I was a clumsy kid… A very clumsy and awkward kid. My mum tells a story of my as a baby, just able to stagger in a rolling walk. I’d been given a packet of crisps, the bag almost as big as me. Now, if you ask me, then I remember none of this, but the story has become infamous in the family. So, there I am, toddling along and eating these crisps. I fall. Not a bad one, but my crisps spill all over th floor.
And in front of family I had never met, in front of my dad’s mum, I look at the dropped crisps and say “oh, shit.”
The family were stunned. Aunt B burst into laughter and my Gran shook her head in disappointment. Mum gets amused now, but at the time I bet she was embarrassed.
It was the first time that the clumsy had raised its head. It wouldn’t be the last.
I think I must have started nursery when Mum worked out there was something wrong. I wasn’t balancing right and the times I fell were increasing rather than decreasing. There was no support from the doctors, so my mum thought around the problem and enrolled me in ballet.
I love it.
As a kid I even wondered about becoming a ballerina, but there was no way. I’m a curvy adult and was a stocky child. Just built wrong.
For me though, dancing was a life-saver. I was bad, still am, but it is the reason I walk with confidence. To dance meant that I never developed mobility problems.
I have dyspraxia.
I have no sense of balance.
But dance made me aware of my surroundings.
I can stand on one leg, wear high heels and hike up mountains, although not all at the same time. All for a little ballet.
For me dance has led to an awfully big adventure and it is one that isn’t complete yet. I want to know where it will lead because I won’t let myself be held back by a little bit of clumsy.
Although, now that dyspraxia is a known quantity it is easy to get help. One word with the doctor and I’m off to the physiotherapist who will have me on any number of wobble boards to make my spatial awareness improve. Before the wobble board though I had dance.
I remember standing on stage and being a sugar plum fairy, a teddy bear and a cat. I had fun. It was an adventure and it taught me to balance.