About State of FLUX
Ludus Dance ran a project to help make a difference for children and young people affected by severe mental health issues in the Lancaster area, funded by BBC Children in Need in 2016. Seventeen year-old Lexi was one of the young people with anorexia, at The Junction CAHMS Tier 4 mental health unit, for whom the State of FLUX project brought positive change.
Through State of FLUX, professional dance, music and film artists worked with Lancashire Care Foundation NHS Trust’s in-patient assessment and treatment unit for 13 to 18 year-olds, over 12 weeks.
- A safe creative outlet was provided for young people experiencing severe and distressing thoughts, feelings and emotions.
- They experienced how the arts can help to explore identity and individuality and also learned the basics of filmmaking, music and dance.
Lexi explains the impact this had on her:
“I don’t remember too much about hospital now, because what we did with Ludus Dance helped me overcome all the depressing memories, and left me remembering all the good things that happened in the project. Jenny, Lee and Natasha would come in on weigh days. These were very difficult days, but the team from Ludus Dance being there helped me focus on something that was positive.
Socialising became a new focus. I got to know the other people in the unit better. It gave us something different to talk about, other than about hospital and why we were there. Jenny, Lee and Natasha were really lovely, weren’t pushy, and I wasn’t made to do it. Being given a choice was very different from everything else that was going on around me at the time. We did fun things like making vines from animation models. I’d always wanted to do that and it was something I was proud of.
At a time when I had no emotion, it made me feel. I’d lost all interest in things too but I suddenly remembered I had talents. The best part was recording my song and making a video for it. I’d written Where did the fight go? about my relapse and I asked if I could record it. Lee said we could and that made me so happy because I wanted to be able to let people know how I felt. The Ludus Dance people were so committed, staying behind and putting in extra time to help me do this, and helping me redo things until I felt it was good enough.
My friends said it was really good and that motivated me. My song helped to motivate and inspire others on the project too. One girl was really shy but did a dance performance to my music on another video. Another wouldn’t even sing in front of us but ended up recording a cover of her own, and eventually started singing with us in hospital after Ludus Dance left.
It gave us something other than being ill. When one person got down, everyone got down. It was contagious, so this made it less depressing and worth existing. It was a reminder that I could do things and the motivation I needed to want to get out of hospital.
At the end, there was a sharing of the work we’d taken part in. It was great for our parents to see something we were proud of. And it was great for our parents to meet other parents who were going through the same things.
It was nice. It was cool. I felt privileged to be a part of it.
Take a look at Lexi’s video Where did the Fight Go? made at State of FLUX
At a glance… State of FLUX:
helped Lexi to have a positive focus, especially on weigh days
helped her to reconnect with her feelings
gave her a sense of pride and motivation to get out of hospital