Janet Walkow Christine Jacobs

What Do You Want?

Last week, LWP Christine and I found ourselves at a most unusual venue – the Holiday Ballroom Dance Classic in Las Vegas. How did we end up there?

Sophia, the Dancer


During our recent trip to Bosnia we met “Sophia”, who was one of the women in our group. We immediately hit it off and during the group introductions, each person was asked to share something unique.  Sophia revealed that she had just won a Ballroom dancing competition at her first-ever competition. We learned that she was a dancer before she had a family. Now that her children are older, she has decided to return to dance as a hobby. She had never lost her passion, but was busy with other parts of her life.

LWP Christine and I were inspired by her story. How often do each of us think about something we want to try, a relationship we want to rekindle or how wonderful it would be to help someone: yet, take no action? Sophia’s decision to resume dancing demonstrates a basic premise of the Leading Women Project – to find your inner leader and be your own leading woman. We looked forward to being at the Las Vegas competition to share and support our remarkable friend.

So You Think You Can Dance


It was magical watching Sophia glow as she glided across the floor with grace and elegance in her amazing, glittering gowns. Sophia exemplifies the essence of self-leadership. She is pursuing her passion that brings her tremendous happiness and satisfaction, evidenced as we watched her dance. Sophia and her dance partner were impressive as they performed the required and open dances. The pride that her husband and coaches exuded was palpable. We watched. We cheered. We marveled.

And, The Winner is…

It was no surprise that Sophia reached the finals and placed in many of the events.  The biggest win of all? Sophia is dancing again, a conscious decision she made to do something that fulfills one of her passions. She sums it up nicely, “I am finally here; in my element, doing what I dreamed of as a little girl while finding it hard to fall asleep but daydreaming of a day when I could do just this.”

Is there something you would like to try or a former passion you want to rekindle?  Are there volunteering or learning opportunities you have thought about pursuing? What and who do you want to include in your life? Share your stories – we want to hear from you.

Janet Walkow is the Executive Director and Chief Technology Officer of the Drug Dynamics Institute at The University of Texas and a co-founder of Leading Women. Read her full bio.

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