No doubt about it. Nowadays people realise what an exciting and worthwhile activity dance is for our differently abled young people. Here is a local studio where your NDIS recipient can take part in a welcoming and fun learning environment while crossing off specific NDIS goals. Your young person may have goals around
- making friends and maintaining friendships
- gaining confidence
- reciprocal communication
- or perhaps simply exercising.
This Brisbane based registered charitable organisation is a public benevolent institution (PBI) run by Rosanne Stuart, a businesswoman with strong community and business ties locally and overseas.
While Rosanne runs the business, her daughter, Madeline, is InsideOutside Dance’s founder and ambassador. Madeline is an international multi-award-winning advocate for diversity and inclusion. She has built a reputation in the fields of beauty and fashion and is the world’s first acclaimed actress and model with Down Syndrome. Her talents as a dancer have been recognised and she added her London stage debut to her accomplishments in 2019.
InsideOutside Dance offers affordable high energy classes in fitness and a variety of dance styles to children, teens and adults with a disability. Drama is also taught and the opportunity to participate in on stage performances is available. Students learn valuable life skills including:
While InsideOutside Dance welcomes students of all abilities, as classes progress the differences in capabilities indicate that more able students require greater challenges, so they tend to move on to other schools.
Rosanne said, “We don’t progress to subsequent routines until the first is learned completely. In this way our school is very nurturing for the less able students.”
I asked Rosanne if differently abled students begin with a support worker, and if so, was the worker able to move away from supporting in time.
“It’s purely a personal thing,” Rosanne answered. “A lot of dancers want independence, so the support people go off together for coffee, but there are others who always dance with a worker. A carer can keep the student on task and distractions to a minimum. Then there are workers who always stay for safety reasons because their client has epilepsy or some other medical condition that may require immediate intervention if an issue arises.”
Rosanne added that InsideOutside Dance allows parents and support workers to stay in the class providing they do not distract the dancers or teachers. After a while parents and workers recognise that the school is a safe environment, and the students experience immense fun with new-found friends. Carers have no compunction in pulling away when this happens. This is something Rosanne is very proud of.
InsideOutside Dance teaches mindfulness. This simply means the students are taught to pay attention to what is happening around them in the moment; of being aware of all their senses.
Rosanne strongly feels that mindfulness was the reason for Madeline’s success as Australia’s first model and actress with Down Syndrome. Because Madeline focussed well in her dance classes; because she learned to listen and follow directions; because she became fitter and lost weight, her confidence increased markedly.
It became Madeline’s goal to give to others the gift of confidence she received through dance. And she wanted others to experience the joy of dancing as well. So InsideOutside Dance was born.
The school has an impressive faculty of teachers and instructors, including one who is blind and another who is autistic. Rosanne believes that to be truly inclusive, the organisation must offer more than a service.
“You also have to immerse yourself in the world of the differently abled; have people with unique abilities in the company as well. Only people with disabilities can truly understand what living with a disability means. Our differently abled staff members are the key to ensuring the services we offer are what the public asks for, and the way we offer our programme benefits all.”
The teacher who is legally blind has a degree in Graphic Art. She does all the marketing material for InsideOutside, relief teaches dance, and handles all the new students when Rosanne is away.
The young man with autism is the Australian Champion in Just Dance. He is a favourite with the students because he breaks complex moves down to ensure all the dancers learn them. When his students perform at showcase events, they always stand out. Rosanne receives amazing feedback regarding this young man’s professionalism and teaching.
The interests and achievements of all the teachers enrich the school and serve to encourage students to accomplish their goals.
For class prices, timetables and venues see details on the website www.insideoutsidedance.com
Class Styles include: -
- Beginner Yoga
- Hip Hop
- Hip Hop & Robot
- Jazz & Cabaret
- Musical Theatre
- Movement & Drumming
- Kids Dance
Opportunities to perform occur throughout the year and there is an impressive number of events students have participated in listed on the website. This will give you an idea of the possibilities for your young person.
Written by: Rhonda Valentine Dixon