Cha Cha one evening, it felt like somebody stabbed me in my back. I stopped dancing and told my partner that I didn't feel good and sat down and soon left the studio feeling a little tired. Next week, while I was doing a Jive, it happened again. I just thought it is not a good idea to dance after a meal and shrugged it off as an isolated, unimportant event. It happened again 3 days later and this time I was teaching a Samba class. I finished the class but just didn't feel good, back hurting between my shoulder blades and feeling tired. I said to myself, "age is taking its toll." As I passed through the front desk, our beloved secretary Barbara noticed my unease on my face, and asked me what's the problem. I told her about my ordeal and said that I would rather go home. She was concerned and said to me, "Max, I think you should see a heart doctor, it could be your heart ." I told her "No, My heart is OK, I just had it all tested" and then left the studio
I had bought a new car only a few days back and for the first time it was a Japanese car, a Nissan with firm leather seats. As I was driving home I was extremely uncomfortable and I said to myself, my God I will never buy a Japanese car again, this seat is killing me. Low and Behold I did not realize that as I would get home the back pain in my upper torso will become unbearable and I will be tossing and turning in front of the fire place right on the floor.
To make it brief, I then realized that it could be something serious, my brother in law came running, he is a doctor. I was rushed by car to the same hospital where my brother was treated 6 months ago. One of my friend cardiologists came rightaway and I then started having symptoms of a heart attack with chest pain and all. They put catheters in my heart, I had 5 coronary arteries bypassed next day in a 5 hour operation. I was lucky and did not sustain damage to my heart.
For now I would just want to awaken your awareness. How many of you will relate to these events one way or the other, I dont know. I do feel we are all sitting "Time Bombs" waiting to explode. We have all heard of young basketball players, runners and joggers and all kinds of other athletes dying suddenly of a heart attack. Dancers are no exception.
In the next letter I will tell you how a friend of mine who is a Ballroom Dancer, gave me a million dollar advise and helped me regain a full and fearless life, back to dancing. Think about your risk factors and change your life now, sometimes there is no second chance.
Heart Attack is like a Recount in Florida. As long as you dont die from it, and do the right thing, you will be a winner in the end. GW Bush did it, you can too...Best wishes.. Max
Questions and comments to Dancemax@aol.com, thank you.