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Super Senior: Riki Bowen - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Super Senior: Riki Bowen

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SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. -

Riki Bowen is gassing up for a road trip, a two-hour journey north of the border.


Reporter Joe Carroll: So Riki, where are we going today?

Riki Bowen: We are going to Mascouche.

It's through the farmlands of Quebec to the suburbs of Montreal.

"We are here and we are early!" Riki said upon arrival.


At a nondescript industrial park, Riki meets her dance partner, Denis. And for the next two hours, Riki will dance her troubles away.

"This, this speaks to me," she said.


They're training for the big dance this Friday called Dansesport Montreal. Riki and her trainer, Denis Beulie, will be in step performing tangos and waltzes, along with other ballroom dances. The duo are in the Pro-Am category.

"So am I still having difficulty with the double-reverse," Riki said.


Riki has been coming to this dance studio north of Montreal for the past year. But in March, the tango abruptly stopped. The Shelburne woman was diagnosed with breast cancer in February after an annual mammogram. The cancer didn't spread to her lymph nodes, but Riki decided to get both breasts removed as a precaution. She's in the middle of chemotherapy.

"I say I'm cancer-free and this is insurance," she said.


Riki says she feels good. The only issue-- her hair is starting to fall out, but after the surgery she was flat on her back.

"So I said, if I'm going to dance, I've got to get my body moving," she said.

The 72-year-old started walking around her living room, first for a minute, and then steadily moving up the duration. Her inspiration was a photo.


"This was taken at the last competition," Riki explained. "That's what kept me going."

"Take care of me, I have to dance," Riki tells her nurse.


Back at the studio, it's the last time Riki and Denis will be together before the competition.

Joe Carroll: Do you also stop thinking about your health issues when you're up here?

Riki Bowen: Oh, absolutely, totally. Totally! Other than right now, I worry about my wig falling off!

"Riki is an inspiration for many, many people," Denis said.


It's far from the last waltz for Riki; she'll be back in the studio after the competition. As she says, the learning and living never stops, even when the music ends.

Good luck to Riki, we'll let you know how she does at the competition in Montreal.


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