Case Studies

Below you can hear from others what dance can do to impact your life. We have many different stories from a variety of different scenarios and we are always adding more!

Working with Dance Schools to build Inclusivity

Synergy Dance Revitalise Inclusive Program with Para Dance UK

Para Dance UK is very happy to announce its partnership working with Synergy Dance, which is a mixed dance fitness program for boys and girls (infants, juniors and teens) in schools and leisure centres, for mainstream and SEND provision.

Synergy are School Engagement Partners with Active Surrey and working in partnership with Guildford Spectrum Leisure Complex and other leisure providers. They are affiliated to the Exercise Dance Movement UK where you can find their online packages for schools.

Both organisations have been working together over the last 6 months to help support and develop Synergy Dance services to provide inclusive dance for SEN and the disability community. This included supporting their dance teachers to have a stronger foundation of understanding around being inclusive and accessible to the widest community possible.

Patrick McGeough, Para Dance UK CEO, said “We have made some fantastic roads into working with Synergy Dance in showcasing how their classes can include a wide range of the community, how having a strong ethos and a clear level of understanding the community you’re working with enables more disabled people to have fun and be active”.

The hope is that this partnership can show others in the community that working with Para Dance UK, Synergy Dance instructors can set a confidence that dance can be accessible for all.

The work done so far is showing a great impact not only on the disability community but on the teachers being trained. Erin Shanks, Lead Synergy SEND Instructor said, “It has been an all-round extremely positive, rewarding and heart-warming experience and I enjoy every second, learning to adapt and fit in with the group as I teach them so that we are all included and have a good time. I feel these ever-growing skills and my capacity to be flexible and hold the class are supplement to my training with Para Dance UK”.

Rachael Hurton, Founder and Director of Synergy Dance Ltd, said: “Erin and the Synergy team are working hard to bring inclusive dance to as many children and adults as possible. Any inclusive sport or dance is extremely important to those children or teens who would otherwise not be able to participate. All children, regardless of whether they are able bodied, disabled or otherwise, deserve the opportunity to participate in dance and movement and sport. Our SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disability) classes can be liberating for children and adults who may have limited range of movement or co-ordination”.

Heather, Mum of Lucy, who attends our Synergy SEN Movement and Dance class at Guildford Spectrum Leisure Complex said, “I attended the first session with a shy child, unsure of new surroundings. The classes are ability led and fun. My daughter’s self-esteem has increased and she is happy and confident within the lesson. She ends every class telling me “dance is good”, I agree.”

Para Dance UK will continue to work with Synergy Dance in ensuring the classes they provide will enable as many disabled children as possible to be involved in dance. Synergy are also providing classes for Special Educational Needs to deliver inclusive and fun movement classes for all children, teens and adults.

If you would like to work with Synergy Dance, join their Franchise or want to see more details on the classes Synergy Dance offer, please visit their website or contact admin@synergydance.co.uk, 01483 234182.

If you would like to work with Para Dance UK to make your dance classes accessible to the disability community or if you want to hear more about the partnership between Para Dance UK and Synergy Dance, you can see more information via our website or please contact us on 0300 111 30 45 or email projects@wdsauk.co.uk.

Dancing using a wheelchair - Sean Furey

I found wheelchair dance because I was looking for a kind of dancing I could do with my partner. I'd been using a wheelchair for a year or two at the time, but had only tried dancing at ceilidhs (highly recommended!) We contacted the WDSA and found a group in Watford, which we joined.

Since joining them we have taken part in classes and workshops, been part of a demonstration in the Olympic park, and recently taken part in our first competition (ballroom and latin). We've also found a community - people with different backgrounds and disabilities coming together to enjoy dance, as well as tea, biscuits, chatting, and the occasional quiz!

Using a wheelchair hasn't been an impediment to dancing. Obviously, some moves have to be adapted - sidestepping, for example, just isn't an option - but the smooth surface of a dance floor could practically have been designed for wheels! I would encourage anyone (wheelchair user or otherwise) to give it a go - it's simply a lot of fun.

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