DanceSyndrome in Edinburgh 2017

Sarah Calderbank is the Project Coordinator for DanceSyndrome’s Spirit of 2012 funded project. Her role involves promoting the charity and recruiting people to our workshops and training courses, as well as organising and attending performance at events. Here she writes about how valuable audience feedback is to DanceSyndrome and shares some of the amazing comments that came from the Edinburgh Fringe audiences.


One of the biggest challenges I face on a daily basis in my job is doing justice to the work of our incredible dancers and adequately showing the true value of their work. Anyone who has ever seen the dancers perform or attended one of our activities at a special event will understand that with DanceSyndrome “seeing is believing”. It is incredibly difficult to put into words how the show makes you feel, even video doesn’t truly capture that special feeling or atmosphere that you feel when you are in the room with the performers.


Yet that is my job, to convince people that DanceSyndrome produce events worth watching and that we are creating something special which deserves investment for the future. So how on earth do I come close to demonstrating the magic of dance on paper? Well this is where feedback comes in. The comments that people share with us at DanceSyndrome events are so incredibly valuable. When people are caught in that moment and asked for their feelings, they often give thoughts that are honest and heartfelt. They capture the moment in a way that I can’t; because I know and love this charity, I believe in what we do and I am so heavily involved in it, I can’t give an unbiased opinion anymore.


I knew when we signed the contract for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival shows that this was a really significant event in DanceSyndrome’s story. I knew it was a great news opportunity, that the dancers would have the time of their lives and that we would all come home incredibly proud. What I found harder to predict was the audience response. Selling tickets for an event from 300 miles away is a challenge and it was hard to gauge how successful we would be at selling seats at our shows. I should never have worried though, our amazing team were out on the streets meeting people and handing out flyers and as Becky Rich told me after the first show, it was amazing how positive people were and how eager they were to speak to our dancers. We sold over 80% of our tickets and, crucially, we got feedback forms back from most of the people who attended the shows. Not only had our dancers gone to Edinburgh and successfully sold those shows, but the feedback shows that they challenged perceptions, they inspired people and they made people feel happy. This feedback is the icing on the cake for our team. It’s a wonderful feeling to hear that people we don’t even know are affected by our art and believe in what we do! (Picture: Becky Rich is interviewed on the Royal Mile by a journalist from Humans of the Fringe to promote the shows)


I hope that by sharing these comments we can give an idea of what it is like to see a DanceSyndrome show to people who have never experienced it, and for those who have, we hope they evoke that special feeling you get when you see such a special performance!


Audience Feedback on Orbit at Edinburgh Fringe


Amazing performances, great to see an integrated group. Thank you!

I loved your performance!

It was both beautiful and inspiring and deserves to be seen by a much bigger audience.

Absolutely beautiful performance! Loved the partnering between ALL dancers, with absolutely no discrimination at all!

Good luck! I hope to perform with you!

Found it so inspiring. The vulnerability and strength shown was just beautiful…. Such a spectrum of themes and feelings expressed. Very poignant.

I think it’s amazing this company exists. Giving equal opportunities and chances to everyone. I’ve always felt the attitude of the performing arts industry, regarding disability and appearance needs to change – and you guys are making that happen. WELL DONE!

Disabled people can lead a full life with proper and appropriate support from able bodied people and also their disabled peers.

So heart-warming and beautiful, you could feel the love from everyone on stage. Easily one of the best performances I’ve ever seen.

This was such a beautiful performance. Thank you for opening my eyes.

Brilliant performance. Absolutely beautiful.

Absolutely amazing, reduced me to tears, well done fantastic performance.

It was beautiful and inspiring. Thank you!

Thank you it was wonderful .

Brilliant performance, very inspiring I would love to see more.

I’m not sure if the dancers followed the programme, but the one I now think of as the “lad dance” was truly lovely.

My Son (31) has cerebral palsy and went to a wonderful performing arts college The Orpheus centre, in Surry for young people with disabilities. We have witnessed amazing performances by these able individuals. Your show was another one thank you.

This is INCLUSION. A very professional performance, incredibly moving and the enjoyment for the performers is evident. It really needs a far bigger audience. Well done!


As good as any of the other dance I’ve seen at the fringe.

The performance was extremely moving and amazingly put together, seeing how happy each member of the cast was made it even more incredible. Keep doing what you’re doing! Love all of you.

Loved the show, well done pity it’s not longer!

It was amazing and we really, really enjoyed the performance.

I love that there was humour, sexuality hetro & LGBT. The girl in the wheelchair sparkled. Thank you for the show.

This sort of work is greatly needed. The expression of joy in the eyes of the girl in the wheelchair gave me a feeling of joy also.

This piece was so beautiful and incredibly moving. So impressive! Well done.

My daughter (Down’s syndrome) loved it and clapped enthusiastically.



If you would love to see DanceSyndrome perform, keep up to date with our upcoming events via our Facebook and Twitter pages. We’d love to see you at one of our events!

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