Dyslexia is one of the most commonly reported learning disabilities with many greats such as the likes of Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso thought to have been afflicted by it.
In the UAE alone, more than 18 per cent of students exhibit symptoms consistent with the disorder, as reported by a 2011 study published by UAE University.
Despite its prevalence and the tribulations that come with it, in no way is this condition a deficit and 29-year-old professional dancer and choreographer, Carmel Bondswell is just another prime example of it.
Bondswell followed in her mother’s footsteps, who was also a professional dancer, and began her dance training from an early age and graduated from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance at North Greenwich University in London in contemporary ballet.
She possessed a strong passion for the artform, but her journey was riddled with challenges and the biggest one of all was dealing with dyslexia.
In Bondswell’s case, the condition did not only affect her ability to read and write, but hampered her dance training the most.
“I began to notice the effects mostly during my dance training, I was struggling more than others, to remember choreography, picking up patterns in space and even knowing my left to right,” Bondswell told Sport360.
“When I received my results from my dyslexia test even the examiner was surprised that I chose to study dance as it challenged all areas of my life. So, it was no wonder I found it hard and most people would have given up.”
There were no specific tools that helped Bondswell cope with her condition, but it was a mix of trial and error, along with a solid social support network of her family and friends that made her the dancer she is today.
The 29-year-old has collaborated with some of the biggest names in the industry and even has her own Dubai-based dance company called Home Sweet Dance.
“I have learnt to live with my dyslexia, there is no easy solution to fixing it, you learn to be patient and persistent as you just have to keep working on it and become creative finding new ways for yourself to work things out,” said Bondswell.
“Even now starting a business I constantly question myself, if this is the right spelling and grammar, but I am thankful for the love and support from family and friends who have been around me to help every step.”
Moreover, it was also Bondswell’s overwhelming passion for contemporary dance that helped her push through.
As described by Bondswell, contemporary dance is a dance form that is made in the present and has an adaptable style. It is not learning a syllabus of moves and putting them together, but allows for a creative exploration of one’s space and bodily movement to create a unique piece.
For this reason, Bondswell continues her journey of learning and adapting as a contemporary dancer, and has helped her students tremendously with their confidence, flexibility and strength.
You can join Carmel Bondswell’s infectiously energetic contemporary dance classes at either James and Alex Dance studio in Media City every Tuesday at 8pm and Saturday at 1:30pm for all levels.
She also teaches beginner’s contemporary dance at The Pad Dubai in The Greens and Views every Sunday at 11am and Thursday 6pm. For more information on her classes, you can email her on [email protected]
Lamia Tariq Malallah continued her rise in the world of gymnastics as the UAE little wonder clinched gold at the International Rhythmic Gymnastics Youth Cup held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, on Sunday.
Eight-year-old Lamia finished on top in the A category for junior girls with a total of 21.8 points to take the gold at Tashkent’s Youth Union Sport Centre. Lamia gathered 12.7 points in the freehand routine and 9.1 points in the hoop apparatus to take home gold.
Alexsandra Klishina from the Almaty RG Club came in second while Samira Yuldasheva from the YUSC Club finished with bronze.
The tournament was organised by the Rhythmic Gymnastics Federation of Uzbekistan with gymnasts from Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan fighting for the top honours.
Lamia thus became the first Emirati to take part in the competition and she ended up taking the top spot. British national Alexandra Stadden, who represents the UAE, also won gold in her age group in category B.
Trained by Ksenia Dzhalaganiya, Lamia is making rapid strides in the world of gymnastics. The International School Choueifat student won gold at the inaugural Dubai International Junior Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships at the Al Habtoor Indoor Complex in 2017.
She hasn’t looked back since, winning golds at the 2017 Open GR Azur International in Nice, France, and the Armonia Cup in Greece. She had also clinched silver at the 2017 Winter Cup in Germany, along with a bronze at the Novogorsk Winter Cup in Moscow last year.
To top all that, Lamia became the youngest Emirati and only gymnast to win the prestigious Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Creative Sports Award.
The CrossFit community’s chosen performance footwear franchise takes a giant leap forward with the global unveiling of the Reebok CrossFit Nano 9, the brand’s most dynamic and refined CrossFit shoe to hit boxes yet.
Officially dubbed the “Nano for All,” the Nano 9 was built with the CrossFit community, for the CrossFit community. During its creation process, Reebok worked closely with CrossFit athletes of all levels from around the world for guidance and feedback in shaping the latest iteration. The result is an evolution in comfort and overall fit. Advanced features of the Nano 9 include:
Wearability: CrossFit specific outsole design that features MetaSplit grooves for better traction and grip
Strong Foundation: wide toe box for comfortable fit and powerful movements
Durable Comfort: Flexweave upper provides breathability, security and durability; added cushioning in forefoot for a more comfortable run
Ultimate Stability: Minimal drop outsole provides secure footing
“For the amount and type of training I do, I need a shoe that I don’t have to think about and can trust to offer me the stability, comfort and durability that I need to perform my best,” said Pat Vellner, Reebok athlete and three times podium finisher at the Reebok CrossFit Games.
“Reebok’s Nano has always been a shoe that gives me everything I need, and the Nano 9 takes it to the next level. You can tell the designers took the community’s feedback to heart with the latest iteration.
“I love that it still has all the qualities I’ve come to rely on from the Nano, but rocks some new features like enhanced traction on the soles and improved cushioning in the forefront that provide a better all-around experience for any type of CrossFit workout I do.”
In celebration of the ninth iteration of the Nano, Reebok pays homage to the spirit of camaraderie that the CrossFit community embodies by highlighting nine individuals — ranging from small-business owners who’ve found CrossFit as their past time passion to world-renowned athletes like Pat Vellner and Tia-Clair Toomey, the reigning ‘Fittest Woman on Earth’ —in its “Nano for All” Reebok CrossFit Nano 9 campaign.
Alongside pre-registering HERE to be the first to own the Reebok CrossFit Nano 9 when it officially launches across the GCC from July 1st, CrossFit athletes and fitness enthusiasts in the GCC can also get the chance to win a trip for two to the Reebok CrossFit Games.
The Reebok CrossFit Nano 9 will be available across Reebok stores in MENA and on www.reebok.ae from July 1 onwards, retailing at AED 605, SAR 618 and KWD 50.