Local woman still teaches dance after losing lung to cancer

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- A Piedmont dance instructor refused to let a major health set-back knock her off her feet.

After losing a lung to lung cancer, Pat Adkins says moving is the best medicine.

“If you feel bad, you feel good within an hour because you have no idea how dancing can change your personality. If you're sick, it makes you feel wonderful,” Pat said.

She has been teaching classes, including line dancing and clogging, throughout the Piedmont Triad for the last 33 years.

“All of my seniors that I teach dancing to some of them are 80 and 90 years old and they still dance with me,” Pat said.

She is in her 70s now and has had 17 surgeries. Many of them were related to arthritis.

She was teaching dance on a cruise in 2016 when she didn’t feel well.

After she got home, she went to the doctor and learned she had lung cancer.

Pat's right lung was removed, and she was determined to keep dancing.

She cut back some but still manages to teach 18 classes.

“They call me the Energizer Bunny,” Pat said.

She embraces the nickname since she's thankful that she’s still able to use her gift.

“It was nothing I had to learn," Pat said. "It was just God-given.”

She mainly works with Winston-Salem’s Recreation & Parks department but also teaches in other communities.

Pat also teaches in King at Recreation Acres and the King Senior Center and on the Pilot Mountain campus of Surry Community College.

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