And I Climbed And I Climbed book cover
Created: 3rd May, 2024

My Heart Beats, I Dance

My Heart Beats, I Dance


In the studio on the big

shiny floor we get ready.

First on go out disco-dance leggings.

Neon yellows, pinks, oranges.

I choose lime-jelly green.


Next, we dab on silver glitter,

Get rid of shyness,

tie laces.


Our teacher claps three times

and we all move into position.

Some turn, others glide.

I push.


I have two arms,

                           two legs,

                                        four wheels.


I come here to find

new ways to move.


Out there, where other hands

hold me back, I’m called disabled.

But who decides?

Here, when we begin to move


we’re all dancers,

we’re all able.


Our teacher sats ‘life is an improvisation’.

Here feels natural free.

Here I tell my story.


I close my eyes, cast out my fingers a hundred miles, each note coverts my whole body.

I hear the squeak of pumps and I’m a dolphin, riding waves.

Soaring through the surf.

Alive in the sea.


Spin, slide, touch, turn.

Spin, slide, touch, turn.


© Stephen Lightbown from And I Climbed And I Climbed, illustrated by Shih-Yu Lin (Troika 2023)


'My Heart Beats, I Dance' by Stephen Lightbown