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Canning Town wheelchair dancer who lost her leg after MS diagnosis hosts Bethnal Green fundraiser

PUBLISHED: 10:32 08 December 2017 | UPDATED: 10:52 08 December 2017

Laura Dajao. Picture: Sharron Wallace

Laura Dajao. Picture: Sharron Wallace

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 with peer dancer Charlene Low. Picture: Sardines Dance CollectiveLaura Dajao with peer dancer Charlene Low. Picture: Sardines Dance Collective

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.”

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.

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