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May 19, 2020

Danielle's Story

Danielle Stitfall

Danielle's Story


Danielle Stitfall

Danielle shares her experiences as a para dancer.

This content has a custom transcript:

[Title on screen reads, ‘Danielle’s Story’]

[Our Site logo]

My name's Danielle, I'm from WA. I have spina bifida and I'm a para dancer.

[A montage of still photographs of Danielle in her wheelchair performing at a dance event]

I was approached by Rebound WA. They were talking with DanceSport WA about getting, maybe, a program up and running for dancing with people with disabilities. And they approached me and a few others about the possibility of doing that.

[Danielle, in her wheelchair, and her partner come onto the dance floor. She is wearing a sparkly dress. He is wearing tails. They dance together under a mirror ball]

So, we were sent to an event, just to check it out and see if we liked it. And then, from there, we fed back to Rebound that it was great fun and we really enjoyed meeting all sorts of people and the whole spectacle of it all. And I've been doing it ever since.

[A group of dancers, some in wheelchairs, perform together]

Dancing has helped me come out of my shell a lot, and that makes me feel empowered, it makes me feel like I can do anything I set my mind to. That I can learn something completely new and different, something that I never thought I would be able to do before. My shyness... gets in the way a lot. But that's why I wanted to do it and keep doing it, 'cause it helps me get out of my comfort zone. It's just given me a whole new outlook on life. Like, it's made me have more belief in myself and my capabilities as a person with a disability, given me a more positive outlook, so it's improved a lot of my relationships.

[Wearing purple t-shirts and caps, a crowd of people, some in wheelchairs, dance outside a building in the sun]

And last year, in 2018, I competed in my first National championships in Melbourne.

[Danielle in a flowing white dress, and her partner in tails, perform the waltz]

There was four couples that did it, that went over and did it. We all competed in three events - the Standard Waltz, Latin Rumba, and New Vogue Carousel. And I won two of those events myself. And, yeah, it was really great. Like, it really helped me with my confidence, as well, 'cause it was a huge crowd, but they were all cheering and supporting. My flight response was on high alert. I just had to shut it out and think about, you know, what I've been practising on for the last few months before that. Just go out there and do it. It was too late to go back now, so just do it. Yeah, it was really fantastic and it was a real team-bonding experience, as well. We all grew closer together, as well.

[Text on screen reads, ‘Photo and video credits: Partografia Photography, Ballroom Fit, ABC Morning News (courtesy of Ballroom Fit)’]

[Text on screen reads, ‘Watch more stories at Our Site oursite.wwda.org.au’]

[The logo for Women with Disabilities Australia (WWDA)]

This story is tagged under:

Life Choices
Taking Part
Sex and Your Body
Safety and violence

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