I was never someone who watched Dancing With The Stars. I followed it on websites or magazines, but was never curious or interested enough to commit the time to it. Back in Season 13, however, when I saw that Chaz Bono was going to be on, my curiosity got the best of me, and I tuned in on the first night with my then 10-year-old son in order to have a “teachable moment”.
My intent was to teach him about different people and tolerance. However, as we watched throughout the season, he learned about other things. He learned about patience, respect, perseverance and how to let difficult comments and situations roll off your back. He learned those things from Tristan MacManus.
Since we weren’t regular DWTS watchers we didn’t initially realize that this was his first season as a pro. We thought that he had been on for a while and that’s how he developed that set of interpersonal skills.
The work Tristan did with Nancy, the way he dealt with a person, how he handled being judged and the grace (no pun intended) he showed when they were ultimately voted off were what stuck with my son. He still, to this day references what he learned that season, and we’ve been huge Tristan and DWTS stars ever since.
Special thanks to our guest writer, Amy, for this touching post.
I was blessed with the opportunity to meet Tristan MacManus this past January at an event in New Jersey. I got to speak with him for maybe five minutes, all of which I spent regressing into a twelve-year-old girl who suddenly didn’t know how to speak to (or look at, for that matter) a guy. We spent the minutes talking about Maksim Chmerkovskiy's hair choices and me blurting out that I'm awful at making conversation (obviously). I left that day completely disappointed in myself. I knew that was my one opportunity to talk to Tristan, whom I've been a fan of since he first stepped foot on the Dancing With the Stars dance floor. I knew he probably walked away from that conversation thinking I was a completely dull and boring geek. I walked out of the 'meet-and-greet room,' grabbed my friend who was waiting for me, and dragged her to the nearby restaurant for a drink at the bar, where I could make fun of myself to feel just a little bit better.
Fast forward. This August I decided to drive two hours into Long Island to go see Ballroom With A Twist for my birthday. Seven months pregnant and disgustingly hot weather made for the perfect road trip. I dragged my best friend along (again) and figured we'd have a blast, whether or not I got to meet any of the DWTS pros (even though I was really hoping to get to meet Tristan again so I could possibly redeem myself?) I figured there was no way he would remember me so I was in the clear of any past embarrassment.
The show was awesome. Tristan was fantastic as our "host" for the afternoon and we decided to do the meet and greet (how I got to do the meet and greet is another story within itself). Anyway, we were led through a narrow hallway backstage and, of course, Tristan is the only pro waiting there at the moment to greet people. Being the kind of guy he is, he immediately starts talking to every person who heads his way. Of course, I once again become twelve and just stand in the distance as if I'm at a middle school dance. After all, I didn't want to bombard him... He had enough people trying to speak with him... Um, Yeah. Then I realized as I was busy doing all this convincing in my head, he had actually looked over at me and made eye contact. So, naturally I did what any mature adult would do, I quickly went into 'I feel awkward' mode and looked at my phone.
Next thing I know he walks over to me, says "hey Toni" (he knew my name?!) and gives me a kiss on the cheek. Then as he's walking past me he puts his hand on my preggo belly, says "beautiful," with a big smile and tells me he'll be right back to take a picture with me. Ok, so as you can imagine, right now I'm pretty sure I must be hallucinating due to lack of oxygen from the baby sitting on my lungs or something. But my friend assures me that all really did in fact just happen.
This is just a perfect example of what kind of guy he truly is. Even if he did think I was a huge dork after meeting me back in January, he never let on. In fact, he want above and beyond to make me feel comfortable with just being me, however that may be at that moment...gigantically pregnant, extremely self-conscious, whatever. I hope that every Tristan MacManus fan (MacManiac, if you will) gets a chance to meet the man himself. You can't fully appreciate how kind, funny and genuine he is with his fans until you experience it first hand. So, if you get the chance to meet him, do it.
And if you're wondering if he ever came back for that picture? Of course he did! He just wouldn't be Tristan if he didn't. And he also was the mastermind behind the infamous group picture of himself holding my baby bump. (And by 'infamous,' I mean, as shown on my Twitter...lol.) Yep, that was all his idea. Come on, how could you not be a fan of this guy?
Thanks to ToniAnn for her guest post!
Enjoy this guest blog by site member Luv2Danc!
A Sad Tale of Tristan Drought
Once upon a time there was a drought in the land of MacManiacs.
This was no ordinary drought of merely water – which nourishes the body.
Alas, this was a drought much deeper - of the heart, of the spirit.
A moment here, a glance there, a “there he is” hoping to see the beloved Tristan of the clan MacManus grace us with his beauty, his smile, his joyful heart, his lilting turn of a phrase, or a twirl or a dip, as he magically transports us into the Land of Joy and Delight.
And let’s face it, if we are sad of heart and spirit, life is blah and dreary.
What to do, dear Macmaniacs, what to do?
Perhaps we could call on the ancestor clan of MacManus for strength and courage. After all we have had fleeting glimpses of the clan shield as Sir Tristan whirled and twirled with the delighted Nancy of Grace.
Sound the horns. Gather the resources. Marshall the troops. (Or are we a troupe?)
We are sound of mind (perhaps) and devoted of heart and spirit, and we will overcome, we shall overcome, we must overcome - to search another day, to see Sir Tristan dance another day, and another and another and another . . . AND SOON!
So May It Be!