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Meet SUSAN – Spotlight story

Updated: 6 days ago


Let us introduce you to the wonderful Susan!


Susan is a very special GEM’s participant. When she’s not dancing, she is a talented writer and poet, who loves to inspire others with her work. We’re so touched by Susan’s story, and know you will be too.


Susan has an interesting and inspiring story to tell. Despite having to face some difficult times throughout her life, Susan is a walking example of how beauty and joy can be drawn out of seemingly dark and difficult times.


Susan describes a day in her life as ‘full of joy and enthusiasm’. Her love of dancing was what prompted Susan to join the GEMs class on Tuesdays, and we’re so glad she did!


“I joined GEMS because of my love of dancing, and the amazing dance teachers with their wonderful professionalism and joyful inspiration along with the like-minded lovely people in the class keep me coming back each week”

Susan is currently well on the way to recovery after having a major operation, and the GEMs classes have aided in her recuperation.


“The classes have made my life so invigorating and have helped to build up my sense of energy after my recent operation. The classes are totally absorbing and full of joy with the many different dances and inspiring ideas of movement”

Susan has been so kind to share the story of her early beginnings in life. She was born in Clapham, South London but, due to unfortunate circumstances regarding her birth mother at the time, was adopted at three years old by a couple in South Yorkshire. So, as a young girl she was moved from busy London to a rural village near Skipton to begin a new life with her adoptive parents.


In her early teens, Susan battled a severe illness which was particularly disruptive to her education and her beloved dancing. During a long recovery from her illness, Susan persevered with her education and discovered her creative abilities.


“I discovered my creative abilities during some of the most difficult years in my life, which includes my love of writing which I find most inspiring in every way. With my inspiration fuelled by the many circumstances, enabled me many years later to write and hopefully inspire people of all walks of life to which they could relate to and enjoy”.

After many decades with no contact from her birth mother, some incredible archive documents have recently been discovered and made their way back to Susan. Get the tissues at the ready!


The archives uncovered an original hand written letter from Susan’s birth mother, dated 1951 asking for news about Susan’s wellbeing, and how she had settled into her new adoptive family. We’re not sure the reason why the letter didn’t make it to Susan at the time, and we can’t imagine how it must have felt for them both, not knowing anything about each other’s wellbeing. In an excerpt from the letter, Susan’s birth mother says:


“I hope you will not think I am being too forward to ask you if you could let me know even the smallest thing as to how Susan is. I think of her every day. You may think I have forgotten her but I never will”

As we said before, Susan is a unique soul, who manages to find positivity and light in the darkest of places. This ability has enabled Susan to connect with her own creativity, drawing inspiration from her own daily experience.



We are so pleased to share a poem that Susan has generously written about the GEMs classes.



Our Gems


Gems dancing class is so unique

One that we can all display

Bringing joy and jubilation

For those who choose to stay


Our dancing teachers are so inspiring

With all achievements they pursue

Where hopes and dreams will never fade

Are always there to guide us through


Within our Move Momentum

This beating heart we can all share

To gently turn the page of history

And know… that we all care


Extracted from ‘Memorable encounters’ by Susan M Ellis


Join Susan and our community of GEMS members in both Winnall and Weeke.


Get in touch to join a class.


GEMS is a friendly and relaxed dance class for over 65s which includes a mixture of seated and standing movement with a focus on going at your own pace and having fun. Read more about our GEMS here.


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