SUDEP Action

Making every epilepsy death count
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Lets Dance for Ellis & SUDEP Action

 Friends of the late 21 year old Ellis Powell who passed away after suffering several seizures in January 2013 organised a 12 hour dance event in her memory.  The event was organised by students from Caroline Clare Dance School in aid of SUDEP Action.

Lisa Barnes who helped organise the event said: “I have had the pleasure of knowing Ellis since birth.  Her family are great friends and neighbours.  Ellis was a beautiful girl and a natural dancer.  She joined the Caroline Clare Dance School at just 5 years of age and spent every weekend dancing.  As she got older the weekends turned into midweek and she spent most of her time enjoying her Ballet, Tap and Jazz classes.” 
At 15 Ellis started to teach the younger students at the dance school, which she loved and the young children certainly enjoyed their time with her. At 19 she moved on to a full time dance college located in Maidstone.  She continued to pop back to Caroline Clare’s whenever she had a spare moment, helping with the teaching and choreographing for the shows that the school put on.

Shortly after Ellis died, Lisa’s daughter Georgina was having a conversation with her dad asking why this tragedy had to happen.  After trying to explain things they both came up with the idea of performing in memory of Ellis.  This idea of just a small show for the local community rapidly turned in to a 12 Hour dance marathon which was held on 4th May 2013 in the local village hall.  All of the students worked incredible hard and put in lots of extra rehearsals, they were all truly dedicated to doing their best.  Lisa promoted the event while Caroline Madden was in charge of the dancing.  

The whole day was so well supported by friends, family and the village of Borough Green.  Each child was asked to get sponsors. The event also included a ruffle offering great prizes including a weekend break.  There was also a good as new dance wear sale, Phoenix cards and plenty of refreshments for the audience to enjoy. The girls and boys danced non stop from 8am through to 8 pm and performed the last dance with the same energy as the first. They were all amazing. 

 “In organising this event, we hope to have raised awareness of SUDEP Action and the work they do in supporting families just like Ellis’s. It was also important for the children of the dance school to be made aware of the condition that Ellis had to deal with on an everyday basis and how positive you can still be with life. We feel they are now able to find some kind of closure and find the strength  to be able to move on knowing that they have done their very best to make their good friend Ellis proud. We know she is dancing with the stars.”

We are still in the process of collecting all the donations but so far we have raised £9347.