I left my heart and soul on the dance floor for the judges.

My mom and friends were my strength I needed to get through the night. Watching the weight loss journey video was a great moment, it really put my weight loss into perspective and gave me a newfound outlook on the future. Sometimes it's those moments that bring you back to reality and reveal the truth in the journey you just went through. Life is full of ups and downs, and sometimes it's so hard to see the light at the end of tunnel. Myweight has bounded me for so many years, and I was filled with a deep depression about the outcome of my life. Watching the video was a reminder of how far I have come and where I never want to go back to. I have found myself throughout this journey, renewed my dreams and have been given a second chance to live a new healthy joyful life.


Having my mom, and god-sisters in the audience really filled my heart and soul. These are people that have been with me my whole life. They have been my support system through the good and bad times in my life and to have them here with me sharing this moment of growth in my life meant everything in the world to me. I worked hard to get to this moment and my mom and friends were my strength I needed to get through the night. Every time I doubted myself, I would look over at my support system in the audience and my mind was cleared of all negative thoughts. Their positive energy radiated from the audience and gave me strength.


The last 2 dance performances were do or die, and there was nothing more that could be done after. So I had to leave it all on the dance floor. I was also sad, because I have had the time of my life dancing on this stage, and dancing on this stage week after week is part of the reason I survived this competition. Every time I danced on the stage, it helped re-build a part of me that had died. Now that I'm living and enjoying life, it’s all coming to an end. The last 2 performances would be my last chance to dance my heart out in front of this live audience and to dance and pour my soul out for the judges. I wanted the judges to truly see my growth as a person and a dancer. So that's what I did, I left my heart and soul on the dance floor for the judges.
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At this point in the competition, you had to be competitive. That was the only way to survive, and we had all been through so much, 10 weeks of constantly pushing ourselves to new levels of growth and shedding the pounds that held us back, then going home for 5 weeks and returning to prove who has got what it takes to be the season 2 winner. My competitive drive was locked and loaded and ready to move me forward, and I worked so hard for this moment and I overcame so many obstacles to be at this final place. It was game time and I had my game face on.

I have to give a shout out to my outstanding partner Brandon, and he has truly been my rock. Brandon has been there for me from day one, pushing me to new heights with dance and helping me emotionally. I would have never been able to get this far in the competition without Brandon. I'm so grateful to him for keeping me focused and looking at the bigger picture. Also I wanted to give him a shout out for picking me up from the beginning at 217 pounds. That man is very strong. My very own Spartan Man "300" lol lol that just a little inside joke. I love you Brandon as a partner and friend.
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Winning the competition is a dream come true, words can't express my excitement and joy. I have wanted nothing more than to shout it out to everyone in the world, I'm the winner of Season 2 Dance Your A** Off! Can you believe it, me LaToya James from Trenton New Jersey, where Trenton Makes The World Takes, little old me is the winner! I prayed every night that if this is God’s will and plan for my destiny that he would equip me for the win, and I had given up on my dream once before and this time I was not going to let anything or anyone stand in my way. This journey has taught me a lot about myself. I have grown as a person inside and out. Some things I have learned will be with me forever and have truly helped change my outlook on life and how I live it. Life is meant to be lived to the fullest and never be taken for granted. I pray that I have been an inspiration to someone. I want to share my story and life with someone who is struggling in hopes that they might not have to experience the heartache that comes with walking away from life destiny. I also hope to inspire some young dancers out there to never give up on their dreams, cause when your dreams die you die and I'm a living testimony of that. Dream big and never give up, cause life is filled with opportunity for great success!
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My final thoughts, I would like to thank General Lee our "drill sergeant" personal trainer, Rachel our nutritionist, and Dr. Geller for making this weight loss a reality. A big-hearted thank you to Dance Your A** Off for saving my life and Lisa Ann Walters for the vision that made this show come alive. It's a show that's needed and it really helps people struggling with weight re-gain their self confidence, self esteem and self worth. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Also my family and friends would like to say thank you for giving them back the old "Toya", new and improved and full of life.
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To read all of LaToya's blogs from this season, go here.

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