How Ballet Helped Beat The Blues

How Ballet Helped Beat The Blues – Gillian Waddell for The Daily Mail

Gilly Waddell, 60, lives in London and has four grown-up children and one grandchild on the way. She says:

Four years ago, I lost three friends in the space of just nine months and I was distraught. For 18 months, I couldn’t stop crying. I lost weight, could hardly breathe and didn’t know what to do.

Friends were kind and I tried many therapies, but some days I would wander around the streets and people would pick me up off the ground and take me home because I was in such a state.

I was heading for my 60th birthday, and I realised that if I wanted to get back on track, I needed to do something drastic.

I have no idea what inspired me to try ballet. I know nothing about it and, because I have two false hips, I really didn’t think I’d be very good at it. But if it made my children — and me — laugh again, it would be worth it.

A wonderful ballet mistress, Elizabeth, taught me in person and online. I was so ungraceful when I started but ballet is calm and contemplative. You have to concentrate on such small movements, how to breathe and hold your stomach. I fell in love with it.

I didn’t tell anyone what I was doing, but for my 60th birthday in November I planned a performance of the Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy for my friends and family. Elizabeth taught me a routine and I got a friend to make a large metal hoop that would be suspended from the trees and I would be lowered down on to a small stage.

On the day I dashed off to change into a tutu and ballet shoes that had cost me a fortune and stepped into the hoop. I was lowered down on to the stage and then — in the pouring rain — I did the routine.

My children were astonished. Friends and family were also watching on Zoom and the video has been shared far and wide. I have had hundreds of messages saying my performance cheered them up.

Ballet has given me —and so many others — such joy in this challenging year.

To read the full article, head over to https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-9463889/When-author-ERIN-KELLY-suffered-breakdown-lockdown-taking-ballet-home-salvation.html 

Fore more information please contact Gillian Waddell at Fuel PR on 020 7498 8211 or email Gillian@fuelrefuel.com