The resources here will help you to learn how to make your dance school more inclusive so that all kids can dance, regardless of ability. You can find information including how to modify your classes, overcome barriers to inclusion and find downloadable posters that can be used to promote inclusion at your dance school. There are many simple changes that dance schools can make to enable inclusion which will greatly improve the experience for all children, families and people who interact with your dance school.
Inclusive dance schools provide all community members equal access and opportunities to be involved in the dance classes offered at the school. Inclusion happens when all members of a community:
Children with disabilities and developmental challenges might include those who have limitations in mobility (difficulty or inability to walk), the way they think or behave (e.g. intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, behavioural/emotional disorders), and sensory difficulties (e.g. vision/hearing).
Dance schools need to consider a few different areas to become inclusive. This includes how dance classes are designed; how you provide information about classes so they are accessible; whether teachers and other staff are trained in disability awareness; the accessibility of your premises and whether your policies promote inclusion.
Some children may join a class for a term or a year but then begin to notice that are not progressing at the same pace as their peers and drop out. To enable genuine inclusion dance teachers need to welcome a diverse range of students so a child with a disability doesn’t feel that they are the only one needing extra help. Match kids with similar skills can work well to support a child’s learning process, as long as age differences aren’t highlighted. Creating and maintaining a buddy program in the dance classes and throughout the school can also help children stay motivated and connected.
Also be aware that some parents may not wish to disclose that their child has a disability. This is fine. If you notice a child is having some challenges, you can discuss this with their parents. Communicate what you have observed with sensitivity, focusing on the child’s strengths and what you have noticed. Seek the parents’ advice and guidance about the best way to assist and encourage their child.
Download AllPlay Dance schools poster 1:
Download AllPlay Dance schools poster 2:
Download AllPlay Dance schools poster 3:
Helping overcome the barriers for children with disabilities to participate in dance