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Dance Syndrome

Jen has Downs Syndrome, but refuses to be defined by her a passionate dancer but faced countless challenges and obstacles in finding suitable training and performance opportunities. Her solution was to form her own company to empower people through dance.

Jen in black

DS became a charity in 2013 and has National Lottery funding in place from the Spirit of 2012 Trust until 2019. The company is disability led, and trains and employs dancers with learning disabilities to deliver dance classes, workshops and performances.

Jodie Turner has quadriplegia cerebral palsy and non-verbal communication. She had taken part in a range of dance activities but never thought it would be possible for her to pursue it as a career until she took part in a course at DS in 2015. As well as learning vital skills in leadership, she made true, lasting friendships and enjoyed being with like-minded people with the same goal.

Afterwards, Jodie began co-leading her own weekly dance workshop in Preston, and had one-to-one training with DS to plan a series of community workshops. DS has empowered Jodie to achieve more than she ever hoped she could, and to pursue her dream of a career in an area where she saw very few opportunities. National Lottery funding has secured the future of the class she co-teaches and opened up more opportunities for her to share her passion. In five years' time Jodie hopes that she will be living independently and will be continuing to lead community dance workshops.

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