This week is Learning Disability Awareness Week and the theme for 2020 is the importance of friendships during lockdown. At DanceSyndrome we are always proud of the fact that we offer a great support network to our participants and do all we can to prevent social isolation – so much so that our dancers refer to us as their “Dancing Family”. The ongoing Coronavirus situation have been tough for us all as we are usually in each other’s company so often and we love to be together but over the last 3 months we have been pulling together to support each other more than ever.
Once the decision was taken to close our weekly sessions in March, our team immediately started working on ways to maintain the vital connections that we have with our dancers. Our Dance Leaders (many of whom are people with learning disabilities) drive everything that we do and they told us they wanted to keep dancing and, as always, we were led by them.
We now have four free YouTube sessions per week:
An adult Zoom session on Wednesdays at 3pm (click here to sign up for the latest sessions!)
And an infant session led by Max, our youngest Dance Leader at just 3 years old!
Sessions are on a Wednesday morning at 10am
— Diff-Ability (@DiffAbilityCIC) June 12, 2020
DanceSyndrome has always strived to provide opportunities for people to participate in dance activities despite barriers and this lockdown provided a challenge! Our team are doing their best to help people to #CarryOnDancing and we are proud of the way we have responded to the crisis.
DanceSyndrome is about so much more though. Of course dancing is our focus, but there are so many other benefits too. Our team of dancers call themselves the “Dancing Family” because they support and love each other just like any other family. We support people with and without learning disabilities to make life-changing friendships, have relationships and live a life of their own choosing. Many of us take those things for granted, but many people with a learning disability are isolated and lonely, so we think these things are just as important as dance!
#LDWeek this year is about the importance of friendships during lockdown. We've always used #dance to help people with #LearningDisabilities to overcome #loneliness & #socialisolation. This is even more vital during #lockdown so we're offering online dancehttps://t.co/YxxnQ14nuf pic.twitter.com/IywTVzYzvi
— DanceSyndrome (@DanceSyndrome) June 15, 2020
Of course, it’s harder to support your friends and family during lockdown, but again, we are proud of how our team are reacting to the situation. They are staying in regular contact with each other and inspiring each other with photos and videos of what they have been doing, in much the same way they would face-to-face before the pandemic! Here are just a few of their fab pics and videos:
As well as inspiring and celebrating each other, they have still been working on dance projects from home to inspire and celebrate others. Everyone on the team was thrilled to be invited to celebrate our keyworkers with this great video for the #MakeitBlue campaign
We are doing our best to provide a variety of dance activities and projects to give our dancers plenty of choice about how they spend their time in lockdown in the hope that this will make this difficult time easier for them. Feedback from parents and carers tells us that they have also really benefited from their own ‘behind the scenes’ involvement. Being involved in our activities is giving individuals and their families a focus, structure to each week, taking the pressure off finding new things to do and most of all improving the ongoing, general, health and wellbeing of participants thank to having enjoyable activities to do and, most of all, staying connected with their friends.
Becky Rich’s dad Simon said “It has definitely helped me personally. I have been kept pretty busy organising and it has definitely made this difficult time for Becky so much easier and more bearable for her, keeping her happy and well balanced which necessarily, in turn, has helped give me peace of mind. Definitely a very big well done and thank you to all those organising.”
And of course, Simon has also been encouraged to join Becky in a bit of dancing! Why don’t you give it a go and see how much dancing improves your own physical and mental wellbeing too!
During Learning Disability Awareness Week, we hope our dancers have inspired you to see the positive side of life in lockdown! If you want to support us to continue to provide these life changing opportunities, there are lots of ways you can do that.
You can volunteer your time if you have skills that can help us or make a donation to support us or you can donate or fundraise using the following methods:
By Post – You can send a cheque made payable to DanceSyndrome to:
DanceSyndrome, C/O Pathways Associates,
Suite 2, Waterside, St James Court West, Accrington, Lancashire, BB5 1NA
Just Giving – you can make a donation or fundraise for DanceSyndrome at: www.justgiving.com/dance-syndrome
Facebook – you can make a donation or set up a fundraiser via Facebook – www.facebook.com/dancerleddisabilityinspired
Text message donation – to donate text DANCE to one of the following numbers:
£1 – text DANCE to 70201
£3 – text DANCE to 70331
£5 – text DANCE to 70970
£10 – text DANCE to 70191
£20 – text DANCE20 to 70191
Paypal – you can make a donation via Paypal.
Online – donate directly using the form below.