Paralympics opening & closing ceremonies – Hannah

On the 29th August I went to London with my family to see the Opening of the Paralympics. It was spectacular and overwhelming because there were thousands of people surrounding us. When we got to our seats, we sat down and watched the whole show until the morning of the next day. The show was extraordinary spectacular, the dances were absolutely wonderful, so was the music, it was so beautiful and heartbreaking.

In some of the dances I saw Laura Jones, Rick Rodgers, Dave Toole, and last but not least John Kelly with his band doing the music. When I saw Laura dancing she was incredibly beautiful working with the other wheelchair users. I did see Laura at the bottom of the audience going somewhere and that was the only chance I saw her close up from our seats. When I saw Dave Toole, he touched my heart because he danced like a beautiful swan; he reminded me of that song Eva Cassidy sang ‘Fields of Gold’. When Rick Rodgers was dancing, I couldn’t believe how he would dance on stilts up in the air that beautifully.

Laura Jones also works with Stopgap as a professional dancer aka Dance Captain for the Paralympics. I work very closely with Laura when we teach dance in workshops and training when we have rehearsals with StopGap. I was working with Dave Toole before for one of Stopgap’s old rep ‘Tracking’ as guest stars. Dave Toole is one of the Acquaintances with StopGap Dance Company.

My dad had filmed everything on his video camera so we could watch it again but the close-ups though, my Mum did the same as well but she was taking photos instead. We also saw the Queen close-up to but I saw it on my Mum’s camera because we were far away from them.

On the 9th September, I went to see the Closing of the Paralympics with family friends. That was extraordinary too and overwhelming as well. The dances were amazing and wonderful, saw CandoCo dancing as well. They were amazing and it told a story throughout the piece. The artists who were there singing their songs were Rihanna, Coldplay, and Jay Z. I remembered most of the words to their songs and was dancing along when I was sitting down. The Closing finished late as well until the morning of the next morning.

If you’re interested to watch the Paralympics Opening and the Closing one more time, here are the links:



Hannah Sampson


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