Monday, 3 June 2013

Dancing: Hannah Style

A couple of years ago I discovered that if I concentrated on moving with all my joints in good positions - like a professional dancer - my joint stability improved. So I make a cup of tea in 'Ballet mode'. And my shoulder and wrist remain attached!

As my core stability improved through years of physio and exercises, I thought maybe I could use dance as a form of excercise - practicing controling my joints but in a way that is so much more fun than gym work. I called around several local dance classes. The responses were either that they 'didn't do that kind of thing' (i.e. wheelchairs) or that 'Yes, we are inclusive - you can sit out when we do the foot work'. Neither response gave me any hope that I would be encouraged to find the things that I am good at, and to dance in a way that makes the most of the abilities I have.

I had almost given up when I discovered 'Dugout, Oxford'. I wouldn't even class them as 'inclusive' - because they don't 'include'. You join. You are a dancer. You are one of the group, and valued as such. 

I first went to Dugout just over 2 years ago, but after a few sessions had to drop out due to my POTS. However, I am much better at managing it now so I rejoined in February. And I love it.

This was the first time I've been involved in a dance performance and it was brilliant fun. (my solo is at approx 10:10)

(You can hardly tell I'm wearing a cooling vest underneath that top!)

I had to explain beforehand 'I will collapse after we finish, I will lie on the floor until I regain enough consciousness to function. This is totally normal, and I'll be fine in a bit.'

But it was worth it.


  1. I'm local and would have come to watch but I was at a wedding, dancing the night away in my wheelchair...

    I danced for years before I got ME, and I thought I wouldn't be able to again (unless I recovered) until I got power-assisted wheels. I still have to be careful, but I'm recovering well from the wedding so far (fingers crossed!!)

    You were awesome btw, you made beautiful shapes, and it was totally different to other wheelchair dancing I have seen.

  2. Loved the dance and your solo piece. I liked how you made shapes and moves that used your chair and bendyness but looked a perfect part of the dance (if that made sense, im a bit zonked)


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