The Vulnerability Challenge

#TheVulnerabilityChallenge: Dancing in the street (Day 17)

cancer slam
Hayley Stanton
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Hayley Stanton

Director & Coach at Quiet Connections
Hayley shares her personal stories of feeling shy, socially anxious, ‘not good enough’ and fearfully avoiding the good things in life. Growing her confidence through coaching, gradually stretching her comfort zone and connecting with others, she now uses everything she has learned to help other people grow their confidence in her role as a coach. Hayley is passionate about connecting people with similar stories and creating safe, supportive spaces to make friends and try new things. Hayley dreams of a time when all of the strengths, skills and goodness in ‘quiet’ is recognised and appreciated as readily as being bold, gregarious, and comfortable in the spotlight is right now.
Hayley Stanton
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#TheVulnerabilityChallenge Day 17

Keep dancing… don’t worry about being perfect

So many of us won’t allow ourselves the freedom to be silly and expressive. We’re so worried about what other people think of us; we feel we must be calm, cool and collected to be ‘good enough’.

“We hustle for our worthiness by slipping on the emotional and behavioural straight jacket of cool”

– Brene Brown

For me, there’s no form of self-expression that makes me feel more vulnerable than dancing. It’s full body vulnerability, second only to being naked. My memories of dancing (or not) are pretty embarrassing.

As a young child, I went to the local youth club with friends. I remember they were all up and dancing to those classic tunes from Gina G and Peter Andre and I was dragged on to the dance floor with them. Well, I didn’t want to be sat by myself anyway. I stood with them but I wouldn’t dance. One of the youth workers told me to sit down if I wasn’t dancing.

As I grew older, I would only dance under the influence of liquid courage – lots of it. Being so out of control on the dance floor was equally as humiliating. Oh, the times I fell over and flashed! And the photos the next day…

So it felt like a complete nightmare when I joined the Race for Life team in 2013, just as they brought in the ‘Cancer Slam’ dance to be performed at all the race launch events. I wouldn’t be able to use alcohol to get through it this time!

I danced on the streets of Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter. I wasn’t perfect, composed or unshakeable, I’m clearly nervous at the start of this video. But I’m human and once I took off the emotional straight jacket, I actually enjoyed myself. Look at me goooo!

2013 Cancer Slam in Exeter – I’m the redhead on the left

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