Since her early childhood in France, dancing has been Lydie Guerin’s greatest passion.
Born with a hearing impairment, Lydie practised jazz, ballet and contemporary dance before moving to Australia in the early 1990s.
Though her passion for dance never dimmed, Lydie found it increasingly difficult in later years to participate in dance classes, as her lack of hearing made following the dance teacher’s directions unmanageable.
“It’s a hard process to follow without hearing. I lip read so I would have to look at the teacher in the mirror of the studio. We move around a lot, so it took a lot of practice.
“When I moved to more difficult classes, we moved faster across the room and the teacher gave the instruction as we went. I could not follow. I was so frustrated. I didn’t feel like I was restricted by the classes difficulty, but I was being restricted by my deafness,” said Lydie.
Following the recent tragic passing of her husband Rudy, an ex-professional ballet dancer, Lydie dreamt of a return to the art form she loved.
“I was overwhelmed by intense feelings of sadness, loss, and depression and dancing became a healing part of the grief process following the loss of my husband. I was full of grief,” said Lydie.
“I thought ‘What am I going to do now?’ I hadn’t danced for many years before Rudy died and I thought maybe I should try again because I love dancing, it feels so natural to me.”
Today, with support from the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), that dream has become a reality, with Lydie engaging a local dance teacher as a support worker to learn the required movements in a one-on-one setting.
Lydie applied for access to the NDIS in 2019 on the suggestion of her audiologist.
“Now with the NDIS, I have got a tremendous commitment from a contemporary dance teacher who I like, and I enjoy the way she teaches and the imagery she gives to support me to do the movement.
“I asked whether she would be willing to become my support worker and give me individual sessions to help me move into the next levels of contemporary dance, which has now happened.
“It took a lot of courage to go to the first class. I was so worried that I would not be synchronised to the music,” she said.
Lydie says her return to dance has given her newfound confidence and passion for life.
“It is so wonderful; I have now met lots of dancers and new friends. It has opened so many doors for me and has given me a new outlook on life.
“All of my life I have stopped myself from attending classes or workshops like this because I thought I would miss too much of the lesson, but not anymore,” Lydie said.
“To have this support is wonderful. It is truly incredible. I am with people, I can do things I couldn’t do before. It has made a true difference in my life.”
With her newfound sense of confidence, Lydie will volunteer her time at the SuperCell Festival of Contemporary Dance in the coming weeks.
Lydie is supported on her NDIS journey by Carers Queensland, NDIS Partner in the Community for the Brisbane region.
Carers Queensland can support you to find out more about the NDIS, to apply for funding and to help you get started with the NDIS.
If you have a disability but are not eligible for the NDIS, Carers Queensland can also help you identify and link to options for support in your community.
To find out more about how the NDIS and Local Area Coordination program can work for you, visit Carers Queensland NDIS Local Area Coordination Partner in the Community Program for the Brisbane Region at 120 Chalk Street, Lutwyche 4030.