Lisa Welham: 12 months on

Lisa Welham has enjoyed a successful 11 year career as a professional Contemporary and Latin dancer, including 5 years with Phoenix Dance Theatre. She appeared in the movie Anna Karenina and helped teach stars of the film, Keira Knightly and Aaron Johnson, how to dance. She has also assisted choreographers on BBC's "So You Think you Can Dance" as well as assisting choreographers and performing live on "Strictly Come Dancing". Lisa was chosen to dance in the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Lisa is also a professional athlete with the WBFF (World Beauty Fashion & Fitness) and became the Diva Fitness Champion at WBFF European Championships in 2013.

In 2013 and 2014, DCD supported Lisa to undertake the Level 2 Gym Instruction, the Level 3 Personal Training with Premiere International Training, London, and the Level 1 Precision Nutrition courses. We caught up with Lisa after a year in her new career.

Photo: Lisa Welham with Olympian Louis Smith

What has the Financial Retraining Grant enabled you to do?

"It has enabled me to make a smooth transition from being a full time performer to start a new career within my second passion, being fitness."

What has been the impact of the Financial Retraining Grant?

The impact of the Financial Retraining Grant has been HUGE! As soon as I qualified as a Personal Trainer, I joined the Tabata Demo Training Team. I then got spotted to train a few celebrities for transformation DVDs and now I'm working for NBC Universal as their Fitness Brand Ambassador. Without this grant, I wouldn't have been able to make this successful transition."

What has been the biggest challenge over the last 12 months?

"The biggest challenge for me is trying to balance the remaining dance work I have with the amount of fitness work that has come my way. I could think of worse challenges though!
I cannot thank DCD enough for what they have given me. Everything was so easy and efficient. The grant is absolutely amazing for dancers like myself who are maturing and looking for another avenue. Any extra help to retrain is an absolute blessing. I am lucky to say that my second chosen career has started extremely successfully."

To find out more about how we can help you, contact Ellen Chambers, Grants and Careers Officer, on ellen@thedcd.org.uk or 020 7831 1449.

You can support a dancer like Lisa to navigate career transition through the boundless appeal