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Henry Dotson, AZ

Critically Acclaimed Writer

Henry Dotson was born and raised in Rancho Cucamonga, California into a family of engineers and entrepreneurs. Henry is a writer, speaker, story strategist, professional swing dancer, tournament chess player, improv comedian, and most importantly, a soon-to-be husband. He believes that legacy is more important than destiny, and loves to help individuals leave their own legacy for their loved ones. He has worked as a freelance writer, editor, and writing consultant, helping small business owners tell their stories. He loves to use his diverse life experience to connect with others.

As a Story Terrace writer, Henry interviews customers and turns their life stories into books. Get to know him better by reading his autobiographical anecdote below.

Dancing is about Feeling

This is my second year competing, but it feels overwhelming like the first. Glaring lights accentuate akimbo limbs and coiffed curls in a vague sea of faces, and I briefly wonder how the judges can focus on any one of us. I feel stifled by the heat rising from our bodies, a throng of dancers crowding the floor, 100-watt lightbulbs all eager to outshine each other.

The judges announce my partner and we size each other up with a curt nod. This tiny gesture answers the most important questions — “Are you a generous dancer? Will you make this dance about us instead of showing off? Can you let loose and have fun?” — with the respectful nonchalance of a seasoned professional. At least, that’s what we want each other to think. The dance floor will soon reveal the truth in three minutes of unadulterated, creative expression.

The song begins. I feel my pulse quicken as my ears strain to make out the driving rhythm over the din of heavy shoes clop-clopping on the floor. Nervously, I lead a two-move pattern. Then another. My partner frowns slightly, as if she suspects that I’m recalling practiced patterns, from the past, instead of being present.

I remember the words of my first instructor: “dancing is less about thinking, more about feeling”. I let them become my mantra, until the meditation fills my mind and brings me to a point of stillness. My steps flow after that. Now a smile spreads upon her lips and we stand, breathless, as the crooning of Frank Sinatra fades into silence.

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