A head for numbers and legs for dance: Patsy Hutchens is a life that counts.

Great State
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OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA -- It's 1, 2, 3 for waltz, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 for tango.

Every ballroom dance step begins with simple counting which might be why Patsy Hutchens took to it so eagerly.

"I didn't take but one or two lessons," she recalls, "Before I knew that was exactly what I wanted to do."

Born in China, raised in Mill Creek, Oklahoma, Patsy's dad was an accountant and civil servant.

She was pretty good at numbers too.

"I must have inherited that," she says.

Patsy and her husband juggled three kids and a Chevy dealership in Tishomingo for a long time.

Hutchens adds, "I did the book work there."

They both invested in all kinds of businesses over the years; a western store, oil and gas.

We caught up with Patsy as a Tishomingo City council woman back in 1994 right around the time she rediscovered a love for the dance floor.

Patsy argues, "Ballroom dancing, not only gives you opportunities for enhancing your health physically, it gives you opportunities for advancing your life in a social way."

When they weren't traveling, the Hutchens were dancing and competing.

They bought into a dance studio and bought this building.

These days Patsy and business partner/teacher Darren Fernandez work together.

He does the teaching.

She does the books.

Darren marvels, "She can be doing eight things to my one and still finish before me."

Patsy cautions, "I can do things he doesn't know how to do and he can do things I don't know how to do."

Being good at counting has always been one of those talents that pays even if Patsy's inner estimates are 30 years off.

"In my head I'm 60," she laughs.

She still keeps a full business schedule and still counts the steps to music as she nears her 90th birthday.

It's still simple math even though most people can't make these numbers work.

So Happy Birthday to Patsy at 90 and counting.

2018 also marked Patsy and Reed Hutchens 70th anniversary.

On Saturday, November 3, her 3Sixty Dance studio planned a big party to celebrate her 90th.

Great State is sponsored by MECU, Municipal Employees Credit Union. 

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