I was a performing arts student at City of Sunderland College where I was the only disabled student integrated with able bodied students. I also undertook distance learning with the Guildhall School of Arts. I use an electric wheelchair.
As, at the time there were few opportunities for disabled performers, I went into the therapy side of the arts. I worked alongside Professor Phil Ellis as his head sound therapist, teaching is final year students to be sound therapists, identifying and writing individual programmes. I did this for ten years.
I then went into equality and diversity training and worked in the City Hospitals Sunderland Trust delivering equality training to doctors, nurses and health care assistants.
Three years ago I wrote an independence programme for the Percy Hedley Foundation Residential Service. This programme has put the Percy Hedley Foundation in the forefront of developing life enhancing provision for profoundly disabled people.
As part of the programme we have teamed up with Dance City and are about to embark on their 'Care to Dance' programme. I was recently one of a trio of dancers performing as part of Percy Hedley's Love Awards. The trio consisted of myself in an electric wheelchair, a break dancer and a contemporary dancer. The piece really broke down the barriers, proving that anything is possible with dance.
My intention is to work with Dance City to adapt dance moves for disabled dancers. The piece that we performed saw a dancer pirouetting and performing dance lifts on the back of my electric wheelchair and I was able to advise the other dancers how, by moving my chair in a certain way, I could create similar dance moves to theirs. The piece we created was titled 'Three of a Kind' and in the end the chair became virtually invisible and allowed me to create the same beautiful dance moves as my partners