16 April 2019
Accessing pathways to training for young disabled dancers
Springboard 2019 took place at the University of Bedfordshire on Saturday 23rd February. More than 100 people, including ISTD members from across Europe, were in attendance for our bi-annual event, which this year focussed on accessing pathways to training for disabled young dancers with the day beginning with Imogen Aujla (University of Bedfordshire) sharing the details of the findings from the ISTD research project, which took place throughout 2018.
Joining Imogen during the morning were some of the pupils and the teachers who have been involved in the research project, which focussed on Imperial Classical Ballet, Modern Theatre and Modern Ballroom and Latin dance.
The afternoon’s programme was split into three parts, the first being two practical workshops led by Erica Moshman of Magpie Dance, accompanied by a live musician, introducing participants to the methods they use to engage and enable all participants to access dance. The second workshop, this time from ParaDance UK, looked at the process of teaching inclusive dance by allowing participants to experience different styles of teaching and adaptation.
The workshops were then followed by two panel discussions, the first shared thoughts and experiences related to disabled young dancers accessing vocational training and was chaired by Imogen with contributions from Charlotte Derbyshire from Candoco, Emma Redding from Trinity Laban, Kim Hutt from The Place and Laura Jones from Stopgap Dance Company. The second discussion was chaired by Stopgap Dance Company’s Sho Shibata, with contributions from international ISTD Members Astrid Gollcher, Gemma Summerscales-Heard, Natasa Georgiou and Tina Rogers, who shared their experiences, current dance practices, aims, challenges and ambitions for inclusive dance.
The final part of the day’s programme was held in the theatre, with an inspirational set of performances from Cando2, Magpie Dance, Orpheus Performance Dance Group and SG Troop.
Thank you to everyone who attended and contributed to making the day so successful, with special thanks going to the University of Bedfordshire for the generous use of their facilities.
Please visit our Resources section to read Accessing Pathways to Training for Young Disabled Dancers, a research report by Imogen Aujla PhD.