Pole Dancing Inspires Cerebral Palsy Left Hemiplagia Sufferer to Medal in Competition!
Inspiring pole dancers series - written by PDC features writer Sophie Eminson.
Dayna Wetherall's pole dancing story is just like the rest of ours. She had the desire to try pole dancing at the age of 15 when she witnessed the strength and flexibility of pole dancers at a car show, however it was not until she was in her early twenties that she actually stepped into a pole class for the first time. There is only one difference in Dayna's story: she had Cerebral Palsy Left Hemiplagia.
"Once on the pole and off the ground she is free, free to move, let go off all tension that her body holds. She takes risks, grows strong and gains more mobility and strength."
This disability only caused the slightest difference in Dayna's life and pole journey however, because her family never accepted no for an answer, and 'can't' is not in their vocabulary. This attitude meant that Dayna tried every kind of sport, including dance and gymnastics despite often being behind and coming last in sports day races at school. Her family made sure that this did not discourage her, but pushed Dayna to work twice as hard to get to the same level as her peers. This confidence could not always be prevalent, however and Dayna often found herself doubting her abilities which held her back especially in dance, as she continuously faulted herself and compared herself to other dancers around her, which was frustrating as she loved how dance makes her feel free.
Through pole dancing, Dayna has broken through these confidence barriers, shown by the fact that she has started competing. Dayna was inspired by other disabled pole dancers, such as Deb Roach who she has had the honour to meet, and after finding videos and articles on her and other disabled pole dancers, Dayna made the decision to take a private pole dancing lesson with Gina at Pole Krazee. Dayna says that it was the best decision of her life, as she achieved much more than she expected to, and left feeling happy, positive about herself, safe, supported and clear minded. She could not wait for her next lesson, she was hooked!
All of this has led to Dayna researching pole dancing competitions with disabled categories, which is how she discovered the Trixters Championship, where she placed as a silver medalist in her category! From this, Dayna hopes that more awareness has been raised around the benefits of pole dancing to people with disabilities, as many more people can and should benefit from the effects of pole dancing. Dayna feels that pole dancing has given her more strength and mobility than a physical therapy session. She wants to send the message that if you want something enough, then you can achieve it, although sometimes it isn't always in the ways that you would expect. For example, Dayna did not want to be singled out for her disability, yet she knew that to be judged fairly, that it would have to be taken into account due to the fact that she has had to adapt moves to fit her body and the way it moves. Because of the high spasticity and pins and plates in her left limbs, Dayna finds certain moves impossible at the moment, although she hates to use that word! Due to this, she will never be able to point her left foot or fully straighten her left leg.
Her placing routine, for which she thanks Gina, Shelley and Azlee as well as all of those who influenced her from Pole Krazee, was based on the concept of a doll. This doll has been broken and has been through many triumphs in her life. She may stumble, yet she will never fall, she will pick herself up and continue her journey no matter what comes her way. At times she feels anxious, not always will she look straight ahead but she will be focused. There are times when her body feels broken and will need extra support or direction (strings in this case). The pole gives her power, it is a magical tool. Once on the pole and off the ground she is free, free to move, let go off all tension that her body holds. She takes risks, grows strong and gains more mobility and strength. When the time comes to place her feet back on the ground she becomes unbalanced. Each and every movement takes a great amount of thought as her head and body are not always connecting as she would desire. She climbs a new hurdle and flies! Her left arm does what it has never done before and supports her in partnership with the right side. Just when she feels that she has received as much from her body than it can physically give, there is a surprise. A final act of strength is performed and she reaches new heights. Her goals have been achieved and she rests as a broken doll ready to begin the next chapter in her journey of life.
I believe that Dayna's story can inspire many more disabled people to try pole dancing as a form of physical therapy! Please send in any inspiring stories via e-mail and we will share your tale with the world!