Rotorua dance class a chance to shine

11 September 2017 – A new mixed ability dance class in Rotorua allows people living with physical impairments or learning disabilities to get creative and express themselves through dance.

Lakes Performing Arts Company runs the hour-long weekly classes during the school term at their Hinemoa Street studios.

Managing director Rebecca Daniels says the classes provide a creative and constructive environment for people to learn from and teach one another.

“Mixed ability classes allow dancers to work together and explore different ideas and ways to be creative.”

This is the first time the company has delivered mixed ability classes. Rebecca was encouraged by the positive response to a series of fully inclusive and accessible workshops she organised earlier in the year featuring renowned dance company Touch Compass.

Rodney Bell (right) from Touch Compass Dance Company shares some creative ideas with dancers during a workshop organised by Lakes Performing Arts Company in May. Photo: supplied.

“There’s definitely a need. There are a lot of sport programmes out there for people with disability, but not many dance or creative programmes.”

Rebecca says the classes encourage participants to explore abilities and limitations and to challenge stereotypes. And, she emphasises, it’s the dancers who take the lead.

“It’s a completely creative process – they set the scene and where the dance is going to go.”

The company is also available to deliver programmes at other locations in the community.

Learn more about dance classes on their website.

This story appeared in the Spring 2017 issue of our free disability e-newsletter Infolink. Read or sign up to receive Infolink here.