There are moments in all of our lives, which shape and direct our path unequivocally. For Donna, that moment came in early 2019. Having taken her then three year old daughter to a dance class where the girls all aged no more than five, were dressed like tiny ballerinas. Standing beautifully in a circle pointing their toes in time with the music, Donna’s daughter broke free of the circle, took to the floor stomach first and preceded to slide around singing “I’M A SLIPPERY SLUG!” at the top of her voice. As the class ended, the teacher suggested that the following week there should be “no more slippery slugs” and Donna felt crushed for her daughter.
Deciding in that moment that she would create something where children could break free of conformity, embrace their creativity and individuality and unleash their own unique slippery slug.
For over 25 years mother of one Donna Easton, Founder of LifeShine, has combined a dynamic mix of commercial nous, creative thinking and heart to carve out an impressive career which currently sees her as Head of Commercial for the world’s biggest dance event, MOVE IT. A pivotal figure in shaping, developing and growing the iconic event which sees 32,000 performers attend over a weekend, Donna is now channelling her decades of business development experience for organisations such as ITV and Disney,
into a class programme with a difference.
Raised in South East London with her parents and younger sister. An outwardly happy childhood hid trauma and childhood anxieties leading to her missing out on some of the crucial foundations that shape us in our formative years.
Donna attended a highly academic school and although bright, was once told by a teacher that she had ‘as much intelligence as a bale of hay’. Believing she was indeed academically inferior, a young Donna drifted from academic subjects and gravitated towards the artistic. Leaving school and accepting an offer on a performing arts course. It was here that she was able to express herself freely, her confidence grew and this was to be the start of a lifelong love of the arts and recognition of the
transformative power of creative expression and performance.
With first hand childhood experience of how confidence, resilience, mindfulness and an overarching healthy sense of self-worth result from play without an agenda, Donna got to work on writing the LifeShine programme to reinforce the value of play -
not just for children but for the adults who care for them;
“I wanted to find a way to make us feel better about ourselves, to love ourselves and who we are but to also bring
the joy of life right into the room.
Creating resilience, confidence and self-worth as a by-product of having fun, has to be the holy grail. I want people to play for an hour, put down their phones, connect with others, connect with their kids, connect with their parents, rediscover their inner child, laugh hysterically, dance like crazy, be light and just enjoy the fact that they are alive. My purpose is to help make lives shine. Shine brightly with their own brilliance – without an agenda!
If we can better equip our young people to navigate their way through the increasing challenges of modern life. If we can place an emphasis on prevention of anxiety and overwhelm, I believe strongly we can start to reverse the frightening widespread of
mental health problem we are facing in the West.
It’s a big dream, but one I am passionate about playing my role in.”