Strictly Ballroom – Take 1

Before todays blog…..apologies for the confusion on yesterdays blog. You may have got a ‘Test’ blog from my daughter yesterday – ignore and delete. WordPress had updated some settings yesterday which meant none of you got my blog at the usual time, however Gemma fixed it for me and we were able to publish the blog late, but all is well in my world again…..

And so to todays……..

Yesterday saw me in Leeds having the wonderful opportunity to visit the West Yorkshire playhouse for my second visit to a performance of Strictly Ballroom. Yes you read right, my second visit – a very good advantage of having dementia…..

I went to a non dementia friendly performance at Christmas time with Stuart and Gemma and today I was able to compare it with a dementia friendly version..


I’d contacted the lovely Nicky Taylor, Community Development Manager, at the theatre in November asking if she could recommend seats that would be more suitable for me if I came with my family to the standard performance. She kindly asked the sound people to look into it and it resulted in us being allocated one of the Directors box.

Nicky then also told me about the dementia friendly performance and had asked me to write a blog about the whole experience. I had to think for all of a nano second whether to accept……….

Nicky was on holiday on the day of the show in December so her colleague was going to meet us.
I hadn’t appreciated how busy the theatre was on non dementia friendly days and found it very overwhelming. I even hinted that I’d do without a cuppa tea, such was the volume of people, but Stuart would hear nothing of it and me and Gemma went to find a seat while he queued and arrived back with a much needed cuppa
As the time approached for the show to start we made our way to the entrance only to have the good fortune to be greeted by Graham, Nicky’s colleague, who was able to show us to the wonderful directors box that Nicky had organised for us. This meant I had lots of room and wasn’t surrounded by lots of people.
They’d turned the extra sound off inside to hopefully dull the sound but I’d also come armed with my ear plugs as I’d been warned it was a loud show.


It certainly was very loud and there were many times when I jumped at the sudden noise, but we all had a wonderful time. It was certainly very different from how I remember the dementia friendly version, especially around lighting, sound and the sheer volume of people.

The theatre was chocca and looked like a sell out, which was lovely to see.

However, despite all the differences, due to the kindness of Nicky sorting out the box we had a wonderful time and with it being right at the back, a wonderful view and were buzzing for days afterwards.

I had a banging headache afterwards but just because my brain doesn’t like noise and lots of people – 2 things you can’t avoid if you want to enjoy the theatre!

So yesterday I was here to compare the last performance with todays dementia friendly one. My group from York, Minds and Voices, were also going but I was meeting them there.
But you’ll have to wait another day for that otherwise the blog will be an essay……….
More tomorrow..


About wendy7713

On the 31st July 2014 I was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. I may not have much of a short term memory anymore but that date is one I’ll never forget. I’m 58 years young, live happily alone in Yorkshire, have 2 daughters and I’m currently still in full time employment in the NHS. However, I’m now in the process of taking early retirement to give me a chance of enjoying life while I’m still me. I've started this blog to allow me, in the first instance, to write all my thoughts before they’re lost. If anyone chooses to follow my ramblings it will serve as a way of raising awareness on the lack of research into Alzheimer's. It will hopefully convey the helplessness of those diagnosed with dementia, as there is no cure – the end is inevitable. However, I’m also hoping I can convey that, although we've been diagnosed, people like me still have a substantial contribution to make; we still have a sense of humour; we sill have feelings. I’m hoping to show the reality of trying to cope on a day to day basis with the ever-changing environment that dementia throws at those diagnosed with the condition. What I want is not sympathy. What I want is simply to raise awareness.

6 thoughts on “Strictly Ballroom – Take 1

  1. Really interesting to know what the difference is from your point of view, Wendy. There’s a dementia friendly screening at one of our local cinemas, which means no adverts, the lights are only slightly dimmed and people can come and go as they please. (There’s also free tea and cakes!). I love it, (mostly because I never have been able to tolerate those VERY LOUD adverts) but it’s good to know how such things are for someone who has dementia.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We went before Christmas. P loved it. Clapped and sang along (as he did recently in La La Land). He seems really sensitive to sound at the moment and enjoys and joins in all music.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You are so gentle on your ‘brain’ – so gentle on you Wendy, it’s one of the things I enjoy most about your blog as it seems to permeate all of your writing, all of you.
    I do not mistake that gentleness for weakness as evidenced in yesterday’s post where you wrote that you do not accept participation in study’s where you are expected to wait for your expenses to be reimbursed – so loved that.
    Go Wendy!

    Liked by 1 person

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