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Through the eyes of Ascension Youth...

How did I get involved with Ascension Dance?

I first met AJ and Ben when I was performing in Highly Sprung’s Physical Fellowship. At the time I was not very confident and got very nervous before I went on but talking to AJ in the break and Ben just before I went on built my confidence. A few weeks later my sister and I saw Ascension in town and decided to stay with them for the day. It was from this day that I knew that dancing with Ascension was something that I wanted to do.

What do I enjoy about the sessions?

The thing that I enjoy the most about the Ascension sessions is the fact that you don’t have to be perfect at anything and when you are struggling they will always slow down to help you keep up. It is not the typical place to dance either. I feel as though so many dance places are really strict on flexibility and always compete to be the best but at Ascension they are really relaxed and are there to have fun.

To me this is the most important thing about dance is to have fun and to be able to escape from the worries of the world and Ascension allows this. As I am sitting my GCSEs this year, there is a lot of stress (especially due to the current situation) but every Tuesday night allows me to escape all of the stress and be myself.

What effect has Ascension Dance had on my wellbeing and confidence?

Before starting at Ascension Dance I was not very confident in myself or in my abilities. I think when I went into secondary school, it changed who I was a lot and I didn’t really like to socialise with people my own age. This has changed since being a member of SOAR as everyone just made me feel included straight away. Every member of SOAR is like family to me and I know that they will always include me which has really built my confidence.

What did Ascension do for me during lockdown?

I think Ascension was the thing that got me through lockdown. I struggled a lot during lockdown, with being away from my friends and even spending more time away from my Dad than I was used to but when things got to its toughest, I knew that I was going to be on zoom with the SOAR family. I think these online Zoom sessions brought a sense of normality back. But we didn’t just dance on zoom. On a Wednesday we were on a call and just chatted whilst playing some games and this really helped to take my mind off everything.

My favourite memory of Ascension so far!

I think my favourite memory of Ascension so far has to be the Summer Workshop where we performed in the woods. This feeling when we were dancing was incredible and seeing everyone walking by stopping to watch felt amazing. I felt like I was helping to put a smile on their face after a hard couple of months. I made so many friends in the two days and built stronger friendships with the people whom I already knew.

Do I recommend Ascension?

Of course!! They have helped to build my confidence in the past year that I have been a part of SOAR and the Ascension family is amazing. When I went along I hadn’t a clue what to expect but it was and still is the best thing ever! Without Ascension I don’t know what lockdown would have been like. 1000000/10 :)

Bethany Brannan, SOAR Participant

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