Jen Blackwell and Becky Rich are the best of friends. They share a passion for dance and spend many hours enjoying each other’s company. But they are not just the best of friends, they are a force for good, challenging perceptions and trying to make the world a better place, using dance as their weapon of choice!
Jen and Becky were brought together through DanceSyndrome. The charity was founded by Jen and her mum Sue Blackwell in 2009 after 10 years of unsuccessfully searching for suitable training to enable Jen to become a community Dance Leader. Jen, who happens to have Down’s syndrome, had attended mainstream school but could not find mainstream dance training that could accommodate a person with a learning disability. During the search for training, Jen and Sue had met many other people with disabilities in similar situations and they were inspired to do something to make the world of community dance more accessible. The charity now runs community dance workshops, leadership training, professional performances and much more.
After working together for 4 years now, Jen and Becky are on a mission to break down barriers and create opportunities for anyone who wants to follow their dreams and maximise their potential.
Both Jen and Becky are confident public speakers and they are passionate about disability rights. In 2017 they travelled to many high profile events across the UK to talk about how DanceSyndrome has empowered them and how they want to challenge perceptions of disabled people and see more opportunities for inclusion. Their speeches combined with emotional dance performances have a huge impact on audience members. Seeing is believing and Jen and Becky both demonstrate that disability doesn’t have to be a barrier; people of all ages and abilities can follow their dreams with the right support. They truly demonstrate how we can all walk the walk, not just talk the talk when it comes to diversity by creating inspiring leaders through inclusion.
“I thought this was an amazing, powerful session! I took away a very strong learning message relating to the possibilities that are open to us when we are all included.”
“When attending an awards ceremony, the last thing I expected was to be stunned by disabled dancers. Thank you for being you!”
“This visit totally changed my perception of people with learning disabilities.”
Are you inspired?
If you would like Jen and Becky to perform at your event, please contact us for more information about availability, costs and the content of the performance that you require.
You can email our team on firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us by phone on the following numbers:
Dawn: 07875 128015
Sarah: 07597 942494
DanceSyndrome can also offer other dance performances, ranging from 5 minute solos, to full group performances of up to 45 minutes.