When I first created this blog we had Flower and Petal, two lovely bunnies – mum and daughter, but that was in 2012 and the life expectancy of a bunny is 8-9 years so you can do the maths 😦
We are currently the custodians of a cheeky budgie called ‘Matey’ a very handsome, pure white bird with a yellow beak and blue nose. He has just landed on my shoulder as I type this…
In all honesty I wouldn’t, normally, choose a bird as a pet as I believe they should be free, flying wherever they please with their other birdie friends but he was my father-in-law’s companion, and when he passed away in November 2019 us not continuing to look after him just wasn’t an option.
As a vegan ‘owning’ pets can be a bit controversial as you are keeping an animal for your own benefit, but I have always re-homed my pets from rescue centres, or taken in waifs and strays, so I feel that I am giving them a good life that they might not have had otherwise. As much as I love dogs and cats too, I’m not sure how I would feel feeding them the meat based diet they are biologically designed for, but also wouldn’t want to force them to be veggies too as that’s not natural?…
Regardless of the type of animal there is no doubt that there is a relationship there, whether the love is 2-way is a whole other discussion, but I know that they do make life more enjoyable and the pets I’ve had in the past have had long and happy lives so I must have been doing something right.
I have been a supporter of the RSPCA for over 20 years, both with the national organisation, and at the local Leicester Branch as a volunteer Home Visitor for almost 10 years. You can support their work in many ways from annual membership to adopting an animal and even donating while you shop online with Amazon.
As a freelance, self employed dance teacher (and choreographer)
I put that last bit in brackets as I’m not officially choreographer for anyone anymore, but I do still create routines for my various classes.
So what do I actually do, normally?
Most of my teaching time is with young children in nurseries and schools (aged 5 and under) delivering music and movement classes powered by the truly fabulous Funky Feet Music which has been specially created to support their learning and development within the seven elements of the EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage)…
communication and language
personal, social and emotional development
understanding the world
expressive arts and design
I can’t tell you how much fun dancing and moving to the songs, sometimes with props, sometimes without, but always with lots of energy and laughter, even if it is at my expense!!
For slightly older children (aged 5 to 18) I deliver dance sessions as part of the PE curriculum and in after school clubs, both with the option for performances to families and friends as a celebration of our work. Within the curriculum we usually have a topic – such as Egyptians, Dinosaurs, The Water Cycle, Around The World, The Weather, Hot & Cold – the learning of which is supported/enhanced within the PE lesson. I also incorporate CPD for the teaching staff enabling them to use the lesson plans in the future either in their entirety or to use the dances ideas to support other topics. This style of class can continue to be funded via the School Sports Premium which has been confirmed for 20/21 – great news 🙂
Wednesday evenings would normally require a slight transformation into the role of Zumba Instructor at Champneys Springs. I trained in 2012 and really do love the energy and feel good factor it gives. A combination of the music, the moves and the people who join in with the class. I’ve been trying to do classes on my own but it’s not the same without the class there. So I am going to create some new routines which will need an amount of practicing. Plus I need to be (as) in shape (as possible) for when we do return or I’ll never last the hour class, never mind the participants!!
And then on Fridays I teach Ballet at ERDA. I joined the team in September 2018 and have loved every second. Everyone has been so friendly and welcoming, from the other teachers to the parents and the dancers, it really is lovely to be part of it. We moved to on-line classes (pre-recorded and live) over the last few weeks which have been really well received. Time for our regular summer break now, but all being well we will be back in September, one way or another!!
I try to keep my weekends free so that I can visit my family, but I will occasionally have a children’s party on a Saturday which are great fun, and then there is the famous Baby Disco on selected Sundays throughout the year. These would normally be hosted at The University of Leicester’s Attenborough Arts Centre but have recently had to become a live stream from my living room!!
Here’s to everyone in a similar situation to me – let’s get back doing what we love as soon as possible ❤ ❤
See, you can’t use the computer that much and not love technology…can you?… well, when it behaves that is!! And, in all honesty it’s the only way I’ve been able to see my family during all of this, which has been hard at times but they always find a giggle from somewhere.
There’s only one day to go until 2013 and I’m really rather excited.
Not only we have a cracking party at my parents house surrounded by lovely family, eating fabulous food and consuming a tasty tipple (or two) but I’m really lucky that I’ve got so much to look forward to in the New Year…
Things are settling down (of sorts) in my Part-time ‘normal (?)’ day job; I’ve got a fair few things in the pipeline with regards to the dancing side of my life; there may even be time for a short holiday somewhere warm too 🙂
Here’s just a few of the dancing projects that are coming up…
1-2pm(Jan & Feb)
Adult Tap Classes at St Andrew’s Hall
NEW Children’s classes at the DanceFit Studio
NEW PE Class at St Mary’s Fields Infant School
1:30-2:30pm (June & July)
NEW Tiny Dancer at Embrace Arts, Leicester University
NEW Advanced Ballet Classes at Dance Leicester
BalletTone Classes at the Dance Fit Studio
1:30-3pm (Jan & Feb)
NEW PE Classes at Mayflower Primary School
1-2pm (from March)
Adult Tap Classes at St Andrew’s Hall
After School Club at St Mary’s Fields Infant School
early morning time tbc!
Zumba without music at the Ceeda Centre
Day off ? Although being self employed this doesn’t really exist, does it ?! 🙂
Plus, I’m going to be working towards a GNVQ Level 2 in ‘Exercise to Music’
As you can see there’s a fair few things going on, but there’s always space for more – get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s going to feed my love of stationery quite nicely with diaries and calendars to make sure I know what I’m doing, where and when; and folders with routines and registers and coursework for the ETM 😀
I hope you have a fun-filled and prosperous 2013 too xx
It’s been a while since I’ve been in touch but what better topic than Christmas?!?!
The preparations for this Christmas have been a little differnt for me this year for a couple of reasons:
Being Part Time in my ‘normal’ job (is there such a thing – that’s another blog post in it’s own right!) has given me more time to prepare
And being the Christmas Shopping Fairy has made me feel even more Christmassy than usual.
If you don’t know about the Christmas Shopping Fairy then let me get you up to speed…
I’m not a parent but lots of my firends are and I know how hard it can be when you need to go shopping with the little cherubs, never mind Christmas shopping which is on a whole other level in terms of pressure.
So I had the idea that parents could drop their children with me on a Saturday afternoon and have a few hours to themselves to go shopping/have a cup of tea/go to the hair-dressers/go back home/whatever they need while we dance and sign and make stuff all with a Christmassy theme.
I even featured In the Paper (Leicester mercury More Magazine) on 1st December 2012.
It’s been really good fun, and I don’t know about the children, but I’ve certainly slept well when I’ve got home!!:
we’ve made paper chains, posters and decorations;
we’ve played traditional games like hunt the thimble and wink murder;
we’ve sung songs and made up dance routines to some pop as well as Christmas music.
Paper Chains made by the Christmas Fairies Dec 2012
Merry Christmas made by the Christmas Fairies Dec 2012
This Saturday will be the last one (22nd Dec) and we’re going to be singing and dancing to a few new songs as well as all of the songs we’ve used in the last few weeks, and we’re going to make Christmas cards – all of the tissue paper shapes are cut out and ready to go.
Spending time with the children has really given me time to think about what’s important, all year around, but especially at Christmas. For me that’s spending time with friends and family and having a good time. It really doesn’t need to cost lots of money to show people that you care for and appreciate them.
I’ll sign off now and wish you a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year
Some might call me a ‘course tourist’ (you know who you are!) but I really do love learning.
Partly because it often means compiling the newly acquired knowledge into a folder which feeds my love for stationery as well as recognising that I now know something new.
Within the dancing word you never stop learning – you pick things up from other teachers and instructors as well as the people (young and not-so-young) who take part in your classes and it all goes towards constantly working to improve what you do. Also, within the dancing and education worlds there is a great emphasis on qualifications to ensure that you are the right person to run the classes. The qualifications give reassurance that I…
have the relevant subject knowledge.
teach the technical aspects (steps and movements).
teach correctly and safely.
teach the work to examination standard and enter pupils for examinations.
have critical knowledge of anatomy and physiology along with correct warm ups, limbering, stretching and cool (warm) down.
keep up to date with developments in the syllabus/curriculum and teaching practices.
Here are the teaching qualifications I have and the courses I’ve attended recently, with a little bit about why each one is so useful…
Associate Ballet, Tap and Theatre Craft – syllabus and teaching practice suitable for pre-school children up to and including Intermediate grade;
Licenciate Freestyle – steps and movements, anatomy and physiology, warm up/down, stretching and limbering for children and adults;
Dance Exercise Diploma – all ages and all styles of dance with fitness and fun as the focus;
Zumba – steps and musical appreciation to create simple and effective fitness routines;
TinyTalk – sign language for babies and young children to help everyone communicate;
Safeguarding and Protecting Children – awareness of the procedures for ensuring the safety of the children who attend classes;
First Aid for Sport – just in case there are any injuries or medical mishaps;
Nutrition for Sport – to understand what the body needs to support an active lifestyle, and how to ensure your diet is meeting your needs;
PE and the National Curriculum – to keep up to date with the changes so I can be sure I’m meeting the requirements.
Next on my list is ‘Exercise to Music’ and ‘Zumbatomic’…
Who’d have believed it?? A ballet dancing vegan running the best part of 5km in 29 minutes??!??!
There was a very good reason – Race For Life, a ladies-only fundraising event since 1994 for Cancer Research UK, the country’s leading cancer research charity whose aim is to ‘bring forward the day when all cancers are cured. It won’t happen in our lifetime. But, if we stand united it will be achieved.’
Here are the before and after pics – we’re looking good in both but can you work out which one is which?? 😀
Considering we did little/no training we (me and a few of the other ladies from the DanceFit Studio) all did brilliantly well and should feel proud that we’ve been part of a team raising money for such a great cause.
It was hard reading the messages on the other participants’ backs, but it just spurred you on. That, along with all of the fabulous people who came out to cheer us on.
We were really lucky with the weather this time too – it’d had been postponed twice (June and July) thanks to the sogginess that was the British summer this year.
It’s not too late to sponsor us, just click the link. Here are just some examples of where your donations will go:
£10 – 300 slides for microscopic study of the cancer cells.
£30 – 250 petri dishes to help understand cancer.
£123 – a cancer information nurse for one day.
£1,000 – running a laboratory for 22 days to help improve treatments allowing children to survive in the future.
Here’s a statistic that got me thinking – ‘every 2 minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with cancer.’ That means in the time it took me to run the 5km almost 15 people had been told their lives were never going to be the same again. Kinda makes you stop and think, doesn’t it.
Give me a needle and thread with maybe a few buttons, sequins and some ribbon and I’m happy!
I always did little cross stitch/embroidery pictures when I was younger which was great for learning how to paint the pictures with the basic stitches. These days it’s freestyle all the way!
Have a rummage through the cupboard (I’m not joking) and find what’s available then get cracking. From T-shirts, to hair clips, blankets and Christmas stockings, cuddly toys and dresses too.
I never was much good at drawing but somehow with the fabric and other bits and bobs it all comes together quite nicely. I only sew for family, friends, fun and charity (at the moment) as I don’t want to spoil the fun by putting too much pressure on myself by taking money from people to create things for them.
There’s just something about seeing beautiful blue skies and that lovely yellow ball of warmth and light.
It might be due to the fact that I love being outside but I, like may people, feel so much happier when it’s warmer. Colours seem brighter and life just seems lighter somehow. There have been lots of articles about SAD (seasonal affective disorder) where people are ‘OK’ for most of the year but seem to experience lower moods during the seasons when there is less sunlight. The exact cause is not yet known but people do find that sunshine (and light boxes) alleviate the symptoms.
Not only does sunlight enhance your mood, but it allows your body to make Vitamin D which is essential for strong bones and teeth, as well as playing an important role in your immune system. yes you can take Vitamin D supplements, but getting nutrients naturally is always best and what better excuse to sit outside or go out for a walk?!
Looking after your skin in the sun is essential, I tend to wear factor 20 or 30, even in the UK and make sure it’s got UVA and UVB protection too. Wearing sun protection cream does affect the Vitamin D production so ver short periods (15 minutes or so) of sun exposure without sun protection is deemed to be OK.
Even at the end of the day when the sun is going down after a fabulously sunny day, you get the most beautiful sunsets.