Sensual Dance Fit, interview with Carolyn Smith: dance, cancer

The number one dance talent show tells us about her life with breast cancer. And she invites everyone to try Sensual Dance Fit to regain well-being and energy


She is liked by everyone, absolutely everyone, for that honest and sincere way of acting, for her contagious smile and for that irresistible British accent that she keeps intact, even though she has lived in Italy since ’82. Carolyn Smith, a well-known face of the big screen and international temples of dance, is an authentic woman who started taking her first dance steps at the age of four, in her hometown of Glasgow. Since 2007 he has held the role of chairman of its jury dancing with the Starsthe talent show broadcast on Saturday night on Rai 1 directed by Milly Carlucci.
Volcanic and always full of ideas, despite the presence of an intruder (as defined by Breast cancer which hit it in 2015), opened 205 schools in Italy Sensual Dance Fita dance program dedicated only to women, of all ages and backgrounds, to help them rediscover their femininity, a confidence and elegance and, why not, that hint of sensuality that remains alive even after 60.
We interviewed her at the airport as she was about to head to London to open eight Sensual Dance Fit schools.

Let’s start with the sore spots. How is the fight against cancer going?

It is still an open battle, for now there are no winners and losers. However, I have recently started a new type of chemotherapy which is giving encouraging results. I found out I had large, aggressive breast cancer eight years ago (2015) when I had a radical mastectomy. Since then I have never stopped chemotherapy: every three weeks I go to the IDI Institute in Rome, where I receive an infusion of chemotherapy drugs. It’s been like this for eight years, never a moment of rest because the malignant cells have relapsed several times and I’m constantly under treatment to try to keep them under control, prevent them from spreading. It is not easy to live with an illness that has now become chronic.
But with the new treatments I hope to see the end.

How did you react to being diagnosed with breast cancer?

As someone who encounters cancer along the way, I had to release all the energy and resources possible to face the oncology journey, step by step. First the tests, then the devastating surgery, the radiation therapy and the endless cycles of chemotherapy. I faced the whole program with my head held high, not feeling sorry for myself, even if at times I felt down. At first it was also a shock to my life as a couple: my husband Ernestino, a true Paduan whom I married in 1997, did not take it well at all. Hospitals, doctors and drugs scare him and knowing I had cancer was terrible news for him. Now, after eight years of forced care, she is used to the situation and supports me every step of the way.

I know you are saying your experience on Instagram…

Yes, I have many stories to tell, many photos and videos to share with those who appreciate my courage, my determination. Despite having to undergo chemotherapy every three weeks, for example, I have never stopped being a judge on Dancing with the Stars. And I’m not ashamed to show myself with very short, gray hair, tested by constant treatments. I think it’s important to talk about your illness, your relapses and your successes. Not only to send a positive message to all women who, like me, have found an “invader”, but also to continue talking about cancer prevention and the need to fearlessly undergo preventive examinations. Some women put their heads in the sand, skip the checks, live in the name of fatalism. But no: it is right that a public figure like me puts his experience at the service of all women, who must never lose hope and face treatment with determination and serenity. I believe in the value of sisterhood, complicity and alliance between mothers, daughters, grandmothers, aunts, friends, colleagues, cousins ​​and brothers. If we don’t help each other, what do we do?

Is your project dedicated to cancer patients?

It is the closest thing to my heart. It’s called Dance for Oncology and it’s dedicated exclusively to all women and men fighting cancer. It is the first dance class presented and approved by the Ministry of Health for this purpose and is open to all participants free of charge. The class is always based on Sensual Dance Fit (an exact choreography created by me) but in a soft version, because it is aimed at people undergoing chemotherapy or immunotherapy, with bodies weakened by treatment. Classes are taught by teachers trained in this type of approach, which has both therapeutic (dance is art therapy) and restorative value because movements and exercises are learned with the aim of restoring strength, balance and stability, at a time when perhaps they give you medicine. tremors and dizziness. The ultimate goal is to learn to accept oneself and the illness, to gain a new awareness to not let oneself be overwhelmed by negative situations but to manage them with body, heart and mind.

Dance is also a form of self-defense, an infallible umbrella against whatever comes our way. So why not abandon yourself to the fluidity of the movements and dust off, even with a tumor, that part of the playground and carefree? Together we can do it. At the moment, courses dedicated to cancer patients exist in 15 Italian cities, but another 50 teachers have already joined the Dance For Oncology project, an interesting start-up and for those who teach dance, with a thousand therapeutic implications. Anyone wishing to make a donation or find out where to attend can consult the website

October 2023

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