Student Spotlight: Chuck Nelson
Some of you may know who Chuck Nelson is, but if you do not, let me get you up to date! Chuck Nelson is a recently (last year) retired Veterinarian, father, grandfather, great grandfather, as well as, our oldest student here at Arthur Murray in Woodland Hills! When Chuck walks into the studio, he greets each and every staff member with a “Hello” and a smile, which is often accompanied by a witty joke. Even after sitting in traffic for over an hour and a half to make it to his lessons, Chuck always has a smile on his face and lights up the studio with his presence and charm. He also just celebrated his 94th Birthday last month!
Not only is Chuck dancing weekly in the studio with his two favorite teachers, Amber and Stefanie, but he also attends events and Dance-O-Ramas! Most recently, Chuck was in Cancun at a Dance-O-Rama #rockorama where you may have seen him dance in his favorite style, Peabody with Stefanie! Since then, this video has gone somewhat viral in the Arthur Murray community! While in Cancun, I had the opportunity to ask him why he started dancing in the first place. Chuck shared with me that he was married twice and sadly both his first and second wife passed away during their marriages, leaving him to be a widower. After these two incredible losses, he figured that instead of sitting around and feeling sorry for himself, he’d start dancing! Seeing him out there on that dance floor, still competing, always inspires me. At 94 years old, Chuck is incredibly sharp and witty, although he did tell me he can’t hear much, which you’d never know from the way he follows the rhythm of the music!
Dancing has truly kept Chuck young and agile. He is a testament of the blogs I often write about regarding the health benefits of dancing, especially as we get older. Chuck has told the staff that at every doctor’s appointment he has, the doctor tells him, “keep dancing!” It is the best thing you can do for your mind and body. Ballroom dancing is social; it keeps your mind engaged as well as your body. Chuck is why we do what we do because dancing has really impacted his life. It was an amazing sight seeing him in Cancun dancing all the way from Los Angeles having the time of his life. Cancun is not Chuck’s first DOR either! He has been to Vegas, San Francisco and New Orleans DOR’s as well! Chuck is proud to be one of the oldest at these competitions and we will often see his spicy, competitive personality come out when he says things like, “If they’re in the over 90 category, they better watch out!”
Chuck told me that he said to himself a long time ago that he would continue dancing for as long as it is fun. It sure looks like he is still having a great time! It’s been 13 years that he’s been dancing at Arthur Murray and now his great-granddaughter, MJ, has begun taking lessons. She in now our youngest student at 6 years old! Both Chuck and MJ attended our Holiday Star Ball last December, there they were the oldest and the youngest competitors in attendance. But as Chuck always says, “If you got it, you got it!” And boy, has he got it.
We are so inspired by Chuck every day here at the studio and are happy to see so many of our fellow Arthur Murray staff members and students just as inspired as we are. If you haven’t yet, enjoy this video of Chuck dancing his Peabody in Cancun.
Live, Love, Dance, and Enjoy!
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