An Accrington based dance charity is taking its latest performance piece to this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival thanks to financial support from Preston based business StormMeister Flood Protection.
DanceSyndrome is multi-award winning dance charity, based in Lancashire, that delivers inclusive dance workshops and dance leadership training as well as inspiring performances that demonstrate a focus on ability rather than disability. The charity was founded by dancer Jen Blackwell, who happens to have Down’s syndrome, because she found it difficult to find opportunities in community dance due to her disability. DanceSyndrome’s ethos is that disability should never be a barrier to following your dreams.
In 2016, DanceSyndrome secured Arts Council England funding to develop a performance piece called “Orbit” which was so well received it was decided to raise funds to take the show to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The charity has been running a fundraising campaign since March to raise enough money to cover the costs of taking 13 dancers and their support to Edinburgh to perform at the festival.
In April, DanceSyndrome Managing Director Dawn Vickers met with StormMeister Flood Protection’s Head of Sales, Kait Leeming at a local networking event and the company was so impressed by DanceSyndrome’s determination and ambition that they wanted to find ways for the two organisations to work together.
StromMeister Flood Protection, who are the world’s only supplier of wheelchair friendly flood doors, felt that the two organisations’ core ideas were a perfect match; both focus on equality for people with disabilities and believe that disability should not present barriers to living a full life. They wanted to support DanceSyndrome to take those core values to a new and bigger audience on an international stage, so they decided to sponsor the trip to Edinburgh and make DanceSyndrome their charity of the year.
As a result of the sponsorship and other fundraising efforts, DanceSyndrome have been able to confirm a slot at the Fringe Festival and will be performing “Orbit” on Monday 14th and Tuesday 15th August at The Space at Surgeons Hall. A performance at such a well respected and well attended event is a great opportunity for DanceSyndrome. Performance is a vital way for the dancers to communicate key messages about inclusion, teamwork and achievement, as well as challenging audience perceptions about people with learning disabilities.
DanceSyndrome Managing Director, Dawn Vickers, said “We are thrilled to have found an inclusive organisation like StormMeister Flood Protection to support our trip to Edinburgh and really appreciate this type of support from local businesses. We are so excited at the prospect of taking the show to the Edinburgh Fringe and we really hope that this new audience will be surprised and delighted at the passion, energy and ability of this incredible group of dancers who have overcome many personal barriers to achieve their potential.”