Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting OXFORD NEWS to 80360 or email us
Top dance group is making new moves
AN AWARD-WINNING dance group that brings disabled and able-bodied young people together is preparing for its latest production in Oxford.
The Movers and Shakers is based in Blackbird Leys and aims to be as inclusive as possible. The dance company is run by The Parasol Project, a children’s charity working with disabled and non-disabled children and teenagers.
Helen Wadge started the charity and the company when she finished university in 2008.
Miss Wadge, 27, from Botley, said: “We really impress the fact that it is not a group just for disabled young people.
“The youngsters and the staff both feel like they have learnt from disabled people. It’s a two-way process.”
About 17 dancers aged between 13 and 19 dance alongside volunteers and staff. The group’s aim is to dance, have fun and regularly perform in local dance events.
Youngsters train at the Blackbird Leys Centre in Blackbird Leys Road.
Currently the group is working towards the Body Politic showcase at Oxford Town Hall in St Aldate’s on Sunday, March 24, from noon to 3pm.
In each performance the company dances to between three and five songs and the young people have an input into the songs which are chosen.
The next show will see them dancing to a medley of three songs with a theme of love and hearts.
They will dance to Heart Skips a Beat by Olly Murs, We Found Love by Rhianna and Black Heart by Stooshe.
Miss Wadge, who also teaches as a freelance dance artist, said: “We have started getting ready for the Pegasus Show later in the year.
It is a mix of styles – street and contemporary – but popular dance.
At the Oxfordshire Youth Awards at Oxford Town Hall in February, The Movers and Shakers received an arts award.
Miss Wadge added: “The young people were really excited.
“It is a really special group in terms of the way everyone looks out for each other and supports each other.
“I think it was nice that it was recognised for that fact.”
The Movers and Shakers performed last year in the Pegasus Theatre jamboree and the group has been invited back to perform there again in July.
The company has also performed at the Oxford Castle complex.
Informal performances often take place at Blackbird Leys community centre for friends and family.
Anyone interested in joining The Movers and Shakers should contact the Parasol Project on 01865 742816 or visit parasolproject.org
Comments are closed on this article.