Our Inspirational Student of the Month for December is Sally!


Classes Attends:

DSL Adult Community Street Crew with Sammie

When did you start dancing? 

I started dancing with my best friend Claire when we were 11. We attended tap dancing lessons and used to practise our routines on the way home, hung upside down in the back of the car, with our feet tapping away on the roof with my dad driving!

What is your favourite style of dance and why?

35 years later and my favourite dance styles are urban and street. I’ve always enjoyed dancing and watching this style, but Sammie’s class gave  us the chance to really get involved and love the style urban movement brings. We were able to video ourselves and practise at home. This is very important for my learning!

Who inspires you to dance and why?

I have been inspired to dance again as part of my recovery from alcoholism. During covid-19 in June 2020, I was admitted for a medical detox and residential rehab. With support from Forward Leeds, I was able to learn how to help myself get better. It takes time. I have been sober 18 months but I understood that dance could help me improve my memory (alcohol damages your brain), cognitive abilities, coordination and a focus on health through the medium of dance. Learning movements helps my concentration and my level of fitness has never been better…ever!

I have also been supported, guided and helped by 5 Ways Recovery Academy. This charity (Humankind) runs dance classes for people in recovery from drugs and/or alcohol. I’m inspired by my teachers Darren Murphy and Stacey Vickers as they have brought joy to my Friday mornings. Their strength, courage, talent and determination is admirable.

I spent some time trying different classes in different places around Leeds all of which I enjoyed. I was able to convince my best friend, Claire, that we should take Sammie’s Street Dance class at The Dance Studio Leeds. What influenced my decision was reading Sammie Rutter’s biography and her belief in inclusion and dance opportunities for all. Me and Clare are 46 this month and we were facing some serious confidence issues! Spending time learning from Sammie gave us the inspiration, confidence and joy needed to be the best dancers we could be. Oh and we loved dressing up for our performances.

I’m so happy I found The Dance Studio Leeds! thanks for the nomination Sammie!

Check out Sally with the Adult Community Street Crew, choreographed by Sammie!