Learning Disability Today
Supporting professionals working in learning disability and autism services

People with learning disabilities get dance chance

People with learning disabilities in Birmingham have the opportunity to take part in a dance project inspired by the London 2012 Games.

We Dance is a grassroots dance scheme that will see hundreds of people with a learning disability participate in dance workshops, a 2-day festival and high-profile performances in Birmingham and Coventry city centres this summer.

The project is led by learning disability charity Mencap, in partnership with Birmingham Royal Ballet, Freefall Dance Company, mac birmingham, Fox Hollies School and Performing Arts College and Midland Mencap. We Dance is part of Dancing for the Games, which is inspired by London 2012 and part of the Cultural Olympiad in the West Midlands. It has been funded by Legacy Trust UK, which is creating a lasting impact from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games by funding ideas and local talent to inspire creativity across the UK, as well as Arts Council England and Advantage West Midlands.

The project will launch with a series of workshops for people with a learning disability of all ages. The workshops will culminate in a two-day dance festival at mac birmingham on July 13 and 14, featuring performances, an exhibition, fun opportunities to try out different dance styles and more. A group of young film makers with a learning disability will also produce two Dance for Camera short films that will be screened at BBC Big Screen sites throughout the UK.

We Dance has been designed to enable people with a learning disability in Birmingham and the surrounding area to be creative, challenge perceptions and improve their health and wellbeing. There are an estimated 20,000 people with a learning disability in Birmingham.

Naomi Temple, programme manager for Dancing for the Games says: “It’s fantastic that through We Dance hundreds of people with a learning disability will have the opportunity to work with and perform alongside professional artists and connect with London 2012 in their own community. The 2-day festival at mac birmingham on July 13 and 14 is set to be a brilliant event, with performances from Freefall, the acclaimed integrated dance company Stopgap, and showcase performances by local learning disabled community groups.”

To find out more about We Dance, please visit http://www.artspider.org.uk/projects/6

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