Having had absence seizures since the age of 5, I had my first clonic tonic seizure in school when I was 13, without any warning and I have continued to have them since, although they are well regulated by my medication and remembering to avoid my triggers; stress, heat and tiredness.
At first, I thought my life in the dance world was over and that no-one would want to be my dance partner, for fear of my having seizures.
When dance teachers realised I had Epilepsy, initially, there were some that were frightened to allow me to be in teams, practice etc., however, through determination, I proved that I was as capable as anyone else and just needed to keep them informed if I felt overly hot, tired etc.
I am now competing at Championship level in Ballroom and Latin on the Open Circuit and recently, my partner and I came first in the Champions of Tomorrow 2018, U35 Intermediate, Latin category in Blackpool.
I have had a seizure at a competition; fortunately, after I had finished competing, but I missed out on the winner's demonstration, however, everyone was completely understanding, wished me well and I have continued to compete with no issues from other dancers/teachers/organisers.
My dance partner and his family are so supportive and the teachers always ensure the room is at a comfortable temperature for me, that I drink and eat often and sensibly as well as rest if I am tired. They have also researched Epilepsy and ensured they know what to do if I was to have a seizure and understood my personal needs.
Unfortunately, I am unable to drive, which means, if there are no trains available, my mother has to, more often than not, take me to competitions and lessons, which is frustrating, but I like to think of it as an inconvenience rather than a problem.
I'd like to think that my story will help others to realise that they can continue with their dreams and achieve so much, despite having Epilepsy. Good luck everyone.