Dancestars in Sheffield offers opportunities to dance to children and young people with learning disabilities. Participants learn dance routines to pop songs, exercise and socialise.
Funding of £1,610 from the Grant Thornton Community First Endowment Fund and the Grant Thornton Grassroots Endowment Fund for South Yorkshire has enabled Dancestars to fund tutor and venue costs for its classes.
Recently, dance activities in Sheffield for children and young people with learning disabilities have stopped running, so a group of parents came together to ensure that there was still something available. That is how Dancestars was created.
Our most recent additions to the group include a 16 year old and a 6 year old with a dual diagnosis of Down’s syndrome and autism. People travel from across the city in rush hour traffic because the provision meets their needs, and there aren’t enough services like this for our children.
Increased confidence is one of the most apparent things in the group, especially after their opportunity to perform at the Octagon in front of an audience. One of our group had a particularly bad breakdown a couple of years ago and Dancestars has really helped her come out the other side of it. Her co-ordination, co-operation and communication have all increased massively over the last few months.
Her mother, who doesn’t see her dance often was overwhelmed when she saw her dance at the Octagon. She couldn’t believe that her daughter was a key part of the group, well co-ordinated and with a distinct role.
The friendships that exist within the group will last a lifetime and hopefully so will their love of dancing
Nicolette Chowdry, Dancestars’ secretary
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