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Group encourages people with disabilities to take to the floor

DANCE FLOOR From left, support worker Bridget Quint, Martin Douglas and support worker Jackie Corp. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (14108-6)

DANCE FLOOR From left, support worker Bridget Quint, Martin Douglas and support worker Jackie Corp. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (14108-6)

 

Giving people with disabilities the chance to express themselves, a dance group is looking forward to the future.

Chance to Dance, based in Fareham, meet every Monday afternoon so the members can learn different routines.

The group has been running for 20 years and was started when a need for such a group was expressed in the community.

Teacher, Jo Hancox, took over three years ago and helps the members learn routines for their performances.

So far, they have performed at Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard and the New Theatre Royal.

The group has also taken on film projects interpreting the story line through dance.

Committee member and dancer, Christina Corp, said the group is a great way for members to express themselves.

The 27-year-old has been going to Chance to Dance for four years after she was involved in a horrific car accident that left her with severe brain damage.

But she hasn’t let this stop her and she is an active member of the group.

‘I think Chance to Dance is fantastic and it is great to see how much it helps the other members,’ Christina said.

‘You can see on their faces how happy they get to be able to express themselves with the music.

‘More people should know about the group because it is a lot of fun and everyone is so friendly. There isn’t any other group like this in the area so it’s a unique opportunity.’

During their sessions, which are held at St John the Evangelist church hall, on Upper St Michael’s Grove, the group dance in partners using the full space of the hall.

The routines are suitable for those in wheelchairs or with limited movement.

Anthony Ridgway, a dancer and chairman, said: ‘I think the members enjoy the sessions because they like dancing with able-bodied dancers as well as with others with disabilities.

‘I think that dancing is a way to show the world that people who have disabilities can be positive.’

He added that the dancers come along because it is a fun way to exercise their bodies and it makes them more aware of where they are spatially in relation to others.

 

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