WellesleyWeston Magazine

WINTER 2014/2015

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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when Dancing with the Stars debuted in the summer of 2005, Pat Lowell Menard had already been taking ballroom lessons for two years – and was completely hooked. Growing up in Wellesley, Menard said she had only tangentially been involved in sports, mostly swim- ming, but never felt like she excelled at any of them. When she took that first dance lesson some dozen years ago, she was 50 pounds heavier and usually exhausted at the end of each work- day as a high school language teacher. Most evenings, she remembers having "only enough energy for the couch and something not so healthy to eat." But after staying glued to her chair at yet another social function, perhaps it was a wedding or an anniversary party, she decided she was tired of watching everyone else having fun. "The people who were dancing seemed so confident, so happy to just be out there enjoying themselves." She started taking lessons at one of the many studios in the local area. Watching her twirl around the hardwood floor of the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Dedham these days, it's hard to imagine Menard, now 61, ever sitting on the sidelines. She is one of the regulars at the Friday night practice dances, a staple among area studios that provide long- time students the chance to polish their steps as well as newcomers to give it a try. "We've all become great friends," Menard says of the social connec- tions she's made through dancing. Whether one arrives with a partner 133 w i n t e r 2 0 1 4 / 2 0 1 5 | W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e

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