But with the excitement has come heartbreak. Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, she loses not only her ability to dance but, in time, even the freedom to go out and about on her own. Having her home and dance studio featured on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition is a blessing, but her struggles are far from over. Through it all, however, her passion for her true loves-her sons, her faith, and her desire to make the world a better place-only strengthens.
Give Take Be is the story of a life of breathtaking highs and catastrophic lows; it is about a woman, the lives she has touched, and those that have touched her in return. It is a story of overcoming crushing adversity by holding on to the simple determination to Give, Take, and Be.
"Sometimes you embrace a book...and sometimes a book embraces you. Give Take Be takes us on a warm and personal voyage of the very talented Carol Crawford Smith from being a young professional dancer with the Dance Theatre of Harlem to overcoming the unexpected fears of MS. Carol's courage and talent, her faith and beliefs carry her through. She won a home makeover and the hearts of all in this community. She no longer physically dances but her heart waltzes to a beautiful tune of always...always...always summer."
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About the Author
In December 2005, Carol Crawford Smith and her family were awarded a new home and renovated dance studio on ABC network's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. The episode first aired February 12, 2006. In May 2006, she was a guest on the Montel Williams Show ("The Faces of MS" episode). Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2000, Crawford Smith now candidly speaks and presents as a voice of inspiration and as an advocate to find a cure for the physically and cognitively debilitating disease that affects over five million people worldwide-usually in the prime of their lives. Crawford Smith used her voice and talent as a contributing writer to Mental Sharpening Stones by Jeffrey N. Gingold (July 2008; Demos Medical Publishing, New York, New York). In Chapter 6, 'The Dance of Life: Transformation to Maintaining Strength, Balance and Focus," Crawford Smith shares stories of her life as a single mother, world class dancer, and community leader and offers strategies and perspectives on how to maintain cognitive strength through her example of teaching dance and persevering with a positive attitude. Crawford Smith is also a columnist and contributor to Dance Studio Life Magazine (Gold Standard Press).
Carol Crawford Smith is author of Give Take Be (January 2016); a self-published autobiographical memoir detailing personal and professional triumphs and challenges in her life, including the extreme makeover and multiple sclerosis diagnosis.
Carol Crawford Smith is founder and artistic director of The Center of Dance in Blacksburg, Virginia (Established August 1994). Through her dance school she provides instruction, workshops, and programs of excellence in dance and related arts. Her professional experience in dance includes a ten-year career as a soloist with the internationally acclaimed Dance Theatre of Harlem (1978-1988).
Carol Crawford Smith lives in Blacksburg, Virginia. Contact her at: Carol.Crawford.Smith.Writer@gmail.com