GEMMA’S STORY – AFTER STRUGGLING WITH ANOREXIA DANCE HELPED GEMMA HEAL

 “DANCE DYNAMICS IS A SAFE SPACE TO LEARN , GROW AND FEEL HAPPY AND FREE THROUGH THE MAGIC OF DANCE” 

Gemma De Leo. Age 25. Member since 2016. Favourite classes Contemporary, Jazz and Hip Hop.

“When I was diagnosed with severe anorexia nervosa 10 years ago, my doctors unfortunately had to force me to stop my beloved dancing due to my extremely poor health. This completely shattered me, as dance brought me so much happiness, but it was a necessary move to simply keep me alive.

After many years of living in a dark place, through therapy, countless hospitalisations and tears, I finally reached a more stable place physically and mentally. Whilst a lot had changed over the years, my burning desire to dance again never left me. My doctors were concerned that maybe i wasnt ready to exercise just yet, but I knew in my heart this wasnt about exercise for me. I had let go of the days where movement was a punishment for nourishing myself, to make myself smaller for the inadequacy I felt, the poor self worth and sense of self that had robbed me of so much happiness. I wanted to dance again to celebrate my body being alive and able to move again. To feel the freedom and joy of getting lost in the music. To learn pieces from the incredible creativity of others. To be on stage again and get that rush i missed so much. 

I saw an ad for Dance Dynamics and i nervously went to an intro class. Ill admit i was so anxious. It had been so long since id last danced. My body looked different now, and I was self concious. What if I couldn’t pick up the steps and made a fool of myself? I was so so pleasantly suprised. Welcomed with many smiles and words of encouragement, I left with my heart full and a huge smile on my face. I was hooked. 

Class after class, week after week and now years on I havent looked back. Dance is a part of my life again and I couldnt be happier. I come to classes and its “me time.” Its my self care. Its my happy place. Ive made so many friends and shared so many memories I treasure – whether it be smashing an awesome new routine choreographed by the amazing teachers, sharing cake after class or performing on stage, it all brings me so much fulfillment. Its also been a helpful step in my recovery, as I am more diligent to nourish myself to give me energy so that I stay well and can continue dancing. It clears my mind, it brings me peace. It fills me with hope. It makes my soul feel alive. It fills my heart with gratitude. It ignites my spirit.”

In the words of the beautiful Mia Michaels; “If you dance with your heart, your body will follow”