An 85-year-old tap dancer is inspiring many more to follow in his footsteps.
You're never too old to chase your dreams.
Say hello to Arne Mayala.
He's 85 years old. He's a U.S. Navy veteran. And just recently, he added something pretty awesome to his repertoire.
Arne is now an aspiring tap dancer.
That's right, a tap dancer! You see, it was always a dream of his to follow the footsteps (quite literally) of Fred Astaire. In fact, it's been on his bucket list for quite some time.
"I was always amazed by those old movies and the kind of dancing that those guys could do," Arne told the Forest Lake Times. "For years, I kept telling myself that one day I would learn. Then I turned 85 and my wife kinda pushed me into giving it a go."
And everyone is so glad she did! And to think, it all came about by chance. Arne and his wife, Carol, were just on their way to a tax appointment at the accounting firm upstairs. But when they passed the sign for Dance Tech Studios, Carol knew they had to check it out.
Now Arne makes the 40-mile trip to Forest Lake, Minnesota, every week, more motivated than ever to follow his passion and continue getting better. He adds, "My plan is to keep working hard and see where this adventure takes me."
That's why Arne is also very much an inspiring tap dancer.
He's living proof that it's never too late to try something new and that anything is possible if you go after what you love.
"The day he came in for his first lesson, he wasn't feeling well," recalls studio owner, Robin Lind, to local news station KARE 11. "It just really touched my heart ... seeing him go from having a bad day and what dance can do to someone's life."
When you're part of such a powerful transformation like that, it'd be a shame not to share it with as many people as possible. Well, that's exactly what Robin did.
Robin wanted other seniors out there to feel that same magic feeling Arne feels when he dances.
That's when she decided to start a dance program at her mother's assisted living center. And it has been a rousing success, to say the least.
"I was told it was the largest turnout the center had ever had at an event," Robin told Today.com. "I hope more studios will consider these programs. You're never too old to pursue your dreams."
Dance has the power to do incredible things.
It lets you meet new people, exercise, and boost your self-confidence. But it also lets you communicate the most complex emotions in a way that's truly universal. No wonder it's loved by people of all ages, genders, nationalities, religions, abilities — you name it! We all move differently, yet we're all speaking the same language.
That's the beauty of dance and part of why there's no art form quite like it. Where else can you express yourself through movement and end up with something truly moving?
For more on Arne's story, you can give this a watch: