DanceSyndrome believes in true inclusion. We are proud to be disability led and to provide opportunities that empower our participants to focus on their abilities, rather than their disabilities. For inclusion to be successful, it is necessary to work closely with people as individuals to find out their hopes, dreams and passions and then to work to enable and empower people to fulfil their goals.
At DanceSyndrome, inclusion starts with dance, but it can be applied to so many more activities. A really good example of inclusion being put into action in all aspects of our work is the recent formation of DStreet Crew, our new street dance team.
DStreet Crew came into being after some of our regular participants voiced their opinions in a focus group. They wanted more variety in the types of dance offered to them, and in particular, they wanted to do some street dance. The DanceSyndrome team took this on board and planned a series of 6 workshops in late 2017 that would introduce participants to the basics of street dance.
The response to the sessions was incredibly positive. The participants loved the content of the sessions, and Donna Harrison the Dance Artist running the sessions was impressed with the participants’ natural talent for street dance. They worked on a short routine that would develop over the course of the 6 weeks and everyone involved had a great time. In fact, they had so much fun that they wanted the sessions to carry on into 2018!
Here is a video of them rehearsing in March 2018:
The DanceSyndrome team organised the sessions and everyone came back in January. But that wasn’t enough for the group, they wanted to perform too! They decided that they wanted to form a proper street dance crew and arrange some performances. They worked as a team to chose a name they were all happy with and then Helen Shepherd, a member of the crew, looked for performance opportunities, booking their first performance on 4th May. With this target to work towards, the group worked with DanceSyndrome project Coordinator Sarah Calderbank to develop their own logo. They were all asked for their ideas about the logo and they decided on colours, styles and fonts that they liked, finally settling on the design below:
The logo is now ready to be printed on to team t-shirts ready for that first performance in May!
We think that this is a great example of inclusion, which is why we are proudly sharing it with you during Down’s syndrome awareness week, which has a focus on why inclusion matters. Participants with and without disabilities have been working together at all stages of the development of this project, all being given equal chance to participate, to share their opinions and to influence the future of their shared team. We are incredibly proud of what they are achieving together, following a shared dream and achieving their own goals!
If you would like to read more about DanceSyndrome’s inclusive approach, you might be interested in this blog about our Select Team.
There are a wide variety of opportunities available to work with DanceSyndrome, whether you want to participate, volunteer, fundraise or book a performance/workshop. If you would like to know how we can work together, please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org