By day, Dr. Karin Bigman is a trusted oncologist. By night, she's a novice ballroom dancer, still learning the steps.
Dr. Karin Bigman looks almost like any other doctor at the Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center: white lab coat on her shoulders, identification badge on her pocket and sensible shoes on her feet. But if you take a closer look, you'll notice a little pizazz on her hands.
Decked out in rhinestones, her two pointer fingers stand out against the rest of her red nails; painted to match her dress from this past weekend's competition.
"I can't get this glitter out of my eyelashes," she laughs as she rides up the elevator to her station on the eighth floor.
At work, where she is an oncologist, Bigman is self-described as bossy and unafraid — traits she wished she would have put to use during her (almost) first ballroom dancing lesson.
"I chickened out the first time," the Ormond Beach resident laughed. "Drove right past the place and didn't go in. I was so scared and nervous. I was like this little chicken, this little timid chicken."
Bigman was encouraged to go back and give it another shot. One of her patients — an 84-year-old woman who Bigman says is a fabulous dancer — even led her to train under Felix Solis, owner of Classic Ballroom Dancing in Daytona Beach.
Though at first she "couldn't take a step," the doctor found her rhythm within a five month period and was able to compete in the first Daytona Beach Dance Classic Feb. 13.
"It was magical," she said. "I'm addicted now."
She wanted to dance because it was not only graceful to watch and fun to learn, but because it was something she could continue to do as she gets older. An oncologist for 25 years, Bigman encourages her patients to try dancing when they can, anything to keep them moving and not stagnant.
"I try to get my patients to get their treatment," she said, "and then go and lead a normal life. I try to get them to do something normal when they leave my office because it helps with the side effects. Anything to keep them moving because once they stop moving, things go downhill very fast."
Bigman herself will continue to keep moving through her dance practice, which she believes will likely be a lifelong love affair.