Ben, 33, is just an ordinary teacher from London doing something extraordinary. In October, Ben will be attempting to break the World Record for the longest ever uninterrupted dance ever (125 hours over 5 days) in central London. To prepare, he’s dancing his way through the whole of Glastonbury Festival with the likes of Beyonce, U2 and Cee Lo Green and he wants to invite everyone going to Glastonbury to be free to dance with him.
"I'm really excited about getting the chance to dance through the Glastonbury Festival. It's the world's greatest music festival bar none (and with music comes dancing), the atmosphere is just so special... so I can't wait to dance free with everyone there in the build-up to my world record. I'm getting seriously nervous as it approaches... but if all goes to plan it'll help get me in shape, test me to the limit, spread the word about the world record, and help raise awareness about the situation in Burma."
Ben has visited the festival before and knows what an amazing crowd it draws, so he’s set himself the target of busting some moves with 14,000 people during three days- ten percent of the entire Glastonbury Festival population. But he’s just a little nervous about what dancing non-stop will mean for his body and his mind:
“So far my maximum dance has been 36 hours, so I’m attempting to double that at Glastonbury. Add in the famous mud, the unforgiving weather and the toilet queues and just quite how I’ll get to the end on Sunday I don’t know.”
And for those who doubt his dancing feat is possible, he carries a substantial dancing pedigree: in April he became the first person ever to dance (albeit badly, in 9 hours) the London Marathon.
Ben became passionate about Burma after spending a year teaching in a refugee camp on the border five years ago. With Free to Dance, Ben is asking everyone– no matter whether they can or cannot dance – will join him in using their freedom to support those in Burma with none. Free to Dance aims to raise over £150,000 for LearnBurma, the registered educational charity Ben has founded to open a million eyes to the situation in Burma over the next five years.
Notes for Editors
About FREE TO DANCE
Free to Dance sees ordinary 33 year-old teacher Ben Hammond attempt something extraordinary to raise awareness of the situation in Burma – a new world record for the longest dance in the world: 131 hours, over 5 days. It takes place live at an incredible public location on the banks of the river Thames, London’s iconic amphitheatre The Scoop at More London, from 11th to 16th October.
Yet the event is more than one person’s incredible endurance challenge: people can join Ben during the record for a 4-hour mini dance-marathon of their own, raising vital funds for charity and turning the event into the world’s biggest ever silent disco. It’s about thousands of people, from builders and bankers to barristas and ballerinas, dancing free to whatever makes them move – bollywood, ballroom, ballet, or breakdance; everything and everyone is included.
For more see http://www.glastodancer.com and www.free2dance.com
Ben is a teacher (having taught for 3 years in Deptford, south-east London), teacher trainer and community organiser who spent a year teaching in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border in 2004-2005. Since then he’s been trying to work out how to use his skills and freedom to support those he met during that year - and the result is LearnBurma, his registered charity (number 1139662) dedicated to opening young people’s eyes to the situation in Burma.
Since coming up with the Free to Dance idea 10 months ago, Ben's preparation has seen him dance with hundreds of people, dance across the UK from John o'Groats to Land's End, and become the first ever person to dance the London Marathon.
# # #
Our Free to Dance mission is to break the world record for the longest ever dance marathon by an individual - 130+ hours non-stop - and in the process raise up to £1million for a free Burma education programme, LearnBurma (registered charity number 1139662).
Dancing badly. But freely.