The Music Keeps Playing…

Black & white photo of ballerina slipper clad feet on pointe

Beauty Buzz/Blog Biz | The Music Keeps Playing…

I learned my strength will be measured by the poise and grit with which I rise from challenges and falls. Everyone falls and fails, that is a required part of life but quitting is optional.

~Catherine Harrison
Stunning waist shot of Catherine in a red halter top. In this profile shot she is smiling with her head turned facing the camera.
Catherine Harrison

Not once or twice but three times…three times I fell during opening night of a ballet performance, to a sold-out audience when I was only 16 years old.  

A middle ear infection had unknowingly affected my balance. So, during a series of pique turns, on point, the stage began to spin and down I went to the horror of my parents and the audience. The loud, empathetic gasp was audible but I was back on my feet so quickly I hardly missed a beat in the music.  

I never really had time to think about what had just happened, I only knew that I had to finish the dance because the music kept on playing. The music wasn’t going to stop and wait for me to pull myself together. It wasn’t going to pause so I could feel sorry for myself or sit on the center stage floor.  

I had rehearsed for thousands of hours, I was passionate about the art of dance and I was trained to rise again and again no matter what. I knew the importance of getting back up and finishing what I had started. I knew my dance instructor and those who were watching would expect nothing less.

Falling turned out to be one of the most valuable life lessons I ever experienced.  

There would be many more times later in my life that I would fall or fail but in the back of my mind I could hear the music still playing…so I rose again and again.

When it was my turn to take a curtain call the audience leapt to their feet in a standing ovation. They didn’t stand because of my talent or even because I fell. They stood and clapped because I got up…because I finished the dance.  They stood to honor the youthful courage I displayed not to quit and as if to say well done.  

I went on to fulfill my dreams of studying dance at Julliard in New York at the School of American Ballet.  Not only did I have talent but I knew how to work hard, to sacrifice and to succeed.

I learned my strength will be measured by the poise and grit with which I rise from challenges and falls. Everyone falls and fails, that is a required part of life but quitting is optional. Little did I know how I would draw upon the lessons of my youth as the challenges of living with blindness changed my life.

So, get up and continue the dance because the music keeps playing.

By Catherine Harrison

Connecting With Catherine:

Author Bio:

Author bio photo is a headshot of Catherine who has short blonde hair and mesmerizing green eyes. She is wearing a stunning sleeveless red keyhole top.
Catherine Harrison

Catherine is both fearless in the face of a challenge and skilled at defying the stereotypes assigned to women over 50 and to the handicapped. As a former professional ballerina, who studied at Julliard’s School of American Ballet, Catherine brings that same discipline, grace and poise to being a model who happens to be blind.

Catherine started her modeling career in the 1980’s working her way through nursing school. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing and was an operating room nurse for many years before losing the majority of her eyesight. Although only partially sighted, due to a progressive retinal disease, she is very independent and uses her white cane for mobility.

Today, Catherine combines her skills as a ballerina, 10+ years of weight training and her knowledge as a nurse to become a popular certified fitness instructor, teaching stretching/flexibility class. Her lean, athletic physique and positive approach to fitness/nutrition/beauty at every age makes her both a role model and expert in what an active, healthy lifestyle can be.

Her encouraging message of perseverance and strength regardless of circumstances led Catherine to be a sought-after public speaker and writer for more than 10 years.

Image Descriptions:

  • The header photo is a black & white ballerina slipper clad feet on pointe.
  • Stunning waist shot of Catherine in a red halter top. In this profile shot she is smiling with her head turned facing the camera.
  • Author bio photo is a headshot of Catherine who has short blonde hair and mesmerizing green eyes. She is wearing a stunning sleeveless red keyhole top.

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