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Transforming the landscape for inclusive dance

Transforming the landscape for inclusive dance

Parable Dance in Brighton is breaking barriers and transforming the landscape for inclusive dance and performance.

This year, they have formed a partnership with National Youth Ballet, co-designed inclusive ballet teaching methods, and were finalists in the Sussex Sport & Physical Activity Awards 2023.

Parable Dance delivers weekly inclusive dance classes in Brighton for children and adults with learning disabilities, ad-hoc dance projects and workshops across Sussex, and training, mentoring and consultancy worldwide for others wishing to specialise in this area.

Co-founder Natasha Britton said: “Being shortlisted in the Sussex Sports & Physical Activity Awards was a huge highlight for us this year.

“It is wonderful to get recognition for the work we’re doing.

“Project highlights for 2023 include a summer course and performance with National Youth Ballet, performances in Lets Dance at The Dome and Dance Active at the Brighton Centre. 

“We also formed a new steering committee made up of seven dancers with disabilities from around the country, who meet and shape the decisions and direction of the company.”

So what do they have planned for 2024?

“We’re excited to be continuing our partnership with National Youth Ballet into 2024,” explains Natasha. 

“This will include two exciting performances at Sadler’s Wells in February and September. 

“We have plans for 2024 to launch a new national online resource for inclusive dance and to continue running our national mentoring programme and two networks as well as our Brighton-based weekly classes. 

“We’ve also joined several steering groups to support change-making across the industry and are pleased to be part of important conversations which champion the rights and work of dancers with disabilities.”

 This past year, Parable Dance has taught 323 dance classes in Sussex to 793 children and 189 adults with learning disabilities, plus 311 of their parents/carers.

When asked what is the best thing about Parable Dance, Luke, a dancer with Parable Dance, said: It’s really open and it’s about everyone and different disabilities. Everyone can shine.”

Another dancer, Adam, said: “Probably getting to know everybody and dancing with new people. Having professional dance teachers makes everyone want to dance.”

So why does Natasha do what she does?

“I have been working as a freelance practitioner in inclusive dance since 2000,” she explains. 

“The many inspiring companies, colleagues and participants I have worked with have played a huge part in shaping my practice and continue to be the reason I do what I do. 

“I love to offer support for voices to be heard, to carve out opportunities to succeed and to challenge socially embedded assumptions about what people with disabilities can achieve.”

For more information about Parable Dance, visit parabledance.co.uk

A group of young peple holding hands as part of a dance class
Young people enjoying a Parable Dance class
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