Ballet4life, founded by Chiswick resident Donna Schoenherr 17 years ago, is now experiencing an online renaissance. The first class was offered at the Rambert Dance Company’s home neighbourhood in Chiswick. Donna reflects, “I was so excited yet also nervous to embark on my new project and journey. I have loved every step of the way. It has been a most rewarding, inspiring, and incredible time. Now of course geography is not a limitation.”
Back in 2004 no one could have predicted the events of 2020. People’s well-being, whether or not they have actually had the virus has been dramatically affected by the pandemic. “Dance can help in so many ways” says Donna: “Joining a class is sociable; instils a routine in what can otherwise be an unboundaried life; helps maintain a strong and healthy body. Moreover, physical expression is a fantastic channel for pent-up frustrations. Joining our community is a great act of self-care.”
In March 2020 Ballet4life worked effortlessly to produce their entire extensive dance, wellness, and fitness programme to the online platforms. As well as a strong local presence, they now reach participants joining in from Spain to Hong Kong, from Yorkshire to Belgium!
Donna also founded and directs Move into Wellbeing® a dance-related charity. Inspired by her father’s fight against Parkinson’s for nearly 30 years, it provides dance and movement classes for people with Parkinson’s and other physical and neurological conditions. The classes are also offered online plus they have a 24/7 accessible library for participants to dip into when it suits them.
Donna is also passionate about starting work for people with Long-Covid. She sees that there is enormous potential for Move into Wellbeing’s work to help many more people keep well, re-build strength, and connect with others on a regular basis.
As if that wasn’t enough, even for someone with Donna’s boundless enthusiasm and energy, her latest project is the creation of an on-demand dance and movement class offered free of charge for NHS workers and others in need of improved self-care routines!
If you are inspired by Donna and want to join a class or learn more about any of her projects, she can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org and 07714 324 961.