This Ballarat psychologist knew entering Dancing with our Stars would be a challenge, but after four weeks of rehearsals she has a whole new appreciation.
Ellen Jackson, leadership program lead at the Ballarat Foundation and Potential Psychology owner, is preparing a swing waltz with partner Brent Thomas, a long-time Dancing with our Stars expert.
"Brent is very experienced and has been very patient," Ms Jackson said.
"I did classical ballet as a little girl, a few little things are the same like the position of the arms but it has been 35 years since I have done a ballet class.
"It is a lot more technical than I imagined, a lot to remember and focus on."
Working in a health field, colleagues and friends have spoken to her about how beneficial partner dancing can be to someone's overall health and now she is getting a first hand experience of why dancing is so helpful.
"In terms of just remembering things and then there are the physical, social and musical aspects which are all good for your health."
Ms Jackson said working with the Ballarat Foundation is something she has enjoyed doing for a number of years.
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"I have an interest in personal philanthropy and I was interested in how to help.
"I am a big supporter and advocate for the Foundation so any way to help them I would not have said no."
Ms Jackson said it was important to her that she helps support Ballarat residents who face challenges such as homelessness, food insecurity or who need assistance with youth support services.
She also said hitting a milestone birthday this year pushed her to be spontaneous.
"I am a firm advocate that if you have a tiny inkling to do something you should follow that instinct," Ms Jackson said.
"Trying something new is great for your mental health, even if it is scary at first."
Ms Jackson is running two workshops about thriving at work after the pandemic as part of her fundraising efforts for the Ballarat Foundation.
These will be held on May 26 and June 2 between 9am and 10:30am.
She said after so many disruptions over the last few years, many workers are seeing this time as a reset.
"The first workshop is about what it means to thrive," Ms Jackson said.
The second workshop will be a week later and will focus on what the end of the pandemic means for leaders in the workplace.
Ms Jacksion said she will be looking at "how we design a workplace for the future".
She explained both workshops are designed to be practical.
Donations can be made at www.ballaratfoundation.org.au
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