Meet CHARLIE - Spotlight Story
Charlie is an avid dancer. He is also a part-time wheelchair user with cerebral palsy.
Each week Charlie joins our Stanmore Academy, a street dance group for young people aged 11-16, and Liberate Youth dance classes, where we explore a variety of dance styles and learn new movements using a wheelchair. Our Liberate classes have really helped his confidence grow when it comes to his wheelchair skills. You'll often catch him zipping around the room doing wheelies!
Charlie was born prematurely at 27 weeks and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of 2."This was a big shock and very upsetting for me and my family. I had to wear walking aids and have physio. I also had a lot of accidents".
He started dancing when he was 5 years old. His mum was inspired by a child with cerebral palsy on the TV show 'Got To Dance', who said that dance had helped a great deal with his disability - and Charlie certainly agrees!
"Joining a dance group is something you can do to take your mind off all your worries, and it can help people with disabilities, like me. In dance, there is no such thing as difference because we are all the same. I personally enjoy it, and it's also helped with my mobility and how I can express myself".
So far he has had the opportunity to dance with Popping Ron, Diversity and Mikey Utera. He's also performed at the Mayflower theatre in front of thousands of people, taken part in 10 shows at his local theatre and competed in competitions as a solo act and as a duo with his friend Poppy.
Join Charlie and our community of dancers from across the world, who are tuning in to our online classes and staying active during isolation. These classes are currently free for anyone who would like to get into dance.
Get in touch to join a class.