DanceSyndrome: an inclusive arts organisation

Every now and again at Lancaster DClinPsy, we take a chance on offering some particularly innovative teaching sessions within the Physical Health and Cognitive Development (PhysCog) strand. This year, we invited Dance Syndrome to facilitate a session for the 2012 cohort, within the learning disability block.

DanceSyndrome is an inclusive arts organisation that enables learning disabled individuals to access high quality leadership and development opportunities in order that individuals with learning disabilities can be more active and visible citizens. By using dance as a vehicle for change, DanceSyndrome provides creative, cultural and social opportunities that increase physical health and personal well-being create enjoyable and meaningful opportunities to increase life chances.

Sue, Michael and Peter are all from Dance Syndrome:

Sue writes

DanceSyndrome is an eye opener. I feel hugely privileged to see DanceSyndrome evolve and develop from the inside. Every time I witness our Dance Leaders working as leaders individually or developing work or thoughts together they appear more confident, more committed, more independent and focused – in fact more ‘their own person’. Why is this important? Because every Dance Leader has learning disabilities where it is not always the case that people are respected and embraced for who they are. This is a travesty in the 21st century when we talk about personalisation, an inclusive society, valuing people. Sadly people with learning disabilities are still some of the most marginalised in society.

Michael writes

I used to be challenging by being a bit giddy and disruptive, attention seeking. I found it hard to concentrate round others due to a new environment, getting to know new people and being unsure of myself in new situations.

Now I am a Dance Leader who likes to show and be shown respect and new dance moves that can be fun and challenging. I like fast and slow moves and getting everyone up to have a go at dancing in their own style and being a dance leader I am always trying to make sure I am there when people need help. If the routine is too hard I will try to make it easier by changing the style. The music I like to play in my workshops are kind of Spanish to make it jolly and if people want a song of their choice I will download it for them so they can have it on for the next workshop that I lead.

Peter writes

Before DanceSyndrome I was not confident to speak in front of people and my speech was not clear and I would not go outside of Manchester like to Chorley, Preston, Wigan, London, Birmingham and sleep away from home. It was difficult to form friendships and to express myself.

In DanceSyndrome we do workshops in the Northwest like Wigan, Stockport, Eccles in a fun and safe environment. It is a good way to meet new people and build up your confidence and express yourself through dance.