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Trust’s Service Manager dances her way to silver at European Same-Sex Dance Championship 2017

12 Sep 2017

Penny Johnson, Service Manager of the Home Ward Ealing service at West London Mental Health NHS Trust, recently represented Great Britain at the European Same-Sex Dance Championships in Berlin and won a silver medal in the ‘C Senior Ballroom’ category.

Penny has worked as a Service Manager for Home ward Ealing since October 2015. Home ward Ealing is an integrated immediate care service that helps people during a period of severe or sudden illness, or when they have been discharged from a general hospital, so they can recover and remain well at home.

Penny recalls her dad teaching her to waltz as a child, but it wasn’t until her 30s that she developed an interest in dancing, starting with line dancing and moving onto Ballroom and Latin. Initially, dancing was a social activity for Penny, but she took an interest in same-sex dancing as a way of connecting with the LGBT community. In 2003, she began competing in same-sex dance competitions.

In addition to winning a silver medal at the European Same-Sex Dance Championship, Penny was in the final of other categories. She placed sixth in B Senior Latin, fourth in C Open Latin, fourth for the Senior 10-Dance event and fourth in the team show dance event. Reflecting on her result, Penny said: “I love the buzz and atmosphere of a competition, but mostly, I just love to dance.

“After the demands of my job, dancing gives me a chance to unwind. As someone working in the NHS, it is very important to me that I pursue activities outside of my day job that keep me happy, healthy and connected with the LGBT community. Same-sex dancing has helped me in so many ways, and I am now proud to be part of a large international same-sex dance family that promotes inclusion, visibility and equality.”

Following her silver medal win at the European Same-Sex Dance Championship this year, Penny will compete in the Gay Games 2018 in Paris.

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