Derek Winkler: Best BAM Big, Confidant, and Friend

Day 3: I’m Glad We Met

People come and go from our lives. Some people stay for the long run, but some stay for a short period of time and leave us when we’re most vulnerable. Have you met anyone this year that changed your life forever? Did you rekindle a friendship/relationship this year that you thought had died long ago?

When I saw this prompt, I immediately knew who I was going to write about this year. I’ve always enjoyed this prompt, because it gave me the opportunity to express my gratitude to one of my close friends, as I did in the previous two years with my friends Abbey and Danielle.

For me, the friend of 2012 is my one and only BAM Big, Derek Winkler. We actually met in the Fall of 2011, when I started ballroom and he was assigned to be my BAM Big (we do a Big/Little system in BAM where a rookie couple is paired with a vet). At first I was like, ok, cool, Derek seems nice. Little did I know that Derek and I would grow to become one of the best Big/Little duos in BAM history (well, at least I think so anyway! :-P)

Derek and I took our new pairing, and boy, did we embrace it. While other Big/Little combos have died out, I still call Derek my Big, over a year later.

I am thankful for Derek for many reasons. First of all, he always fulfilled his role as my BAM Big by helping me improve in my dancing. I consider Derek to be one of the best teachers in all of BAM, and I appreciate how he breaks down technique and steps in every class. He pushes me to be better, but he never does it in a way that makes me feel inferior or inadequate. Plus, I can’t forget the fact that he helped me win my first ever ballroom ribbon at a competition, when we danced Rookie/Vet together. 🙂

Outside of the ballroom, Derek has grown to be one of my top confidants and advice givers. He has this way of helping me think things through, and offers different perspectives (I’m going to chalk it up to his very analytical, computer science mode of thinking). As many of you know, I can tend to get over emotional, but Derek has always been someone that I trust to help me calm down and come up with solutions to problems.

What’s funny is that every time I call Derek on the phone, even to share something dumb and stupid, we end up going into these deep, philosophical, intellectual conversations about life. It’s quite refreshing actually. I love the fact that I can act silly with him one minute and then talk about the meaning of life in the next. It’s like having the best of both worlds in one person!

So Big, I love you, and I’m happy that you are in my life. You’ve helped me become a better dancer and thinker, and for that I thank you. You rock!!

Derek and Rowie

About Rowena Winkler

Passionate Performer, Speaker and Writer by Calling, Dancer of All Good Beats, Yoga Practitioner and Enthusiast, Spiritual Trustee of the Universe, Traveler of Many Distant Lands, Lover of Derek the Logical but Amiable, Mother of Eponine/Dex/Teyla, Architect of Spoken Word Poetry, Trainer in the Craft of Communication, Unapologetic Individual, First of Her Name.
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2 Responses to Derek Winkler: Best BAM Big, Confidant, and Friend

  1. Pingback: Looking Back on 2014: A Reflection of This Past Year | Rowena's Reverb

  2. Pingback: Cultivate Catch Up: V-Day Edition « Strategic Social Justice

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