What many people don’t know about me is that some days I lack the confidence to get up in front of an audience to dance. I have danced most all my life on and off. I was never encouraged to dance and I have had some pretty tough teachers that did not encourage me either. Most of the time you never see me dance by myself it is always in a group or at a minimum with a dance partner in a group of many.
For the past twelve years, this song has been on my heart. I was not sure why or what I was to do with it. But I kept hearing this story about Esther. Even my husband shared the story with me and encouraged me to watch the movie. I have watched bits and pieces of it but not the entire movie. I wanted to read the story in the Bible for myself. When I read about Esther’s journey, I was amazed. However, I still did not know what this song had to do with me I continued my life.
One day I was approached by someone to compete in a small pageant. I thought honestly I was done with pageants after winning Ms. World Universal Elite. But I signed up for fun. I saw that they had a talent portion and thought well I will sign up for modeling, photogenic, and costume, and that is about it as I don’t have a talent. The next day, all I could do was think of talent. I thought to myself “have you lost your mind” you don’t have the talent to dance alone. But the song “Un Viaje Largo” translated into English as “A Long Journey,” kept popping into my head. The song kept gnawing at me until I asked my dance teacher if she thought she could choreograph something to this song and if she thought I could dance it since I have not done lyrical/ballet in about 4 years. I have only been doing tap due to my busy work schedule. She said of course she can choreograph something and of course, I could learn it. She said I will teach the first 1/2 in one hour and the 2nd half in the second hour then you will have it to practice. I thought, my teacher, has lost her mind! You see, what you did not know is that there were only three weeks left before this show.
So here we go, I learned it on 7/18 and practiced with her on 7/19. Then she left on vacation but said send me videos when you practice. So I practiced three times at our church community center for 1 hour, the rest of the time, I practiced in my head. On the last day of practice at the community center, my shoe broke and I thought that is it I can’t do this. My husband was not having it, we drove to the dance store and found the perfect shoes to dance to this beautiful song in.
When I arrived at the competition, we were told that we would have practice time on stage, but it never happened they had technical difficulty with the music. So I ended up practicing on my own with another contestant playing the song on my phone so I at least had practice time. I prayed before I danced at practice and before I went on the show. One of the things a good friend of mine who watched the dance at the community center said to me was you have the dance choreography, your feet are pointed, everything is great, but I need you to dance it now. She wanted me to feel the music and share the story so that when people watched it they understood what the journey was. I prayed for God to give me this ability to express myself through dance.
That day of the show, I was backstage stretching while others with talent were just milling about. I was one of the only dancers in my group. I continued stretching and marking the dance in my head. That made me nervous and I started to hear voices in my head that said you are not good enough, you are kidding yourself that you think you can get up on stage and dance to something you have not danced to in 4 years, you will not win. I started to walk off the back of the stage but one of the ladies in another division came up to me and said I saw you practice and I felt that you were anointed by God so I am going to pray for you. Now she did not know who I was, nor what I was dancing to or why.
So it was finally my turn. I prayed to my friend’s prayer for me that I pray whenever I get nervous and want God to take the lead. God before me, God behind me, God to my right, God to my left, God above me, God below me, God surround me with peace and allow me to do Your will. As I walked on that stage, I was not looking at how many people in the audience were watching, I was not looking at how the judges were reacting to my dance, and I was not thinking about the MC and the DJ that were on the stage busy reading their scripts, I was not looking at contestants on the sidelines practicing their own things. I was thinking about the long journey that I endured in my life with, bullying, ridicule, never being good enough, never being praised, never being supported, abused mentally by teachers, bosses, kids in school, ex-spouse, and co-workers. I was remembering the journey of carrying a child in pregnancy and three months early finding myself on a death bed about to lose my life and my baby’s life. But seeing through this journey the light of Jesus that guided me, that allowed these tests to become my testimony, that allowed me to live to share this story today with you, that allowed me to have a voice for premature babies and their families through The Gift of Life a non-profit I created with my husband, and to let go of the past that made me hide in a cocoon.
I was able to grow through God’s mercy into the woman that I am today. He removed the shyness even in dance. I felt no fear, I finally reached the path that I was to be on. I am finally able to use my voice to help others. I may not be the perfect speaker, the perfect dancer, or the perfect anything, but I know that I am made for such a day like this.
I hope you enjoy the dance, it was recorded from the stage on my phone as the show was not recorded for us. But who knows maybe one day I will perform it somewhere and you can see it live or on a professional video. I merely wanted to share the message.
I want to thank my dance teacher Stacy for teaching me the choreography and giving me the confidence that I could do this. She believed in me and for that, I will always be grateful. I also want to thank my former ballet teacher, Ms. Trish, she was a tough teacher but she became a friend, but when it came to dancing, it was serious work, however, she gave me the foundation that I needed to learn ballet and to work hard for what I wanted, she gave me the opportunities I always dreamed of dancing in shows. Finally to Ms. Norma my other ballet teacher, God Bless her, Ms. Norma always made sure that we had valuable lessons in dance and that we looked great in all our dances. When I look back at our numbers I am proud to have been her student. There are always teachers that stay with you throughout your life and these were mine!
Thank you for supporting my journey. I look forward to seeing everyone this coming November 19th 2022 at our event Miracles of Christmas
Ms. Lara Spencer Good Morning America Laughs at Prince George
When I was in grammar school I was the only dark-skinned Latina in my Catholic grammar school. My parents worked hard to provide their only daughter with the best education they could. But I didn’t fit in. I had two friends in grammar school that I played with; they were both Cuban but light-skinned, blonde and brunette. Whenever our classmates saw us they called us the black and white tv. “Why tv”? I’m not sure. But it broke all three of our hearts. Thankfully this did not carry through high school or college; I was glad to leave this stigma behind. I managed to graduate college and work in the real world.
In a high-risk hospital, I encountered a professional stigma, nurses against aides and techs. I wanted to do a good job and help my patients. I worked with everyone, but yet, the nurses said, “you are one of us, you should not socialize at lunch/dinner with the techs or aides.” The techs/aides would say “you are a nurse but you are Latina and you need to be with your people and the African American staff.” As for the doctors, well, they were in their own world-but I got along with them, they were too busy for stigmas.
I quickly learned life’s lessons in the business world. I took on jobs where women were in power struggles: some of the older women had no respect for younger women and vise Versa. The level of your position made a difference as to who you socialized with. People forgot we were there to take care of the sick.
And then it happened, I was thrown into the world of Pageantry. What me? I’m the shorts and flip flops girl!
I became a mom of a preemie, gained 50 lbs. due to the stress of a boss who said she hated people, thought there was something wrong with my learning ability, had no respect for people, and thought reading books was a waste of time let alone writing one. I cried daily at my desk as a result of the bullying and stress this woman caused me. Until one day my doctor said “You need to lose weight, lower your blood pressure and change your eating habits or you may find yourself in an early grave. This started a healthy journey for me. I had to live for my son, my husband but most importantly, me. I had to love myself because God loved me and He had a plan for my life.
Most of my close friends knew I was never a public speaker nor did I desire to share my testimony publicly. I was actually very shy. I used to sing as a child and through my teens until one day someone said to me, “you look silly singing in the church choir.” I allowed someone’s criticism to ruin my privilege to serve the Lord through worship. I hid behind dance because I could express myself and not use my voice to speak to others about Jesus and what He did in my life.
He took control of my life. I went through trial after trial until one day He inspired me to write my testimony in my very first book, titled A Story of Faith. I thought that was sufficient, but it wasn’t. He continued to give me test after test and each one became a testimony. He gave me divine appointments to speak to women who were going through difficult situations. I started to seek the Lord’s guidance, asking Him to fill my mouth with the right words to empower young and older women.
I thought to myself never will I lose 50 lbs! But through eating properly, training with a trainer, and God’s motivation, someone noticed. An acquaintance said, “You know if you get involved in a pageant you can reach a diverse audience that will learn about your charity and help you spread the word about the Gift of Life.” I thought, “No one cares about pageants” (I certainly didn’t) until I tested out the theory.
I emailed a hotel the year prior to becoming a pageant queen asking for a donation to the Gift of Life and received a reply, “we don’t have any donations at this time, but try again next year”. So the next year I sent an email, copying the same email, but signing my name as Mrs. Windermere. This was the start of a shift in favor of people. This time around, I not only received approval for a donation, but the donation was more than I expected; a weekend getaway package to auction off at our Gala. The pageantry gave me (“just Rosie Moore”) celebrity status almost overnight.
My first ever competition was an eye-opener. I felt alone amongst women who were beautiful, wealthy and eager to push any competitor out of their way. I once again experienced exclusion because of my skin color and heritage as a Latina. I was done with pageantry, one time was enough for me.
in the audience noticed me at the pageant with all the bad experience. She saw something beyond my heritage; she saw
that I had a platform plus a genuine love of people. She convinced me to try again so I prepared
for a year and qualified to be Mrs. Windermere International.
This time things were different. My peers voted me Mrs. Congeniality and I received the Community Service Award. The following year, I went on to represent Mrs. Michigan International of which I had the opportunity to not only crown my successor but to share my testimony regarding the Gift of Life.
Today, I am the reigning “Mrs. Southern States International I have the ability to share my testimony, the Gift of Life and my faith in Jesus! What I learned is that there is only one winner in the eyes of man. But, in the eyes of God, we are all winners.
It’s easy for us to fall into the same treatment we receive from others and although it hurts and we want to hurt others with the same measure, we must resist hurting others with criticism because of our own wounds. We will have a great reward as long as we believe God has us in His hands.
This is why it pains me to hear on national television a grow woman Good Morning America” host Lara Spencer, bullying a 6-year-old boy and eliciting laughter from the audience and co-hosts because he is taking ballet. What is so funny about that? Would she have had the same sarcastic remark had it been a little girl? Prince George will be able to make that decision as an adult for himself one day when he decides what his career path should be. As a dancer who has taken ballet and danced in ballet productions, I know the importance of this being the foundation for any style of dance. I encourage Lara Spencer to google famous ballet dancers and what they have brought to the world of entertainment, Mikhail Baryshnikov is one that comes to mind. Ballet is the foundation of any style of dance, a dancer is recognized by his or her training in ballet because the way that they carry their posture stands out. Football players take ballet not only to help them be flexible in their sport but ballet improves their focus by helping them concentrate on precise movements needed in football. Ballet has been proven to boost the concentration, improve memory, and helps people to understand music and rhythm which ultimately can improve body awareness and physical control. If you have a tendency to be clumsy, ballet training can help improve that. Not everyone who takes ballet or any style of dance will become a world-famous dancer, but the opportunity to allow someone to express themselves through dance does wonder. That is why in a major study it has been proven that when you stimulate your mind by dancing, it can increase cognitive ability, therefore, decreasing the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s or dementia.
So to Ms. Lara Spencer of Good Morning America, choose your words wisely the next time that you are sharing news or a story because your words are a double edge sword that can be hurtful to someone who is listening. I used to like watching Good Morning America and hearing the stories that were shared, but now I am appalled that Good Morning America would allow this type of bullying of a child to take place on national television.