Dancebox: how dance gave me back my sparkle

I danced a lot as a child. Tap, ballet, modern, jazz, you name it! Shout out to my mum for all of the dance show costumes she had to make, particularly the fetching ‘Nelly the Elephant’ number featured below:

iconic look tbh

I continued to dance throughout school and University but in recent years, due to busy work schedules and lack of local adult classes, I stopped.

Before Christmas last year I hit a real low in my life. Work was crazy and I was sitting my 3 final accounting exams so stress levels were already high. Then we received the tragic news that my cousin had been hit by a motorbike whilst on holiday in Spain and sadly lost his life.

I gave a lot of myself to everyone else at this time – feeling that their grief was more important or relevant than mine, that they needed my time more than I did and telling myself that I was strong enough to cope. Obviously when you are feeling this fragile, you hit a breaking point. I started pushing my friends away because I didn’t have anything else to give and I forgot what made me happy and who I was.

Then lockdown came in.

Enter @danceboxofficial – Illana Gambrill. I noticed one of my friends share himself dancing with her on his stories and ended up stalking (not in a creepy way) her Instagram until finally I plucked up the courage to take part in one of her Instagram live classes.

Illana burst onto my screen, a fireball of energy, shouting for me to let go, lose my inhibitions and touch myself. I danced along to the Ciara routine but, even though no-one was around, I didn’t touch myself or let go.

Fast forward 8 weeks or so and I am now a fully fledged member of Dancebox Powerhouse – taking part in 3 dance classes and 1 conditioning class a week and joining an incredible community of women (and men) championing and empowering each other.

Dancebox has been so much more than a workout for me (and believe me it is a hell of a workout!). It has been therapy. I remembered who I was, what I stood for, what I loved, and above all found my confidence again. It didn’t come straight away, but I am a different person to that reserved little wallflower bopping along to Ciara and that is thanks to Illana’s constant message: we are all powerful, unique and amazing! Why wouldn’t you touch yourself? IT’S YOURS! And one that really hit me – don’t be afraid to be yourself, if people think you are too much for them that is ok! Maybe they are too little for you!

8 weeks on, you can now find me fully touching myself and believing in myself, performing a routine to Ginuwine – Pony to my boyfriend with confidence and sass. Taking a couple of hours a week for myself has really given me myself back! And I couldn’t be more thankful!

If you want to experience the absolute power of Dancebox for yourself, check out @danceboxofficial on Instagram, or find more information here

Thank you for the nuni tingles Illana! x

I got my sparkle back! And I’m not just talking about the horse!

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