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John Travolta and His Dance with Princess Diana

Anja Merret

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There is this lovely little story in the British Daily Mirror where John Travolta is quoted as saying that he had some help when he was experiencing a real dip in his acting career. In fact he is even prepared to say that it was like being reborn.

In 1985 Prince Charles and Princess Diana visited the USA. During this trip a gala dinner was held for them in Washington, hosted by President Reagan and his wife Nancy. The dinner featured entertainment celebrities, which would have been ex film-star Ronald Reagan's way of hosting an event such as this. Bring on the equivalent of American royalty - entertainers! Guests included Eastwood, JohnTravolta, Tom Selleck and singer Neil Diamond as well as politicians and businessmen.

During the gala, First Lady Nancy Reagan took John Travolta aside and informed him that Princess Diana wanted a dance. It took some courage, but Travolta went for it, asking her to dance. Of course nobody else was going to dare steal the limelight, as the rest of the guests looked on. Princess Diana looked particularly good in her midnight blue velvet dress and sapphire and diamond choker.

Travolta's words of encouragement to a nervous Princess Di were, ‘We're good. I can do this’. The subsequent photographs of the glamorous Princess and romantic lead of such movies as Saturday Night Fever and Grease, made the front page of every newspaper and magazine in the world.

For John Travolta who had been experiencing the rejections of the film industry, this spot light on him and the fact that Princess Di would consider him important enough to wish to dance with him, revived his self-belief in himself. He attributes his resultant soaring film career to this moment in his life. It certainly is true that luck plays a part in ones life and in ones successes.

However, hard work and immense courage are also right there on top of the list with luck. John Travolta's hard work as a dancer, singer and actor paid off when he was asked to dance. His courage to take the opportunity presented to him, made it happen. How often do we face an opportunity which at the same time is fraught with the possibility of failure and the fear of making a total fool of ourselves. And we don't take it. We freeze up and it's almost like Bambi in the headlights. How often do we then regret that decision for the rest of our lives.

The ability to overcome that fear, is what leads to success in whatever you are trying to achieve. I am sure that John Travolta never in his wildest dreams realised at the moment he went to ask Princess Diana to dance, that the photographs of these few minutes of dancing, would propel him back into the limelight. It certainly did, and by thinking ‘I can do this’ he won more than just a dance with a Princess.

Anja Merret lives in Brighton, UK. Her personal blog allows her to voice opinions on issues that interest her and observations she makes.

She has started a new blog that deals with observations on self development and personal power. Her recommendation for self help tools may be found on


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