Canning Town wheelchair dancer who lost her leg after MS diagnosis hosts Bethnal Green fundraiser
- Credit: Sharron Wallace
A wheelchair dancer who thought she might never perform again after losing her leg is heading up a charity festive fundraiser.
Laura Dajao, 29, of Canning Town, is heading up an ecclectic night of music and dance in aid of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society on December 13 at Bethnal Green arts venue Rich Mix.
The freelance integrated dance artist, who was diagnosed with MS in 2007, will perform her new song Finding My Strength, which she wrote with singer-songwriter Junior Williams.
Created for a dance piece, it was inspired by Laura’s leg loss and describes how art can be a healing power during times of adversity.
She said: “Dancing has always been a big part of my life, but I actually didn’t start performing professionally until after I was diagnosed.
“I was up against unpredictable symptoms that often left me unable to walk more than a couple of steps. But even when I started using a wheelchair, I kept dancing.
“That was until I lost my leg and I was forced to quit. At first, I didn’t know if I’d ever dance again.”
- 1 Bow flat fire caused by sunlight on glass bottle
- 2 Ranjith Kankanamalage death: Man charged with murder
- 3 Bow man accused of carrying out fatal hammer attack appears at Old Bailey
- 4 Crossrail: Canary Wharf station ready as Elizabeth Line nears opening
- 5 Bow man charged with drugs supply and criminal property offences
- 6 Gallery: Hidden photos reveal London's East End in the 1960s
- 7 Japanese udon noodles chain to mark Canary Wharf opening with free bowls
- 8 Covid patients numbers declining in east London hospitals
- 9 Riverside park extension above new sewage structures given green light
- 10 East End's 'last' Victorian funeral parlour being restored - and opens as burger bar
Laura has since performed at disability festival Liberty and was the first wheelchair dancer to perform on the main stage at Sadler’s Wells Theatre.
“When I was invited to perform at Liberty Festival, I realised that using dance to express what I’ve been through was exactly what I wanted to do,” she said.
Laura, also a Rich Mix employee, has organised the evening to raise funds for the national MS Society and the charity’s Newham and Tower Hamlets group.
She said: “What better way to support the local MS community in Tower Hamlets and Newham and help stop MS, than to spread the spirit of giving though music and accessible dance.”
Other performers on the bill include London-based indie rock/post punk band The Outers, belly dancer Natasha and inclusive dance company Step Change Studios.
Tickets are £6 from Rich Mix’s website or £8 on the door.
Laura’s song Finding My Strength will be released on iTunes and Amazon Music on December 13.