Step Change Studios: Breaking The Boundaries Of Ballroom By Rashmi Becker

Born in London, England, I started out as a competitive ice skater and began dancing to help my skating. As the younger sister of someone with Autism and learning disabilities, I became aware of the benefits of dance from an early age. Music and movement were a fantastic way, for my brother and me to connect and for him to communicate, manage his anxiety, develop coordination and to just feel free.

As an adult, I began working with people with learning disabilities and continued to see the benefits of dance, as well as recognize hidden talent. I became involved in various advocacy activities to support disabled people to have a voice and to have the same opportunities to participate in society, as everyone else. I continued to dance socially throughout my adult life, developing a love of Latin and Ballroom dance. In 2012, I performed in the Opening Ceremony of the London Olympic Games which was an amazing experience that drew a diverse community together in celebration.

In 2013, I became a Board Member of the English Federation for Disability Sport and in 2016, a Patron for a wheelchair dance charity. Both roles reaffirmed my commitment to improving opportunities for disabled people to be active, included and to be able to dance, compete and perform alongside their non-disabled peers. I also began performing at community and charity events and saw how much people enjoyed dancing or wanted to dance but had few opportunities to do so. The turning point came when I enabled two ladies with disabilities, to realize their dream to dance by performing at a black-tie ball and I knew this needed to be the norm not the exception.

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Posted by Sparky on Nov 12, 2017 12:21 PM America/New_York