Timebank dance classes help people live their dreams

Claire Needs, who has cerebral palsy, has been so thankful for  the dance exercise classes
Claire Needs, who has cerebral palsy, has been so thankful for the dance exercise classes

Dance teacher Suzanne Hill Idta has been sharing her skills through Bognor Regis Timebank to support dementia awareness.

Bognor Regis Timebank was set up by The Aldingbourne Trust with funding from West Sussex County Council to build a supportive network where people in the community can exchange skills.

Duncan Spandleys performance dream come true when he sang live to an audience at WestFest with a dance troupe

Duncan Spandleys performance dream come true when he sang live to an audience at WestFest with a dance troupe

The initiative has been running for a year now and a number of people have been sharing their skills in many different ways.

Suzanne has given up hours of her time, performing various dance routines with members of Aldingbourne Trust’s Drop In at Number 73 and attending the monthly Access Music Disco at The Waverley to teach routines.

Suzanne said: “We have so much fun and exercise at the same time. Everyone works at their own pace and I am delighted to see everyone achieving more than they thought possible.”

The Suzanne Hill School of Dance has been running for 20 years and Suzanne has been teaching a weekly dance exercise class for adults with learning disabilities at Number 73 for two years.

Claire Needs has been so thankful for these classes as they have helped her achieve things she had not previously been able to do, due to the effects of cerebral palsy.

Claire explained: “I had problems with extending my right arm and had limited movement in my shoulders and wrists.

“After seven months of dance exercise, I have now got full extension of my right arm, which means I can throw a ball in a straight line when playing catch, my right wrist now goes completely flat without going into spasms and my weaker right arm can now support my left hand with doing tasks like holding the cup.

“I am now able to rinse my own hair off in the shower because of being able to reach right round my head.”

Claire now uses the motto ‘never say you can’t’ because the support and encouragement from Suzanne means that she can.

Since these classes started, Suzanne has encouraged members from Number 73 to take part in dance shows and last year made Duncan Spandley’s performance dream come true, singing live to an audience at WestFest with a dance troupe.

Suzanne’s dance school recently celebrated its 20th anniversary with a showcase featuring more than 100 dancers, including members of the Number 73 classes.

Suzanne said: “Nerves were high during rehearsals but on the day, everyone was amazing and all the hard work and time that I have given has been so worthwhile.”

Do you have a talent or skill you can share through Timebank? Email Dropin@aldingbourne.org or call 01243 838530 to become a member or learn more.

For more information on dancing and a trail lesson with Suzanne, contact Suzanne Hill Idta on 07880733680.

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