'DWTS' dancer hosts dance class for cancer survivors


It's like rehearsing for "Dancing With The Stars," but these contestants are already winners.

Fifty breast cancer survivors from Torrance Memorial Medical Center got a special dance lesson from professional dancer Anna Trebunskaya. Trebunskaya lost a close friend to breast cancer, so she invited survivors to her mom's dance studio in Hermosa Beach to celebrate life.

"You might be going through some tough times. You might have breast cancer, any other disease, or some other struggles, but you can still have fun, you can still laugh and enjoy yourself," said Trebunskaya.

Dance may look a series of complicated moves but you have to have a little "soul" to get the swing of it, and doctors will tell you dance is like disease: you need to get through the steps, and having a little fun helps.

"A lot of getting well from any disease happens from the neck up, not from the neck down. And not in the breasts alone. Of course there's healing there, but it's getting your mind and your body knowing that there are other people there with you," said radiologist Dr. Patricia Sacks.

Sacks says these women are living proof that screening saves lives.

"They're an example to women: Don't be afraid to have a mammogram. The sooner we find this, the sooner we'll make you well and you'll be here dancing with us," said Sacks.

Gabriela Lopez of Laguna Hills had ovarian and colon cancer. Now she's fighting a rare type of spinal cancer. But she makes a point to dance every weekend.

"My main goal is to be positive," said Lopez. "You know, medication can take care of you, but if you don't have a positive attitude, you might as well just throw in the towel."

Besides enjoying the social benefits of dancing, the purpose of the event was to bring attention to the importance of early detection and screening mammograms.

Copyright © 2023 KABC Television, LLC. All rights reserved.