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  • Caroline Wigley

Liberate 1-2-1 Dancer Harry - Spotlight Story

Monday 23 October was National Boys Dance Day, and so this week we’re showcasing some of the amazing male dancers who come to Move Momementum’s classes and workshops.


As well as workshops tailored to individual requirements, and individual training sessions, Move Momentum offers regular classes to 10-16 year-olds through Academies, to over 65s (our GEMS) and to wheelchair users (our Liberate dancers).


And today, the dancer spotlight is on 33-year-old Harry Newton.

Harry was born with spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy, meaning that this affects all his limbs, and primarily both his legs, and so he cannot weight-bear or walk, and is a permanent powerchair user.


Harry is one of our fabulous Liberate dancers - and is also on the board of Trustees here at Move Momentum, and which runs and manages us as a charity.


Below, you can read Harry’s replies to our National Boys Dance Day interview questions.


How long have you been dancing at Liberate?

I started during my shielding period in March 2020.


Why do you like dancing? And what made you start dancing with Liberate Dance?

I saw a sponsored advert on Facebook and thought that it wouldn’t be for me. But people were saying “give it a go”, so I joined a Zoom session. For the first couple of Zoom sessions, I thought “what am I doing here?” But I soon realized how wrong I was. When we moved off of Zoom, I then joined the Saturday classes in the studios in 2021. Due to other commitments I now no longer undertake Saturday adult classes. However I still do my one-to-one choreographed classes. I find dance and the rhythm of movement so freeing and liberating.


Why do you like dancing with Liberate Dance?

I can sum this up easily: sense of community, belonging, and friendships formed.


What is your favourite part of the class/session?

The various choreography.


Have you made new friends through Liberate? If so, what do these friendships mean to you?

Yes, this is important for one’s mental wellbeing – you can go to the group and know you are not going to be judged in any way and if you do feel like you have a problem then you have a support group who will listen and try and help.


What are the benefits of coming to the classes - for example, health/social benefits?

Health and mental wellbeing – holistic wellbeing – fitness.


Is there any particular type of music or piece of music you like?

No particular preference or genre – I like lyrics to songs and a nice meaning.


Do you have any particular role models for dancing/do you watch Strictly Come Dancing or any other dancing programmes?

I take a lot of inspiration from rolletes_la.


I appreciate that there is a lack of all-male groups and this is something I hope the boys campaign and male dancing week can shine a light on.


Any particular thoughts as a trustee about encouraging boys/men to dance, and/or the benefits of dancing?

In my role as a trustee I want to strive to ensure that this gap is equally represented and closed, so that boys and males can express themselves and find dance in an avenue which they can go down.


Do you have any particular plans for the future?

To continue to impact the organization in my role as a trustee to the best of my ability and to make sure that we continue driving forward as an organization to create a continued long-lasting legacy.


Will Liberate help you towards achieving your goals?

It will help me to continue to be the best organizational representative as a trustee that I can be and from a personal capacity continuing to do my 1-1s is crucial for my personal health and wellbeing.


Thank you, Harry - for being such a special part of Liberate Dance, and for all the time you give and expertise you bring to our Board of Trustees.


Youth (ages 7-13): 12.30-1.30pm

Young Adult (ages 14-21): 2-3pm

Adult (ages 21+): 3.30-4.30pm


We also have an online class (via Zoom) on Wednesdays, 7-8pm - and so it doesn’t matter where you live, you can still join us - and whatever your gender!


Take a look at our Classes webpage for more information about any of our classes - and if you’ve any questions, or would like details about 1-2-1 sessions such as Harry’s, then please just get in touch. We’d love to hear from you..


And if you’ve missed any of our National Boys Dance Day stories, earlier in the week, we posted Liberate dancer Jack’s, GEMS dancer John’s, and Academies dancer Alfie’s.


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