I’m a 35 year-old tutu-wearing teacher from London who is slowly but merrily dancing every step around the globe. I began this adventure last year when I completed the world’s first-ever dance across Britain, every step of a 1357 mile odyssey from John o’Groats to Land’s End. It’s a charity challenge that had to be postponed from October 2012 after I was run over in a hit and run by a drunk driver just 200 miles from the finish. Before that I became the first person to dance the London Marathon, dance through 72 hours straight of the Glastonbury Festival and become the world’s longest dancer by dancing for 5 days, 15 hours continuously in 2011. All the while I’ve been spreading the word about human rights and how everyone should have the right to follow their dreams in schools talks like these across the country.
The motivation for it all comes from eight years ago where I taught for a year in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border; the experience changed my life. I met some amazing people who were trapped; limited in what was possible and unable to realise their dreams no matter how hard they tried. In contrast, by the luck of background and upbringing I had the freedom to do what I wanted. So I was determined to use this power to do what I could to help others get the education and rights needed to make their dreams come true. And what better way to do this than realising one of my biggest dreams – to literally dance the world.
In my professional day-to-day world I have been a teacher of Citizenship education (teaching young people how to change the world) in an inner-city London school, worked for community organisers Citizens UK and now am a lecturer and course leader in Citizenship education at the Institute of Education in London. See my linkedin profile for more.