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  1. As part of The Vision Project we took time to talk to our wonderful participants. In this series which we have called PEOPLE OF VISION, we explore how they came to join in with The Vision Project and what they have taken away from it. 

    This time we talk to Teresa Chambers-Blaney, who has taken part in the dance element of The Vision Project and is also helping out with our textile quest. 


    1. What parts of The Vision Project have you taken part in and what inspired you to participate in it?

    Hearing you all talk about it at our show in April, it sounded amazing. The thought of all the workshops and the putting of Art and music together. I do that within my role at school, I look at the links of music, art and fashion....The emotion within music and fashion and art, such a connection that is truly magical. I also then like to see how art and music can help healing and learning through trauma, rehabilitation, as well as through anyone with learning challenges too.


    2. How have you found the dance rehearsals?

    My love of dance, art and fashion have been with me since a very young age (3!! is the earliest I have been told of). Dancing is part of me, it is my escape and freedom from the big wide world. It is to me that magical feeling that Santa inspires. So, rehearsals have given me access to that feeling.


    3. You have taken part in various dance pieces with First Dance Studios - most recently in the 2022 show - how was that for you and what did you take away from that?

    I do have physical challenges now, having had both hips replaced and legs that are slightly different legs because of the replacements I have had to learn a new way of dancing. I can't move the way I used to, no more drop splits, high kicks and tricks that need an outward rotation on the hips for me. During lock down I started dancing again, and this gave me the confidence to start again, the teachers I worked with taught me that I could still move, just in a different way. Finding First Dance has allowed me to take that back to the stage. I love the theatre; it feels like home. It is a way of life I knew I missed but didn't know how much til I was back there.


    4. What did you feel when you watched Dan and Diana dance as part of the 2022 show?

    As a young dancer the modern dance elements didn't inspire me the way my ballet, tap and Jazz did, but I am older and have experienced so much more of life, so watching Dan and Diane and seeing contemporary through wiser eyes has given me a new love for it. Ir is just wonderful to be involved.

     Teresa Chambers-Blaney Textiles The Vision Project

    5. A few little nightingales have told me about your creative side - what else do you do outside of dancing?

    I feel very lucky to have worked with all I have. From leaving school my only two passions were dance and fashion. Whilst being a professional dancer and National Champion I was able to design and decorate the costumes we wore, in my late 20's I started to venture into the fashion industry and continued until crossing over to teaching in 2009/2010. At home I have a very big love of all things Elvis, Strictly, my dog, Mikey and of course my son Harri. I am very lucky to have some wonderful friends who have known me since my early 20's and are still a big part of my life.


    6. As part of The Vision Project, you have designed and are making the costumes for the performance - what was your approach to creating our outfits for the dance? 

    At rehearsals, the feel of the dance, listening to the music and watching contemporary style performances have all lent themselves to and overlay of very floaty, dreamy fabric. They create an illusion of a whisper and a breath, effortless and graceful with each motion. It is not about the body inside of it, it is about the shapes and how it floats away.


    7. What has been the most rewarding or challenging aspect of designing the costumes?

    I will answer that one when we have cut them out, stitched them together, made sure they all fit and then filmed the routine. Although I don't see and of this as a challenge, it is what designing and making is about, it is creating a vision, a feeling, an emotion.


    8. What are you most excited about the performance?

    Feeling the emotion of doing the routine together, living in that moment and being lost within it.


    9. What would you say to anyone who would like to join in with the dancing?

    If you are worried about how you might appear to others, don't, just be brave, no one looks as we are all lost in the moment, have a go and lose yourself in that moment. Come and learn how your body moves and expresses itself.

    10. Finally, if you held a textile workshop what sort of things would you cover?

    What would you like to be covered? I think I have questions for you all before I give you that answer. It depends on what resources we have access too, what time scales we would be working to, when it would need to be done, there is just so much that can be done.


    Thank you so much Teresa, such an interesting story. We are very excited to seeing the costumes.

    For further information about The Vision Project please check out our instagram page here. 
    Emma and The Vision Project Team
  2. As part of The Vision Project we took time to talk to our wonderful participants. In this series which we have called PEOPLE OF VISION, we explore how they came to join in with The Vision Project and what they have taken away from it. 

    This time around however we speak to an amazing supportive individual who is very much key to the whole process. Corinna has been present in several of the workshops, on hand to listen. As a licensed counsellor Corrie's presence has been vital to the whole project. Please read on as she shares her experiences below.  

    1. How did you get involved in The Vision Project?

    Emma approached me about the Vision Project as we’ve known each other for many years. Emma knows my love of the arts, as well as my profession as a counsellor so it seemed like a really good fit to get involved. 


    2. What appealed to you most about getting involved?

    I am fascinated by the link between mental health and creativity. The positive effects of doing something creative on our mental well-being are well known and more and more research is being done in this area. I was keen to be involved in order to witness this and perhaps do some research of my own. I also have a passion for music, dance and art so it felt like such an important thing to do. 


    3. Why is art/creative media so good for us?

    For so so many reasons!! Being able to express ourselves enables a release of emotions which has obvious benefits. Sometimes people find it hard to speak about what they are going through, or express their feelings through words. Finding another outlet can mean that emotions and experiences that have been bottled up can be released in a really safe and positive way. Another benefit is the mindfulness aspect. Much of our anxiety is rooted in the past or the future; worrying about something that has happened or worrying about something that is going to happen. By focussing our minds on a creative project, we are staying in the here and now and not worrying about anything! Also, creating something gives us a sense of achievement which can raise positivity and give us a sense of purpose. I could go on and on about the benefits but I will bore you senseless!

     Corrina McDermott The Vision Project

    4. Having you as a counsellor has really helped in our workshops - how does your experience help in these workshops?

    The people at the workshops have been incredible, and really open about what life can be like. It’s felt like a privilege to be there and get to hear people’s stories. I don’t know if it helps, they are probably just wondering who the nosy woman is who keeps asking them questions. But I’ve got a real sense of how the workshops have felt so important to those attending. 


    5. How did you get started as a counsellor? 

    I went through a period of quite bad depression a few years ago after my marriage ended. I responded in some really negative ways and tried to cope by drinking too much and behaving pretty badly. I ended up going to the doctor and was given a course of online counselling which I found really helpful. I became very interested in talking therapies and decided to start a Level 1 course in Listening, just to see if it was something I could do. Well, that was a few years ago now and I haven’t looked back!

    6. The past few years have seen a huge overwhelming wave of change for all of us. What would you recommend as top level elements to think about with change anxiety?

    The past few years have been horrendous. People have been dealing with really tough situations, whilst being isolated from family and friends and without being able to access their normal coping strategies. My main mantra is always, SELF CARE SELF CARE SELF CARE!! We have to look after ourselves in order to keep going. So find the things that nourish you and top up your personal battery. For me that is exercise and enough sleep. If those two things are happening, I can cope with a lot more. It’s also worth noting that they are completely within my control. I can always exercise, I just need to make it happen., and its up to me to make sure I get to bed early enough. 

    I’ve been working with some people from Ukraine who feel they have no power or control over what is happening. In this situation, we bring it right back in to them. What CAN they control? One lady who is now in Poland started taking a half hour walk around a park each day. This might sound like a small thing, but it got her away from the news, into the fresh air and got her moving which relieves stress and boosts mood. Always think about what you can use your personal power to do, even when things seem awful.

    7. How do art and creative workshops like The Vision Project help?

    The sense of community that I’ve witnessed at the workshops is incredible. When people feel like part of something, they feel less isolated. Each of the workshop leaders has managed to create a collaborative atmosphere where people are interacting in a really safe and non-threatening way. The non-judgmental and supportive way that the groups are run mean that no-one is scared to have a go, even if it’s something they’ve never done before. The beauty of every single creation is so clear and yet they are all so different, it makes it feel like you can just be free to experiment.  

    8. A little nightingale told me that you can sing and can be found acting on stage - what other creative outlets do you have? 

    I love anything creative! I really enjoy photography, especially families and children. I really like capturing moments that make people smile to look back on. I also love to walk and can often be found hiking around the British countryside. I guess that doesn’t sound very creative, but it always feels like a creative experience, looking at the colours and the landscapes. 


    9. What have you gained from the workshops?


    It’s just been an absolute privilege to be involved. I’ve gained lots of knowledge about the links between creativity and mental health and I’ve also gained a massive appreciation of how important projects like this are for the community. I can only hope that things like this become more and more widespread and I’d like to say a massive thank you to Emma for having the ‘Vision’ and the drive to get it off the ground. It’s just incredible. 


    10. Having you as part of The Vision Project has been so helfpul. We have all really appreciated it. How can people get in touch with you regarding counselling and your services?

    My website is and my email address is [email protected] 

    Thank you so much Corrie, what a fantastic person you are for being there for us as we create safely.
    For further information about The Vision Project please check out our instagram page here. 
    Emma and The Vision Project Team