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After struggling with dyslexia and dyspraxia as a child, Jasmine turned to dance. Throughout her life, it has been the on constant thing to support her through tough times with her mental health.
When I was about eight I was diagnosed with Dyslexia and Dyspraxia. I was really struggling at school. I remember being humiliated by teachers who used to stand me up and question why I didn’t understand the work. The whole thing really affected me. My confidence dropped massively. I wouldn’t speak to anybody and was really shy. To be honest I think I was depressed.
My mum spoke to a learning assessor and they suggested she try and get me into something outside of school that would help boost my confidence. They suggested something not academic where I could socialise. I tried loads of drama classes and different things, but only one thing stuck. Dance!
I don’t know why, but the dance just clicked. I could just move with the teacher’s flow and I picked it up quickly. When school was telling me I couldn’t do things, it was the one thing I felt I was good at. Dance was the one place I didn’t have to speak. I didn’t have to do anything but watch and copy and the beat just clicked.
Dance has always been there through hard times. It’s 100% my coping mechanism.
At the end of 2018, my grandfather died and it turned my world upside down. I had an abnormal grief reaction which led to a complicated case of psychosis. This resulted in me losing a lot of weight. It was bad. I came back to teaching dance at the start of 2019. It was scary, I had gone from a size 12 to a size 6. I wasn’t myself. I kept going with it. Dance kept me going.
Dance has always been there through these hard times. It’s 100% my coping mechanism. Dance has always interested me and I’ve stuck by it. It gives me an escape. It’s the one thing I can do where I am confident in my abilities.
I’ve recently been diagnosed with Bipolar. It’s like dance has hugged me in and told me, hand on my shoulder, it’s going to be alright. I think when people are going through a diagnosis or having a hard time it’s important to know that things like Dance and exercising are there as a tool you can use to help you cope in the meantime.