Dance Leader Helen Cherry blogs about a day in the life of a person with learning disabilities during lockdown and how dance helps her.
Helen Cherry is a Dance Leader with DanceSyndrome. Helen joined us in 2017 at the age of 27. She took part in our unique Dance By Example leadership training course for people with and without disabilities. She really loved the course and when it came to a close she really wanted to continue working with DanceSyndrome, so she joined the weekly sessions in Preston with the DS Collective performance team. Helen has thrived in our inclusive dance sessions, taking the lead female role “Woman” in our 2018 Edinburgh Fringe piece “Lit aDrift”.
Helen, who also dances with DaDaFest, another inclusive arts organisation, is a confident and ambitious dancer. In 2019 she heard about an exciting opportunity to audition for a touring show called “Splash!”, a multi-sensory performance event presented by Extraordinary Bodies. Helen was keen to be involved and was thrilled to be offered the role of Flo, the young woman whose journey was being told.
Helen has been involved in performing art for a long time, having worked with Team Oasis, a dance and drama group in Liverpool for five years from 2005, completing a level 1 qualification in dance at Wirral Met College in 2008 and working as a performer and assistant peer educator at Pilgrim Street Arts Centre in Birkenhead. She has also worked as a TV extra for the BBC, Channel 4 and ITV, including 15 episodes on Coronation Street!
When she’s not dancing and performing, Helen loves swimming and other fitness activities, going to see live music and even playing the piano and violin. She’s a very busy lady and we feel very lucky to have her involved with DanceSyndrome!
Here she talks to us about what a day in her life looks like…
Day in the Life of what I get up to…
I do my Violin Lessons with my dad and my Music Teacher Martin Pleass every Friday afternoons 1;30 to 2:15
I go Wild Swimming with my Sister Rachel. go there 2/3 weeks with my sister
I sometimes stay at my Parents House only in weekends Fridays, Saturdays then I go back home or Saturday and Sundays then I go back home to mine so I cant stay at my parents a lot I go back home on Saturdays Sundays because I have to work and do so much Dance/Music Planning to do yep am in my office 24/7.
Work on so much paperwork admin and Planning and sorting the Dance Sessions in Dance Syndrome and in MDI Merseyside Dance Initiative with Dance Artist as well.
And coming up with so Much Dance Themes in Dance as well.
Try and do so much work doing Splash work I’m working on doing a Digital work as well so I Plan all the paperwork doing Splash as well. And I come up with good Ideas in planning as well to get organised for any Dance Sessions I’m doing for the Week days when I’m teaching as well.
I do office work everyday mornings when I get up in the morning afternoons and evenings I spend my lifetime doing office work and Dancing and my Music as well.
and so much Dance Routines I need to write down so that I can remember them as well then I do Dancing and to go away and practice as well.
I’ve got to prepare the room up try get my yoga mat out and get my curtains pulled make sure I’ve got a Drink at the side as well sometimes have water or orange Juice as well so I do keep myself hydrated as well.
Try and get my angle in the right Position for my New I Pad out on the tri pod stand get my water ready then I Make sure that I have my breakfast as well because What I eat as well I have slim fast Milkshake as well so I do Menu Planner write down what I eat and when I don’t eat as well
then I do Housework as well to tidy up my House and a Full time Job as well my Full time is my Dancing and Music and my teaching in dance syndrome and doing a Dance Project for the wonderful Splash Dance work doing Digital Work as well and I’m performing at the end of November and I get paid as well
So I Cant be at my parents Saturdays and Sundays because I have to be ready for my my teaching as well so I’m dedicated to my Job as well.
I do Zoom Planning Meetings with amazing Dance Artists as well then I teach on Mondays Tuesdays Wednesdays Fridays then I do my other Dance Project on
Mondays Wednesdays Thursdays Fridays sometimes
I work early Mornings up to 4 am in the morning to 11 at night as well. Focusing on my Dancing and my Music as well.
I sometimes relax in the Evenings and sometimes in Day as well
Sometimes do Colouring in my Colouring Book as well.
I sometimes spend time with my parents sometimes and stay with them as well.
Sometimes do Music Practice with my Dad as well.
Sometimes help my Mum with my baby Nephew as well
Sometimes Cook food for myself yep I’m Independent now
Yep I’m a Sporty Person as well I do Advanced Yoga in my house and I do Lonquag walks with my Mum I do swimming I do Tennis as well
Long walks to Beach as well before Lockdown I go to the Gym as well I do Circuit Training, Body Conditioning I do Spinning as well Booty Spinning do Gym workout as well yep I go to the Gym about 6 weeks in a day as well. Yep I do Running as well I do Dance Zumba and aqua Zumba as well I do acrobatics so I’m hard core with my Fitness as well
Got my own place now I’m now a House owner near my parents
I use to have a Flat when I was 22 until 29 have my own Place now and it’s a Lot cheaper now
Yep must be hard for Disabilities UK and with Disabled People because it’s hard knowing what to in Lockdown and feeling stressed knowing what to do with them as well. Because in Dance syndrome is to help people not getting stressed out and feeling down about things we do support people is to make them happy and try get them into shape and help them as well if they are sad then in Dance syndrome is to Follow your Passion as well and help them to be Inclusive through Dance as well.
We all help one and another in dance syndrome that’s what we here to do support people and make them Inclusive as well but we all need to Keep on Keeping on through Dance as well
as well because yep some People like ourselves we do have Mental health issues not doing anything active in Lockdown and not feeling that your not doing anything for ourselves and so Putting on weight and taking the weight off is becoming an Issue for all people we do want strong healthy and getting on with life as well we are trying our hardest to be healthy as well.
All we want for Disabilities and Disabled people and for People round the country is to be Inclusive as well and the main thing is to just stay Positive and Smile because we do normally do our best in life finding something to find them things to do to keep them Occupied as well through Lockdown
If you would like to join Helen in one of our sessions, why not try our FREE Funk Out session on Tuesdays at 7pm. You can find information on all our upcoming sessions here: https://dancesyndrome.co.uk/
If you would like to support the work that we do with people like Helen, you can donate through the form below: