Nine year old Sam attends artsNK’s inclusive dance sessions in North Hykeham and Lincoln.
About the programme: artsNK’s inclusive dance classes provide young people (aged 8 – 18) with disabilities with an opportunity to enjoy moving to music in a fun and safe environment, allowing them to feel more empowered within their communities and enjoy an increased level of wellbeing. Classes take place at One NK, North Hykeham, Yarborough Leisure Centre, Lincoln, Castle Sports Complex, Spalding and Geoff Moulder Leisure Centre, Boston. The sessions are open to all with learning and physical disabilities, and cover a variety of styles, genres and movement explorations to encourage and develop co-ordination, mobility and fun.
The project is run in partnership with Transported and funded through a grant from Lincolnshire County Council’s Short Break Scheme.
We spoke to Sam’s parents about the sessions:
Why did you decide to come along to the sessions?
Dance is something that Sam has always gravitated towards, but we have never found a group that we could trust to incorporate him previously, and didn’t want him to be on the sidelines. So it was great to find something that caters for children with a disability.
How has attending the group benefitted Sam?
This group gives him independence to have an hour away from us. It has also helped give us the confidence to let him have a bit more independence outside of this. Since starting the dance group we have sent him to a mainstream beavers group, so it was a stepping stone for us in that way.
He is very energetic, so its good to have structured activity such as this to use his energy. He’s had issues with balance and body control, but since starting the classes there is a noticeable difference in awareness of what his body is doing (doesn’t bounce of things quite as much!) He loves the classes and enjoys socialising with the other young people who come. He also adores Emma the class teacher.
What is the best thing about the group from your and Sam’s point of view?
It’s nice that the group is really diverse, but it is really well managed and Emma finds the common ground amongst a lot of different children with different conditions. Emma uses what the children are interested in to engage them in the class – so with Sam she incorporates Troll music.
Sam loved doing the 11 Million Reasons Performance in Spalding. This was a really big thing for him –he is normally scared of enclosed dark spaces like a theatre, but he really enjoyed this and he still talks about it a lot now. Aside from the performance Sam’s favourite thing is the balls, the foil and the creative bits – where everyone acts out a story, like putting on their boots and going out in the snow.