FOR Lydia Mackett, dancing is more than just a hobby.
Lydia, who has severe high-frequency hearing loss, has been dancing since three-years-old and spends six days a week practicing her passion.
All those years of practicing have paid of for the 15-year-old as she was chosen as one of six finalists in a national competition organised by the National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS).
The Raising The Bar competition gave six dancers and six musicians the chance to perform at the prestigious Birmingham Repertory Theatre and receive tutoring from professional deaf dancers and musicians.
Lydia, of Bittern Close, Gosport, was chosen along with five other dancers and six musicians, after submitting a video of herself performing earlier in the year.
She was excited to be recognised for contemporary dance submission
She said: ‘Dancing is my passion. Just because I am deaf doesn’t mean I can’t dance.’
Lydia’s mother Debra was in Birmingham to watch her daughter perform.
She said: ‘Lydia doesn’t get to meet a lot of other deaf children when she goes to school. So meeting people who love dance as well was great for her.’
‘I was really excited to be there and I am very proud of her.’
The competition was developed by the NDCS to boost expectations of what the 45,000 deaf children and young people in the UK can achieve.
Lydia also plays the piano and the clarinet and, aside from ballet, practices many forms of dance including tap, modern, disco, street, ballroom, and others.
She belongs to several dance schools and clubs including Dance Divas, Gosport Youth Dance, the Dorothy Temple School of Dance, and dances every Saturday at The Place, in London, after successfully auditioning for the Centre for Advanced Training’s national intensive dance programme for 10 to 18-year-olds.
Debra added: ‘She likes dancing because she feels free and she forgets about any problems she may have.’