Accessible Dance for All

Published 18 February 2021

New project funded by Mottingham Big Local Refocused

Hello from Magpie Dance!

Magpie Dance are the UK’s leading dance charity for people with learning disabilities. We believe that a learning disability should not be a barrier to personal and artistic success. Through dance, our participants gain life, social and communication skills with added health and wellbeing benefits. We’re coming to Mottingham to offer classes to people of all ages with learning disabilities.

Magpie Dance was founded in 1985 by Avril Hitman BEM who retired from the role of Artistic and Executive Director in 2017.  Our values and approach were founded on the social model of disability – it is up to society to find a way of including people rather than excluding because of disability.  Since the beginning, the aim was for the dancers to have as many opportunities as possible to perform and collaborate with different companies and artists. This remains vital to Magpie Dance today which has now grown from a 45-minute session per week, to 19 sessions per week plus outreach workshops – enabling over 300 people to access regular dance activity sessions each year.

With 35 years of experience, we provide high quality creative contemporary dance classes and training that give participants the opportunity to explore creative movement and related arts in a supportive, safe and stimulating atmosphere. The unique Magpie teaching methodology encourages and supports movement through experienced inclusive dance CPD trained facilitators and having live musicians in every session.

For years, we have run a cohort of successful Holiday Schools in the Easter and Summer Term breaks. These fun intensives run for 3 – 4 days and explore an exciting theme that results in a performance. Previously, these sessions have only been available to 8 – 25-year-olds with learning disabilities; however, we’re now bringing these sessions to Mottingham and opening up the age range to 3 and up with no upper age limit.

We’ll also be hosting regular Days of Dance which are open to everyone in Mottingham, whether you have a learning disability or not! These will have a different theme each time, enabling participants to try out new dance styles led by experienced professional teachers.

To keep up with our latest news about our new Mottingham Sessions, please visit our website: where you’ll find further information and contact details.

Follow us on social media: @magpiedance on Facebook and Twitter

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