Travel: ‘I feel that this is such a pivotal point in my life’
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Ahead of her first trip abroad without an aid, disabled dancer Liesl Hammer explores her expectations and hopes her fellow dancers and travellers will share her sarcastic sense of humour when it comes to disability.
On the 15th April I will be travelling to Alicante, Spain for four days with my dance group from the Garage.
This will be the first time that I will be travelling without an aid which is why I feel that this is such a pivotal point in my life. Although I couldn't be more excited, I am a bit concerned about the obstacles I may face on this journey.
I have a wonderful group of people going with me with a variety of different strength and I am excited to see all that we can achieve as one. Also, I feel like this will be a very important way of spreading awareness of the capabilities of disabled people from England, Spain and Italy.
As well as dancing I hope we can all connect on the individual journeys we've all had with disability. I also hope that people will have the same sarcastic humour that I have when it comes to disability. I always find it really refreshing when I meet people who are equally open and comfortable with their disabilities to make fun of them.
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Since more people have joined my dance class I have made new friends including a lovely woman, Lee.
We spend the whole lesson laughing at the teachers because either they're showing us something impossible or they're too scared to try something with us.
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During the months leading up to this trip I feel as though my confidence and independence has grown immensely. I have always had help getting dressed as I knew this was something I would struggle with. However, due to my ambition of doing this myself I had to get out of my comfort zone and try. I mean what's the point in preaching independence if I don't attempt it in every aspect of my life!
As a very fashion conscious individual, maybe the hardest part of this process was admitting to myself that I wouldn't be able to wear jeans. Some of you may this that this is a stupid thing to worry about, but you have to understand that one of my goals in life is to shut down the expectations of what other people assume disabled people wear. Therefore, by wearing leggings, it feels as if I am giving in to society. On the other hand, it is a dance trip so I will be wearing sports gear anyway.
My only other major concern is also to do with clothes, in some respects, as I am slightly worried that I will get stuck or fall over somewhere and won't be able to get back up from. I'm am 90pc sure that this won't happen but just in case I will make sure my group is made aware of my concerns so they can save me if need be.
Overall I am really looking forward to throw myself in to this new adventure and to see everything I can achieve on my own.