I stopped dancing and found someone else to replace me at my favorite place to teach in all the country, "Bellydancers of Color Festival" in Silver Springs, Maryland. People would call and ask me to teach or perform and I would find someone else. I let the dance company do the Age of Chivalry Faire, which I loved. I knew the calls would eventually stop. I had noticed something was wrong with me. No energy, fatigued, felt odd, could barely recognize my face in the mirror. Could barely get myself off the couch to cook dinner let alone a few simple stretches. I was given Suzanne Somer's book "Knock Out" about her experience with her own alternative cancer research and was told I needed to read it. Couldn't relate to most of the cancer content but out of it I began to think maybe my hormones were not in balance. A co-worker suggested an amazing gyn doctor in town right down the street from my work. Blessed be! The doctor, Orlandis Wells, told me I had Hashimoto's thyroid condition and possiby the cause of my symptions. We started working on balancing my thyroid, doing blood panels and workups for my hormones.
In May of 2011, my dance mentor, Marliza Pons passed away of an aneurysm. I can't begin to tell you how devastated I was, she had replaced my mother for me. She was an iconic figure in the bellydance world, especially here in Las Vegas. She was a pioneer for the dance and had a dance career that would rival Cyd Charisse. I was left her dance legacy and put myself in charge of arranging her cremation and funeral. I was not letting a woman like this leave without gathering her friends and family. I set-up a non-profit corporation to collect donations. They poured in from all over the globe - from Belgium and Hong Kong. In two months, I was able to pay for everything, including a niche for her ashes, her celebration party, even a tree planted in her honor in a park close to where her studio was. Brought together all of her friends and past students at the Henderson Convention Center last August 11th. It was the day after my birthday. Her choreography was performed, along with dances from her students who have gone on to become some of the top teachers and dancers in the business today. We had a live middle eastern band, food and drinks, everyone was up dancing. I had one of her amazing handmade costumes on a mannequin and a table with photos of her illustrious career. I was pulled up to dance that night and it was the last time I was seen in public. It was a night to remember. Two of my close childhood friends were also worked with her came to town and we party till the wee hours laughing and wishing she was here. I know she was.
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