“Life is short, so go for things you enjoy… I’ve always danced and despite a double hip replacement I wasn’t going to let that stop me from getting back to doing what I love the most!”
Beatrice’s journey of dance has seen her living in Paris and London as a semi-professional dancer, from ballet to modern and contemporary. Moving from Buckinghamshire to Plymouth, Beatrice is now launching her new dance business in the new year, utilising the skills and knowledge attained whilst participating in the Positive People project.
“Dancing is what I’m good at, it’s the only thing I really love and enjoy. I started dancing as a child and have attended various different dance schools in my life, coming to spend time in Paris for 7 years and London for 5 years”, explains Beatrice.
With a semi-professional dance career spanning from the age of 17 to 30, Beatrice has previously run her own street dance school in Buckinghamshire that span 20 years with around 100 pupils a year, from 6-18 years. “I feel I’m a good teacher, I have a lot of patience and I firmly believe that dance has a positive impact on the way a person feels, alongside the physical benefits… my inspiration comes from esteemed retired English ballerina, Darcey Bussell, who believes that dance is a great way to express yourself, your feelings and expel negative energy. It can be a fantastic form of therapy”.
In 2013, Beatrice became ill and bed bound with severe hip and pelvic pain, and thought she would never dance again.
“In that time, I didn’t know what to do, I had a complete breakdown and my mental health was really poor… I wasn’t going to go back to dance, but it is all I know, the only thing I am good at!” says Beatrice.
Beatrice underwent a double hip replacement which provided her with a new lease of life. Motivated to find a way to bring the joy of dance back into her life, Beatrice got in touch with the Positive People project and attended Devon’s free self-employment course. “The Positive People project and Cosmic were able to support me with understanding social media, marketing and promotion for my new business, Dakini Dance Co”.
“A dakini is Sanskrit for sky dancer, it is a female form who acts as a muse for spiritual practice in Buddhism. It can best be described as a female embodiment of enlightened energy”, explains Beatrice.
“Marketing and promotion is completely different to how it was 20-25 years ago when you would mainly advertise in print. I hadn’t really any idea about social media marketing, but thanks to the digital support I received whilst on the Positive People project I now have a Twitter and Facebook page, and have confirmed bookings for the new year that have been placed through social media… so it definitely works!”, says Beatrice.
Beatrice has channelled her new-found energies and determination into the launch of her dance business, and will be offering wedding choreography, hen night dance parties, accessible junior ballet lessons and evening dance classes in Plympton and Whitleigh.
“I’ve offered my ballet services, for juniors, to a selection of local primary schools that are in more deprived areas, for those children and families who would love to learn ballet but could not afford the traditional dance schools. My services will be of a small cost in comparison and I hope will inspire a new generation of ballerinas”, explains Beatrice.
Alongside this, Beatrice will offer street dance sessions to Positive People participants as a specialist provider, in hope that the expression of dance and associated feelings of wellbeing will help people overcome barriers such as isolation, mental health, bereavement and addiction to name a few. “I have, in the past, taught people with learning and physical difficulties and by teaching expressive dance to those who are involved with the Positive People project – I hope that in making connections with people it can serve as a therapy, improve mental wellbeing and boost confidence”, says Beatrice.
“From my experience on the Positive People project, I would say that if you ask for help you’ll get more than you’ll ever need, both Positive People and Cosmic were great in supporting me on my journey into self-employment and I have learnt a lot of new skills to help me along the way”.
You can find out more about Beatrice’s dance at www.dakinidance.co.uk
Every Wednesday from 08/01/2019 at Four Greens Community Centre, Whitleigh – Beatrice will be running her Fit & Funky Dancercise for all ages and abilities 7pm-8pm.
Every Monday from 08/01/2019 at Hele’s School, Plympton – Beatrice will be holding a dance class for all abilities 7pm-8pm.