Haud Close Together: Moorland Parent Dances with Scottish Ballet

At Moorland Ballet Academy we not only celebrate the success of our students but also their families. We don’t know what we would do without the support of the rich network of parents and carers who surround the academy, and therefore we take every opportunity to celebrate their achievements too.

A few weeks ago, one of our students, Josh, approached us with the news that his mum, Vikki, had taken part in a special dance project in conjunction with Scottish Ballet.

The “Haud Close Together” video project was created in response to the separation felt by many people during the pandemic, a global call-out invited people living with Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis or Dementia to submit a video response to a dance or poetry task. Being the mum of a dancer, Vikki naturally took on the challenge of the choreography.

Vikki has some experience in the Performing Arts, having spent three years training at the Guildford School of Acting and then going on to working professionally as an actress for six years before her MS diagnosis.

When asked about how she found the project, Vikki said “It was Josh who saw the post on the Scottish Ballet’s Instagram asking for anyone with MS, Parkinson’s or Dementia if they were interested in getting involved with a performance project to contact them. Having suffered from MS for 21 years, Josh thought it would be a great opportunity for me. Having missed performing, it was definitely something I wanted to get involved in.”

With much encouragement from Josh, Vikki spent weeks learning and perfecting her routine. She decided that due to her MS that it was easier for her to perform the piece in a seated position. “I would video sections of the piece and send it to Josh to see what he thought about how I was doing and to get any feedback on improvements he thought I could make to how I was dancing.  He was brilliant with me and really encouraging.”

Josh said, “This project has given Mum a chance to take her mind off the lockdown and let her creative side be free again. I know first-hand the enjoyment that she had while creating that piece of choreography. I think she did amazingly, I’m prouder of her every day. I was too young to see my mum perform on stage so getting to see her dance and perform was special for me.”

When Vikki finally sent the video of her interpretation to Scottish Ballet, she felt such a sense of pride and achievement. “It gave me back such a sense of freedom, a sense of purpose and it reminded me of the person I am inside. I feel it is important for the wider MS community that projects like this be seen.  The wider we can throw the net and raise awareness, the better. I was really impressed with the whole concept from Scottish Ballet.  It would be lovely to see more ballet companies doing similar projects.”

When asked about his thoughts on the project, our Ballet Director, Mr Kidd said, “I want to praise Scottish Ballet on such an integrative and inspiring project. Hats off to them and all involved on a wonderful collaboration. Dance has great power to support our health and well-being.”

If you would like to know more or watch the final piece, please follow the links below:

To read the original post by Scottish Ballet please click here.

Watch the full video below:

Simon Kidd
Simon Kidd
skidd@moorlandschool.co.uk

CLASSICAL BALLET DIRECTOR

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