Yesterday I was able to visit Ascendance (who I work with over zoom) in Leeds for their HYBRID and in-person Dance with Parkinson's morning classes and for a creative session in the afternoon, exploring site-specific choreography. I had never met the team or participants in-person before - only online! - so it was absolutely fantastic to be able to meet everyone (and to surprise them with how tall I actually am...)
I had a brilliant day and can't wait to visit again soon. In the meantime, I'll be carrying on hosting Monday Dance Burst classes, dabbling with social media and helping out where I can.
Over the past week and a half I've undertaken one of my biggest / most challenging projects to date - 24 dance workshops across 5 schools, teaching all ages and abilities and sharing my passion for moving with hundreds of children.
I want to share some of the things that were shared with me throughout the sessions and reiterate the amazing power dance has in the community/in education.
"I was having a very bad morning but now I've done your dancing I feel a lot better and am going to go into the rest of the day with a new attitude" - Year 3 Student
"I haven't seen a lot of these students smile so much in a very long time" - Year 6 Teacher
"I've never seen all my students concentrate so much and try so hard" - Year 4 Teacher
"This is the best dance ever!" - Year 5 Student
"I love how accessible it is [...] I am so thrilled with how the last few weeks have gone - everyone has spoken so highly of the workshops and the children are really engaged" - Organiser
"I love dancing!" - Reception Student
And not strictly related to dance but a good one nonetheless...
"If you try your best, and practice and try and do it better each time, you can achieve anything" - Year 4 Student (when asked why we practice and repeat things)
Dance has such an amazing power!
Those of you who’ve known me a long time will know I find it very difficult to not be ‘doing’ something. The past year has often left me with ‘spare time’ (a horror for me!) and has definitely made me think about what I can do to both occupy myself but also help others with what skills I have.
That’s why, over the past few months, I’ve fulfilled a long-term dream by undertaking a Diploma in Dance Teaching with bbo dance (formerly, the British Ballet Organisation).