icandance – empowering children and young people through dance and performance

Denicia in wheelchair dancing at icandance session north London

icandance is a creative, therapeutic community that celebrates and empowers disabled children and young people, aged 4 to 25 years old, through dance and performance.

Many children with disabilities are unable to attend mainstream dance classes due to their level of learning, physical, social, and emotional needs requiring specialised support, so icandance’s weekly programmes (Thursdays and Saturdays) provide dance accessibility for all which enrich lives, connect communities, and celebrates difference.

The icandance intensive sessions

These intensive sessions are tailored to the needs of each dancer and their trained team of therapists and disability specialists support each child and young person to explore how their body moves and feels, enabling them to create connections and discover their potential. Their distinctive approach incorporates elements from Dance Movement Psychotherapy, traditional dance teaching methods and Special Educational Needs techniques.

All lead facilitators are skilled Dance Movement Psychotherapists.

Benefits of Dance

Boy with green scarf dancing at icandance sessionThe benefits of dance are universal, but they are especially powerful for young people with disabilities. Dance offers opportunities to experience the wonder of creativity, the freedom of expression and the joy of social connection. It improves:

  • physical fitness
  • gross motor skills
  • stress and anxiety
  • imagination and creativity
  • expression of thoughts and feelings without words
  • friendships
  • confidence
  • new skills development.

Working with SEND schools and colleges

icandance has been working successfully with multiple SEND schools and colleges, delivering weekly therapeutic group sessions and they welcome referrals as well as can be commissioned to work with a school and organise sessions based on the school’s needs. They can also deliver informative talks, presentations and performances along with some of their young ambassadors and dancers to discuss activities and impact further.

What does icandance offer?

  • Affordable weekly dance classes and other events staffed by expert dance therapists, artists, special needs support workers and committed volunteers, working with dancers on a 1-to-1 or 1-to-2 basis in a fun, nurturing and safe environment
  • Their dancers have the opportunity to take part in an annual performance to experience the joy of being celebrated and applauded
  • Family events and discos
  • SEN school dance therapy projects tailored to the needs of each school and the students
  • Young Ambassadors group
  • Weekly dance sessions/workshops, social groups and after-school clubs at special needs schools
  • Individual dance movement psychotherapy sessions
  • Training programmes for other organisations and dance companies to share the icandance ethos and promote inclusive dance practice
  • Parent therapy groups

Click here to find out more about icandance

icandance from John Lyon’s Charity on Vimeo.

 

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