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  • Debbie Pellett

Dancing Makes Me Happy

Can you believe it; we’re already halfway through our latest project, Y-Dance Watford! It’s great to be back at the YMCA in Watford; returning to the studio of our very first project really feels like coming home and we’ve got some fantastic dancers taking part. I’d like to share the story of one of the dancers with you as she really is quite remarkable.

In the past 3 months Lizzie* has gone from being (by her own admission) a princess, to being sectioned, to living in a tent, to now living at the YMCA. That’s quite a tumultuous 3 months by anyone’s standards, but she’s also done it whilst successfully fighting her addiction to cocaine completely unaided and unsupported. Arriving at the YMCA on Thursday she joined Dance Pad workshops on the Friday. Shoes and socks off, she throws herself in, striving for perfection; show me that again, where does that arm go, can we do it again. Given her recent experiences you could forgive her for feeling disillusioned with the world, but no, she radiates energy, enthusiasm, determination and positivity. I am in awe of this 20-year old young lady.

I asked Lizzie what made her join the dance workshops and her response was simple; “dancing makes me happy”. It is exactly this reason that we do what we do. Happiness fuels life; it gives us hope and confidence to forge futures without limitations. If Dance Pad can have this effect on just a handful of people then we’ve achieved something, but we want to achieve more and so we will continue to work as hard as we can to reach as many people as possible.

To that end, the dates are set for our next project with DENS in Hemel Hempstead. Starting in May, the 8-week project will make use of their fabulous outdoor space with a site specific piece – fingers crossed for good weather!

We are also very excited to be working in partnership with Centrepoint to deliver a dance programme as part of their Centrepoint’s Got Talent initiative. The week-long intensive will culminate in a performance alongside other talented young singers, rappers, magicians and more.

2015 was a fantastic year for Dance Pad and we could not have hoped for more in our first full year. However, it does mean that the bar has been set and we now have very high hopes for all that 2016 may bring. It’s going to be hard work but I’ve no doubt it will all be worth it. The change in season has certainly put a spring in our step and we’re really looking forward to the coming months and telling you all about it.

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