in motion - A first-hand experience

Published on Thursday 5 September, 2019

This month the new term for our wheelchair dance courses, in motion adults and in motion youth, begins. Due to popular demand, we’re excited to announce that this year in motion is bigger than ever with four additional session dates. The first sessions take place on Sunday 15 September 2019. If you are new to in motion, your first session is free.

Find out more, see the full list of dates and book your place.

Unsure whether a wheelchair dance workshop is for you? Read about Catrina’s experience of joining a dance workshop as part of Northern Ballet’s Expressions.

Catrina developed Cauda Equina Syndrome as an adult, which took away the feeling in her legs. Before developing CES, Catrina studied dance at university. She said ‘losing dance was like another limb was missing… dance was so integral to who I was and to how I expressed myself.’

Catrina shared her experience of a wheelchair dance workshop at Northern Ballet with us:

On Thursday 11 July I had a very special day. For years I have struggled with my relationship with dance. I couldn’t watch it on the television, I found it hard to converse with some friends from my dancing days and I would feel like the breath was gone from inside me if I heard music that I had danced to in the past. 

I arrived at Northern Ballet with my hair in a bun ready to dance. I looked around at the magical premises of my favourite dance company. It’s truly a sight to behold. I met Nicola who had kindly arranged my attendance at the workshop and I instantly felt at home.

As I have become more comfortable in my own skin, I have started to accept the need I have for my wheelchair; understanding my limitations and learning new ways of doing things.

In the studio the ladies helped find me a dance wheelchair that would be more conducive to dance than mine. Oh my goodness, what a wheelchair!! I sped off with the slightest push of my wheels, feeling the air brushing past my face. With just small adjustments I could go in different directions; I did spins clockwise, anti-clockwise, it was so freeing to move so easily. I felt the prickle of a tear at this new sensation.

We did a warmup, moving around the room and as I gained speed it honestly felt like I was flying. After years of struggling to manoeuvre myself from place to place, those moments of seeming weightlessness made me forget my disability, just for a couple of seconds.

I just wanted to thank Northern Ballet for such an amazing time at the workshop; it’s the first time where I felt like the old me and like I wasn’t disabled. I don’t know how to describe what it meant to me, it’s bigger than words! I just wanted to send my gratitude to Northern Ballet for facilitating such a wonderful event.

Read more from Catrina about living with CES and her experience of dance in her blog posts.

For further details about in motion or an informal chat about the project or your requirements, please contact the Learning team on 0113 220 8000 or email