An inclusive dance programme which provide a social opportunity for people with additional needs in a safe, creative environment, and culminates in opportunities for young people to perform their finished work.

Selfie image of dance instructors wearing clear masks

IgniteYou Dance INC was started by two dance teachers who recognised a need for accessible dance classes and workshops in the local area. During the first Covid-19 pandemic they project started online, offering weekly classes to people.

Participants have a range of additional needs including disabilities and mental health problems and have joined IgniteYou as a place they can practice dance at a pace and in an environment that suits their needs. Classes are led by the two dance teachers and two volunteers who have multiple learning disabilities. The project has provided the opportunity for volunteers to take part in a consistent volunteering programme and aims to support more people to volunteer and provide paid employment.

Following the Covid-19 lockdowns many participants have experienced worse mental health and have anxiety about reconnecting in person due to being more vulnerable to the Covid-19 virus. IgniteYou Dance INC have slowly moved their classes from online to a physical space with a focus on the needs of participants such as social distancing.

We really want to celebrate these people at a time when the world has been against them. People with additional needs have been hit harder than anyone can even fathom. Every week when we step into these classes it’s a display of human strength that is amazing and we cannot celebrate them enough.

Becci Gowers

Founding Director and Dance Teacher

Funded by People’s Health Trust using money raised by Health Lottery South West