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On land…Trudy Morris’ dancing feet tap to the beat, but at sea her feet compete.

“They had a contest each week for 40 weeks, so actually there were 600 winners.   Out of those, the 15 with the highest overall scores were picked to compete in the finals,”  Morris said.

Last fall, she took a cruise on Holland America’s “Veendam” ship with her husband for their 35th wedding anniversary.  It was the “Dancing With the Stars at Sea” cruise.  With her dancing background,  and her love for the hit TV show, “Dancing with the Stars”, there was no stopping this 61-year old.

“Low and behold, I won the whole thing.  We had to do the samba, the tango, the waltz,”  she said.

After winning the preliminary round, she was then awarded another cruise for the finals, back in January.

“The competition was tough.  Some of the dancers were older like me and others were very young like 23 years old.  It was interesting dancing on a cruise ship.  Your balance was off at times, so it was a whole new experience for me to try and dance on a boat.  Very different from dancing on land,”  she said.

The biggest treat for her was getting to meet all the professional dancers from the show.  They were the judges.   Joey Fatone from N’Sync, Kym Johnson, Carson Kressley Sabrina Bryan, and Derek Hough were all there.

“They were all very nice.  Kym Johnson said I had great technique, so that was big coming from her.”

While competing she wanted everyone to know she was from New Orleans.

“I incorporated Mardi Gras beads into my dance routine and my family wore beads with my name on it,”  she said.

In the end, she didn’t win the finals, but she still feels like a champion.

“Maybe years ago I would’ve thought something like this could’ve happened to me, but at my age in my life, this was really something special to happen to me,”  Morris said.

Trudy retired from teaching dance four years ago.  She’s a grandmother to five kids.

“Dancing with the Stars” airs on WGNO on Mondays at 7 p.m.

For more information on Holland America’s “Dancing with the Stars at Sea” cruise: