DanceSyndrome is a small charity in Lancashire with big ideas for national impact!
The DanceSyndrome approach is a special focus on including everyone, regardless of ability and encouraging them to follow their dreams!
We provide weekly inclusive dance workshops for people with and without disabilities, as well as leadership training in line with our unique co-delivery model – people with and without disabilities work together to offer high quality provision in the community, in schools and universities and working with businesses. We also have a team of performance artists who attend regular special events and exclusive performances, again emphasising a focus on their abilities, rather than their disabilities.
We go above and beyond to provide multiple opportunities for people with disabilities to not only be included, but to become more visible citizens, have their voices heard on important issues, to follow their dreams and to succeed in their ambitions. Our work inspires and empowers both dancers and audiences to believe that opportunities are endless for people who refuse to be defined by disability.
After every success, DanceSyndrome continues to strive to achieve bigger and better opportunities for all the people involved, going far above and beyond what many other small scale dance organisations for people with learning disabilities offer. We have supported our team to perform at high profile events such as the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Enrich Festival, U.Dance Festival, the national Learning Disability and Autism Awards, several NHS conferences and Learning Disability Nurses Day at the House of Lords. They have appeared on TV several times, including on ITV's prime time National Lottery Big Surprise feature. Our dancers have won several awards, as a team and as individuals, including Learning Disability and Autism Awards (2016 & 2019), an EVA Award, a Red Rose Award, an E3 Award, a Points of Light Award from the Prime Minister and most recently a Queens Award for Voluntary Services, the voluntary group equivalent of an MBE! Our founder Jen Blackwell was featured on the Disability Power 100 List, an annual publication of the 100 most influential disabled people in the UK. DanceSyndrome Ambassador and Spokesperson Becky Rich was featured on the Learning Disability Leaders List of 60 inspiring leaders with learning disabilities.
All of these achievements have been made possible for the Dance Leaders because of the supportive, empowering, inclusive approach that is embedded in everything that DanceSyndrome does. People who were previously isolated, lacking community interaction, without hope of a future career are now thriving in what they describe as their "dancing family", learning new skills, performing, travelling, winning awards and ultimately challenging the way that society sees them and their futures. This is all because the DanceSyndrome ethos is to do everything possible to ensure that everyone is included and supported to take part in a way that is meaningful to them. Through this approach, people with learning disabilities are empowered to aspire, achieve and progress in a way that people without learning disabilities often take for granted.
Funding from Spirit of 2012 and The National Lottery Community Fund has allowed DanceSyndrome to grow significantly over the last three years. A social replication project with two partnership organisations is currently testing potential for expanding DanceSyndrome's community provision outside its current operational area of Lancashire and Greater Manchester. DanceSyndrome has big ambitions for the future, constantly striving to grow and offer more opportunities to participants. Business funding will be a key part of this future growth, which is why we hope that you can support us through Work For Good.