Monday, June 3, 2013

A Dancer at Heart

     Growing up in Louisiana, music and dance were a part of Bridget Krautwurst’s Cajun heritage. Bridget, an RN with her MBA, is Meritus Health’s Director of Community Health Nursing. Since she was three, Bridget found ways to dance: tap, ballet, hip-hop or cheerleading. “I would dress up in my mom’s swirling skirts, spin around and do the two step or jitterbug,” she says. And the late 80’s movie “Dirty Dancing,” fueled her passion for dance even more.

     As an adult, Bridget’s desire to dance stayed with her, but she lacked a dance partner. When Bridget saw a Groupon advertisement from a Gaithersburg Arthur Murray studio stating “no partner required,” she thought, “This is my chance.” Her first lesson and group class at the studio spanned six hours. “I was exhausted, but ecstatic because I was doing what I love,” explains Bridget.

The natural
     With less than eight lessons under her belt, Bridget’s instructors convinced her to perform in a competition. Her instructor and new dance partner told Bridget to follow his lead and keep her eyes on the finals. Although Bridget’s dance competition included 30 couples whose dance experience ranged from one to three years, Bridget and her partner made it to the final five couples—dancing the tango and Cha-cha.

     “If I had my way, I’d dance every day,” says Bridget. But between raising her five-year-old son and a busy healthcare career, Bridget only goes to her Frederick dance studio once a week, though sometimes for five hours at a time. Since beginning ballroom dancing, Bridget has lost nearly 15 pounds. “I struggled with weight due to asthma and the concern over exercise,” says Bridget. But now she credits dancing as a way to maintain her weight and improve her asthma, stamina and posture.

A new partner
     If competitive dancing wasn’t enough, Bridget now adds running to her fitness routine. She finished a 5K in March. This summer, she will enroll in ballroom dancing with a partner. “Ballroom dancing is really a team effort,” says Bridget. “My boyfriend likes the non-verbal communication between partners. He views ballroom dancing as symbolic and bond-strengthening,” says Bridget. “When you’re in sync, it’s effortless.”

Dance, Bridget points out, elevates the heart rate, challenges the brain, strengthens the core and develops muscles and bone strength. For Bridget, physical fitness doesn’t get any better than this.

Bridget Krautwurst and partner pose
at Meritus Healthcare Foundation's 2013 Crystal Ball

Photo Credit: Photography by Dale, LLC

By: Anne Gill

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