Josie is a Line Dancing teacher who developed a passion for the activity after she began to lose her sight. Her passion grew and she went on to become an IDTA Qualified instructor and now runs her own classes every week.
Josie was diagnosed with Macular Degeneration at 51 and it developed quite quickly, preventing her from being able to read. At the time, her hobbies were researching family history, photography and Spanish. Josie suddenly
found that she struggled to carry on with these interests and felt that she needed to find something else to do.
She joined a group at college which held discussions and had visitors to give talks. Through this she discovered dancing and has never looked back! She found that she picked it up very quickly and danced well, but decided that she wanted to do an exam and prove to herself that having a disability doesn’t stop you from doing things! The training covered not only the steps and how to explain them, but also learning about muscles, bones and the respiratory system. One of her friends put all the theory on to tape for her and she learnt it that way. She passed her exams in 1998 which was a huge achievement, especially as she never mentioned to the examiners about her sight condition!
Her classes are now full of people who love to dance, but also enjoy socialising with the friends that they have made. ‘Strictly Come Line Dancing’ is held on Wednesday in Hillsborough and every Thursday in the city centre.
Josie became involved with SRSB after being referred from the hospital and uses several services (in between her busy life!) including the Talking Books and regular Newsletter. She has also held dances at our centre which were great fun, as people dressed up and had a go at dancing, or just enjoyed the music and company.
Josie’s message for others is, ‘If I hadn’t lost my sight I probably wouldn’t be doing what I am doing now. I am helping others to dance, enjoy the music and make friends. I am certainly enjoying my life now! You have to remain determined and positive!’
If you are interested in taking part in Josie’s classes, please telephone: 0114 2341135. Beginners and intermediate welcome!