She is an outstanding dancer and an outstanding volunteer. Oh, and she was awarded a State award for her work.
Rhiannon Hall was awarded The Volunteer Impact Award at the 2019 NQ Volunteer of the Year Awards.
Rhiannon said she had always been passionate about dancing and saw a perfect opportunity to give back to her community when a friend started a dance group for people with special needs, Happy Feat.
“As the Choreographer and Dance Teacher, my role is to create dances for people with differing abilities and various levels of mobility and concentration,” she said.
Rhiannon says she is empowered by the organisation’s ethos.
“Happy Feat gives people with special needs somewhere to shine. The impact that this group has on everyone is truly magical,” she said.
“Social skills and friendship, among other life skills are shared and encouraged as well as dancing. The community’s acceptance and response to our performances contributes significantly to the participant’s self-esteem and provides them with rich social engagement.”
Rhiannon said it was the people she met that made volunteering such a wonderful experience.
“I enjoy the fun I have with amazing people each week – feeling like I am making the smallest difference in someone’s day. I get to do something I love and give back to a community that needs it.”
A highlight at Happy Feat had being able to see how all the dancers evolve over time, she said.
They all blossom and shine after just a few weeks of coming. I feel so honoured that I get to share a little piece of their lives.”
She is most proud of the fact she took 35 dancers and their parents and careers to the Special Olympic Asia Pacific Games and perform at the opening ceremony.
“We flew everyone to Newcastle so they could experience this once-in-life time-experience. I am always incredibly proud as a dance teacher to see them performing but this one would have to be the most emotional and heart warming.”
Her advice to to anyone considering volunteering is straightforward.
“Just do it – no matter what it is, you get so much enjoyment out of helping people and being a part of a team. It adds so much fun and fulfilment to your life.”
She said the organisation felt like family now.
“You get to know everyone who walks through the door. We make time to catch up and share our experiences of the night.”