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Derek Hough helps mom learn to dance to honor her late sister and mother

A mom of two who wanted to learn to dance as a way to honor her late sister and mother got a surprise from Megyn Kelly in TODAY's "Summer of Yes'' series.
/ Source: TODAY

After enduring the devastating loss of her mother and sister within a four-year period, Katie Bly had a simple request when it came to honoring them.

As part of TODAY's "Summer of Yes" series asking viewers to share what they have always wanted to try, Bly had a six-word desire.

"I want to learn to dance,'' she wrote.

The mom of two from Santa Maria, California, wanted to learn to swing dance in memory of the joyfulness exuded by her mother, Diane Francis, and her sister, Crystal Banducci.

Francis died at 55 years old in 2009 after being diagnosed with a rare appendix cancer.

"I didn't know what kind of torture your body could really put you through,'' Bly said on TODAY Tuesday. "That really stuck with me, seeing her like that, because she was so strong, but I'm really glad that I got to be there with her."

As Bly mourned the loss of her mother, she got the news in 2013 that her sister died at the scene of a car accident in San Diego. She was 32 years old, the same age that Bly is now.

"There's always somewhat of a hole that I don't think is ever gonna get filled,'' Bly said. "Like, it's just gonna get covered up.

"I want to live every day after 32 to its fullest, not just for me but for her, since she didn't get to."

Bly can often be found jogging about 10 miles while pushing twin toddlers, but she admittedly was intimidated by the idea of swing dancing.

There was no need to fear, however, because TODAY's Megyn Kelly surprised her at the JustDance Studio in Los Angeles by letting her know that she would be trained by none other than Derek Hough of "World of Dance" and "Dancing With the Stars" fame.

Before she knew it, Bly was nailing moves like "The Pretzel," "The Stop and Go" and "The Egg" under Hough's expert guidance.

Kelly, who took her family camping earlier this month as part of the "Summer of Yes," also picked up a few moves herself, learning to cartwheel in the process.

"Dance is about fun and expressing yourself and having a good time!'' Derek said on TODAY. "And I think we did that today."

And for Bly, it was a chance to honor those beloved members of her family who she lost while also smiling in their memory.

"So much more fun than I even imagined!" she said.

Follow writer Scott Stump on Twitter.