Participants from Hay Lane School worked with Akademi dance practitioners for three days at Waterman’s Arts Centre to explore their unique responses to dance and music.
The young people we worked with have a range of learning and physical disabilities. Supported by the John Lyons Trust, this project aimed to reach out to young people and give them the opportunity to experience professional performing arts activities.
As well as developing creative natural responses to artistic stimuli, the group developed their awareness of dance and enhanced their range of communication skills.
The workshops were based around expressive movement, led by artists trained in ballet, contemporary dance and Indian/South Asian music (mainly tabla). Importantly, the partner school had some key aims and expectations for the project: improving social awareness, improving speaking and listening skills, building confidence, and improving motor skills and co-ordination.
The artists worked with themes which they could keep simple or extend; props were used to provide a focus for participants. Teachers commented that participants became much more physically expressive during the sessions and that there was a very relaxed and encouraging atmosphere throughout the project.