Ooh, Interesting! - How a Paralysed Woman Became an Aerial Dancer

October 23, 2015

Aerial performance for a Corporate Event

We like to keep things fascinating over at Ooh, Interesting! If the story is odd or liable to make your jaw drop then we want to hear about it! Having said that, we also love – and haven’t had many of – inspirational entertainment stories that are just as remarkable for their interesting nature as much as their ability to inspire us into doing just a little bit more than we currently do in our lives.

Bearing all the above in mind then, it’s little wonder that after reading all about Aussie Lauren Watson earlier this week that we thought we just had to feature her on our blog. Yes, Lauren is an aerial dancer, accomplished both with a hoop and silks, but what makes her even more special is that she is paralysed from the waist down.

Left partially paralysed after a car accident aged 19, it wasn’t until ten years later that Lauren would find what she wanted to do with her life. Her twenties were largely taken up with relearning how to do tasks without the use of her legs and getting used to life in a wheelchair, something many of us would find difficult.

But Lauren Watson didn’t stop there. Having witnessed an aerial silk dancer at her local shopping centre, she strongly believed that she could do just as well. After finding an aerial school willing to offer her classes, progress was initially slow; Lauren had to build her upper body strength and pull herself up unaided, which was the first challenge. “I couldn’t climb but I didn’t give up,” she says, “If you do, you’ll spend the rest of your life wondering what if.”

Despite naysayers all around her, including her physiotherapist (understandable considering what she was trying to do), Lauren notes now that it was her doctors who motivated her to achieve her dreams – “I think about it now and it would’ve sounded insane for a girl who’s been partially paralysed for 14 years to plan on climbing up a silk 13 feet in the air. I sometimes wonder if I should tell the physiotherapist that he motivated me more by his lack of support and in a way helped me get to where I am today.”

Having adapted tricks, poses and even apparatuses to her disability, Lauren now hopes to inspire others with disability to achieve their dreams as well; not only has she now performed in a circus but she’s also featured in a music video for a top Australian band, Little Fox. “Aerial makes me realise everything is achievable because I feel empowered to take on new challenges,” she says, “I always find new ways to make it work. Disability or not, we are all just people chasing the dream to be the best that we can be with what we have.”

We don’t want to try and convince you that aerial silk dancers can be life changing but with the above story, we don’t have to! The truth is there for all to see. If you’d like to possibly change people’s lives then feel free to check out our circus page for a full range of fun and varied acts which just may prove to be the finest booking you ever made. 



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By Henry Fosdike