Friday, December 30, 2005


In a former life, I competed internationally in latin ballroom dance. My partner and I spent nearly all our time (and a most regrettable sum of money) on lessons, choreography, costumes, travel, etc. And it was worth it. We didn't always win, but I learned a lot and had so much fun, and our biggest competition took us to England and France, places I had wanted to visit for a long time.

My passion for dancing never waned, but after several years, it was getting too expensive and too time-consuming, and I wanted to pursue other interests. So I retired at the young age of 25.

Troy and I stayed in touch at first, but it wasn't long until I stopped hearing from him. When I started singing with a swing band, I invited him to my gigs so we could dance again, even if only for a few songs, but he never showed. As time passed, we were more like strangers than friends who spent so many years together.

And then I got an unexpected call a few months ago. He told me that there would be a producer calling me later that day to set up a time to dance for some footage for a documentary they were filming about him. So after a four-year hiatus, I put on my dancing shoes again that night. It's funny how when you love something, you don't realize how strenuous it is. We used to spend two hours a night, four days a week practicing. And with all that exercise, I could eat anything I wanted. But that night, we were both completely out of breath in the first five minutes. And my body moved differently with a few extra years and pounds. But it was still a blast to dance again. (Even though I was sore for a week in places I had forgotten about!)

After we danced, they did an interview with Troy. Initially, I was asked to wait outside the room so he could be candid, but then he asked me to stay. I was saddened and horrified at the things I heard. He is a crystal meth addict. And homeless. And unemployed. And so many other things are wrong in his life. I spoke with him after we were done shooting, wondering how I could help him. But there was nothing I could do. As I learned with my brother, you cannot convince an addict to get help. They must decide on their own that it is time to quit. I didn't know what this was all for, but I sensed and hoped that somehow the experience was cathartic for him.

I got another call today. Troy is coming home. He was shipped off to rehab the morning after I saw him, where he has been for the last two months. He sounds happy, healthy, and optimistic, and I couldn't be more relieved. I learned that this was all for a show called "Intervention" on A&E, airing Sunday, January 8 at 10 pm ET. And since I could never do his story justice, I encourage you all to watch. I'd be curious to hear what you think.


Miladysa said...

I would watch if I could :)

Anonymous said...


I saw Troy's episode a long time ago but I've never been able to get the story out of my mind. I wonder if it would be okay to ask how he's doing. I know it sounds weird, but something similar happened to a friend of mine & I just wanted to see how Troy made out.

My email is I hope to hear from you; thanks.

Jenn Shurbet said...

Hi Nicole - I was one of Troy's dance partners in high school and happened to find your blog entry about his Intervention episode. From time to time I try to find out how he's doing now. He did a follow-up interview for A&E and I know life wasn't going super smoothly in Tucson. Have you heard from him recently? You seem like a grounded person - and he needs those in his life. Thanks. --Jennifer (Hastings) Shurbet