Hi! I’m Kelly and better known on Instagram as ‘The Bee’s Knees’ (or that crazy lady who danced in Tena pants). I sell positivity journals and host retreats for women. I own a dance school in Cheltenham and have written a dance curriculum for primary schools and spend time training teachers to add some fun to their PE lessons. I live with my fiancé Kevin, his daughter Evie, our son Freddie and our frenchie Eddi.
My mum suffers from Huntington’s Disease and has been battling it for 15 years now. She is my hero and I spend much of my time working on raising awareness and raising funds for the University College of London and their research. But it’s not all serious. Day to day you will find me sporting a less than Instagram mum bun while juggling working mum life and humouring anyone who will watch with my very average banter. You can come say hey @kelly_thebeesknees I would love you to join Me.
Has cancer ever cast a shadow over your life and nicked your smile?
I think everyone somehow has been affected by cancer. I have had a few friends and family face it, and each time find it difficult. The time it truly robbed my smile was when a buddy of mine the same age as me was diagnosed. He was such a fighter and never once allowed cancer to define him. He worked hard and lead a life in the way he would if it wasn’t there. He refused to let it take over him. The day I got a call to say he had lost his fight physically took my breath away. I never thought it would take him. I had it in my mind that he would live forever. Hearing his girlfriend sing Ed Sheeran’s ‘Photograph’ beside his coffin with such strength and treasured memories was one of the most emotional things I’ve ever witnessed and I would say today that although he lost his fight physically, he never ever let it take his spirit, and he gives me strength now so many times when I feel myself ready to moan about something trivial. He was incredible.
“Hearing his girlfriend sing Ed Sheeran’s ‘Photograph’ beside his coffin…was one of the most emotional things I’ve ever witnessed“
What is the biggest obstacle that gets in the way of you smiling more?
In general, I’m very much glass half full, and I tend to snap out of it if something robs my smile very quickly. Financial pressure is something that can and has got on top of me. I’m an entrepreneur and that is because I have a passion for living for my work. I never hate going to work because all my work is stuff I’ve created for myself and I feel very lucky. That said, I earn a very average wage and as a family we can often feel the pulls that we all feel from time to time when there is just not enough money there. Working for yourself means bringing in your own money. No days off or paid holiday. It’s the modern caveman equivalent to hunting for your food.
“It’s the modern caveman equivalent to hunting for your food”
I believe money doesn’t make you happy but I’m also a believer that saying money isn’t important is an empty comment. It’s up there with oxygen and water as my dad says. You can’t survive without it, but it certainly won’t make you happy. Just less twitchy come the end of the month haha
What has been your Highest High and your Lowest Low?
My highest high was without a doubt the second my baby boy Freddie was placed on my chest, covered in gross stuff but perfect in every way. Whilst I was 2 months pregnant, I tested for that awful genetic condition my poor mum has (which I had a 50% at risk of inheriting} called Huntington’s Disease. I only tested because I fell pregnant without planning too. My boy saved my life. If I hadn’t fell pregnant I don’t know if I’d have found the courage to test yet, and therefore may still be living in fear of a disease I never had. My lowest low. That’s tough. I’ve been through divorce, lost my home, almost lost my business, watched my mum be destroyed by Huntington’s Disease and feared for my own future too. I think it has to be around 12 months before I tested when I worried I had started to show signs and symptoms of HD. It caused me to become uncontrollably volatile through fear to the point that I had a physical breakdown. My partner Kevin had been washing up and not known I was in the kitchen as I had wandered in quietly. He had giggled and flippantly called me a freak; he was of course completely kidding and saying it because I made him jump.
“I had walked out the front door and stood in the street and screamed”
I had walked out the front door and stood in the street and screamed so hard I thought my lungs were going to blow out my chest before slamming the front door and losing control. Kevin had to pin me to the floor and just wait until it passed. It’s emotional to write about it to be honest. it’s something I’ve never shared. But in that moment, 13 years of fear just shot out of my body and I was inconsolable. It was then that I decided I needed to do something to get me out of that hole, I had let Huntington’s Disease consume me and I wasn’t prepared to stay that way. I think anyone who has looked the grim reaper in the eye can relate to that chest pounding feeling that you hold in sometimes. It takes incredible focus to be bigger than it. Meditation is what made me bigger than him and I will be forever grateful I found my way to it.
What helps you get out of the dark and find your smile?
“I count my blessings and I do it every single day before I go to sleep“
Comedy TV and memes. Laughing my way through tragedy has been my saviour.
Even on the day like I describe above, a quick episode of The Inbetweeners and I am feeling a little more human. There is so much to be said for those who can make us laugh. I also count my blessings and I do it every single day before I go to sleep. Gratitude isn’t something you can do once in a blue moon and expect it to work. It has to be a habit to change the way you feel.
Do you find social media to be a source of positivity or pressure?
“I think it’s so important to connect with people who inspire you“
I believe social media has the power to build you up and destroy you. I think it’s so important to connect with people who inspire you and make you feel great. There is a lot of bollocks on there, unfortunately, so it’s important to know what is BS and what’s genuine.
Who never fails to get you smiling and why?
My sister. She is the Harry to my Lloyd. The Ant to my Dec. The Howard to my Vince (if you got that last one we can definitely be friends.) I can be talking about something so depressing and she will swoop in with a funny Jim Carrey quote or crack a joke and instantly I feel better. Kevin, my fiancé is also a massive man-child and keeps the kid in me alive and kicking which is something I very much like.
What made you smile today?
A lie in! I had a lie in!
A movie that gets you cheesing?
Mrs Doubtfire. Best.film.of all.time
A song that cheers you up?
Don’t Worry, Be Happy
Find out more about Kelly and her wonderful Bee’s Knees Journals over at thebeesknees.co