Our Tomorrow vs Your Tomorrow
Together with COVID-19, there has been an unspoken mental health crisis sweeping through households across the UK, whose impact is greater on the most vulnerable. While many of us are flexing our muscles getting ready to hop back to normality, many people will remain in isolation for an indefinite period of time. Some people with disabilities in the UK will need to shield themselves against coronavirus for as long as it is required to stay safe, and may be isolated from family and friends, and all the things they hold dear.
Para Dance UK (the National Governing Body for Para Dance Sport in the UK), has created a dance challenge that is aiming to unite, uplift, and inspire people everywhere. We want to send out a loud message that mental matters by dancing away isolation.
To kick start this campaign we’ve challenged five of our most nimble supporters:
To take part in the Para Dance UK Challenge:
1. How to use TikTok:
2. Copy our TikTok routine:
3. Post to your preferred social media account and challenge 5 family, friends or colleagues to do the same!
4. Please tag us @paradanceuk and use the hashtags
#danceawayisolation #everyonecandance #ourtomorrowvsyourtomorrow #mentalhealthmatters
5. Donate to help us keep those home shielding dancing and aid their mental and physical health https://www.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/danceawayisolation
Before coronavirus, the only day Charlotte would stay at home resting was Sunday. Charlotte has cerebral palsy, which means that she uses a powerchair to go about her day. Her disability never kept her from enjoying a schedule jam-packed with activities that run from Monday to Saturday and included dancing, swimming, boccia, college course and a volunteering job. For the last two months, however, the former Para Dance UK athlete has been confined inside the house, unable to meet with her loved ones or attend any of her favourite activities. Charlotte’s complex health condition means that there is no lockdown end date currently on the cards for her. While the rest of us are warming up to the possibility of a cup of coffee with friends or a Sunday roast with the extended family, she knows that, in her case, social isolation has become a new reality for an unknown period of time that might stretch well into 2021.
This sense of uncertainty and mind-boggling isolation is something that many people with disabilities face as Covid-19 sweeps through the UK. The immense mental and emotional toll it has taken is inevitably overlooked to focus on the bigger picture. Luckily, it is still possible to dance from home. Dancing is right now more cathartic and meaningful than ever. It doesn’t matter if you miss a beat, or even if you improvise the entire choreography. You simply must keep on moving and shake off any lingering fear or worry about the future. Dancing helps you hold tight to the things that really matter: Mental health, friendship, community and the promise that things will eventually get better.
Charlotte is determined to remain positive throughout the coronavirus ordeal, despite missing her friends dearly. Just like the other Para dance athletes whose lives have been put on hold, she focuses on things that help her keep her mind and body active. She writes a blog and does arts and crafts which she then shares with her friends on social media. Moreover, she sticks to her weekly dance and fitness classes on Zoom. Isolation is tough, and uncertainty is terrifying but she will pull through, one dance move at a time.