Nominations are now open for Dance Westminster, an innovative new project that aims to help more disabled people in the community to be active.
The project is being run by Westminster City Council with local inclusive dance company Step Change Studios, and Everyone Active, operator of Westminster’s leisure centres, and is open to people with disabilities aged 11 and over who live, study or work in the borough.
Dance Westminster will give people the opportunity to attend one of three free workshops where they can experience an inclusive, engaging dance class and learn a dance routine.
Participants will then take part in an audition where they can perform the routine and any other moves they want to show-off. Ten finalists will be selected to take part in a grand final on 23rd January 2020 in the ballroom at Porchester Hall, where they will compete with a professional dance partner for the first ever Dance Westminster title.
From ballroom to Bollywood dance, Dance Westminster is a pan-disability event for all abilities and no previous dance experience is required. Carers are welcome to participate with people they support, and a team of dance staff and volunteers will support everyone to take part, whether seated or standing dancers.
Councillor Iain Bott, Westminster City Council Cabinet Member for Sports, Culture and Community said: “This is Westminster’s first inclusive dance competition and we hope to see as many people as possible take part. We want to make Westminster an active city for all, and what better way to get active than dancing?
“The competition will not only enable people to dance, but we will also be providing opportunities to find out more about the different inclusive activities, and we hope that dance will encourage people to also try other community sports.”
Rashmi Becker, Founder of Step Change Studios and recipient of the ActiveWestminster Award for Inclusion said: “I live, work and play in Westminster. I love being part of this community which has so much to offer. I set up Step Change Studios to address the lack of opportunities for disabled people to participate in dance. As guardian to my disabled brother I know first-hand the positive impact that physical activity has on quality of life.
“Dance is a fantastic way to connect, to be creative and improve wellbeing. We are looking forward to getting the community dancing through our workshops and I am sure we will discover lots of talent. We are delighted to be supporting Westminster City Council in this innovative initiative and their wider commitment to improving participation in physical activity for more people in our community.”