MacIntyre, a charity for people with learning disabilities and/or autism, has announced it will be partnering with DanceSyndrome to deliver accredited Dance Leader training and dance classes.

DanceSyndrome is a Lancashire-based charity that aims to empower people with learning disabilities through inclusive dance. Their founder and Creative Director, Jen Blackwell, who has Down’s syndrome, set up the charity in 2009 when she realised how difficult it was to find dance training that was appropriate and inclusive.

All dance activity at DanceSyndrome is led by people with learning disabilities and hopes to give people, regardless of ability, confidence, respect, value and self-belief through the power of dance.

Jen Blackwell, Founder Director of DanceSyndrome

Jen Blackwell, Founder and Director of DanceSyndrome

Local dance classes will start in Spring 2022

‘Dance by Example’ is DanceSyndrome’s unique leadership training course which enables people with learning disabilities to gain the skills and confidence to co-deliver dance workshops and take on the role of Dance Leader.

With their new partnership, MacIntyre will now train people to become Dance Leaders who will run dance classes in several different areas across the country, including Milton Keynes, Oxford, Warrington and Worcestershire.

The Dance Leader training will start with immediate effect, with the aim of starting local dance classes in Spring 2022.

A “fantastic opportunity” for people with learning disabilities

Sarah Burslem, MacIntyre’s CEO said: “We are delighted to be working more closely with Dance Syndrome, an organisation we have long admired. The Dance Leader training is a fantastic opportunity for people who draw on MacIntyre’s support to develop their leadership skills and to share their love of dance with local people in local places.”

DanceSyndrome Managing Director Julie Nicholson said that everyone at Dance Syndrome is “delighted” to be working with MacIntyre.

“We love to work in partnership with other like-minded organisations and we know this franchise pilot will be a huge success!” she added.