Reach Out and Reveal Update | Dec 2017

Reach Out and Reveal has been up and running in our two partner schools for almost a school term now.  The artists have observed and really got to know and understand the children and young people they are working with. Now as they are leading sessions you can really start to see them connecting with and engaging the students.

On Wednesday 15th November for the first time we were able to bring all the teachers and dance artists together for a meeting at Sherwood Hill School.  It was amazing to hear about all the successes we are already starting to see in such a short space of time.

What the dance artists say:

Hetel Gokal

The Post-16 Learners at Sherwood Hill School have shown increased levels of engagement and participation since the start of the project in September.  They are displaying greater social awareness and are following instructions.  The activities are aimed at increasing their body awareness and mobility as well as giving them an opportunity to build their stamina.  They love the variety of South Asian music and the more advanced class is responding well to the use of pulse and rhythm. There has been a lot of adaptation to meet the needs of each learner and the feedback so far from the school has been very favourable.

Priyanka Chauhan

As this is a research project, the schools and Akademi are very supportive in the artists being creative in their approach and trialling the best ways we can reach the students. We are only in our first school term with the students and the school staff have already noted changes in their students which is wonderful to hear! As one of the emerging artists I am gaining a wealth of knowledge from this first-hand experience of using South Asian Dance with children on the Autistic spectrum and through the other artists on the team.

Anusha Subramanyam

Reach Out and Reveal is an important project for the South Asian dance sector.  It raises so many questions about how our beautiful artform can help unlock hidden potential in children and young people on the autistic spectrum.

I hope this project can inspire a new generation of South Asian dance artists to be excited about inclusive dance practice and that it will enrich all elements of their work.

Every Wednesday is a joyous day working with young people with severe ASD, their teachers and teaching assistants, dancing, planning, reflecting and questioning.  I find it very rewarding to share this journey with other South Asian dance artists.

Reach Out and Reveal is supported by Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

This initiative places South Asian dancers ‘in residence’ at schools for young people with Special Educational Needs.

Contact: Joe West @ Akademi

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