Hello and a very Happy New Year to you all! For my first post of 2013, I wanted to start with a really positive message and I think I’ve found it in the form of a little girl who shares my disability.
This is the story of Hope, a ten-year-old girl who has cerebral palsy. Her parents struggled with their daughter’s disability when she was small. Indeed, there were times when she refused to be held or even touched. Now, thanks to the freedom granted to her by dance, Hope has made a great deal of progress.
The remarkable girl has been taking ballet lessons since she was three years old and even dreams of playing the role of Clara in the Nutcracker someday. Her mother, Anna-Marie realises there is little likelihood of this, but should it matter? Is her mother right to let her disabled daughter believe such a thing? I say, without hesitation, “yes”.
A child’s imagination is an important and powerful thing. It should not be curbed or restrained at such an early age. There are those who no doubt think it cruel to allow a child to live with the false hope of an impossible dream. Perhaps they are right. But children are intelligent creatures. I suspect on some level, Hope realises that she may not be dancing on the stage forever. I knew I could never really play football, but it never stopped me imagining the exhilaration of scoring the winning goal in the World Cup… I still do!
Surely what is most important, is that this little girl’s dream has granted her the confidence she needed to escape her disabled body. As her mother commented:
“She doesn’t look awkward… she doesn’t look like she’s in braces and back braces and wheelchairs and walkers. She looks free.”
There will come a time when, as with may young girls, childhood fantasies must give way to practical reality. But, for now, I trust ballet will continue to liberate Hope from her disability and feed her imagination.
So, my message for you is simple: whatever 2013 holds in store, keep dreaming!
For the full news article by Stephanie Grimes, please follow the link below: