Magpie Dance is a leading dance charity in Kent providing high quality dance classes and projects for children, young people and adults with learning disabilities.
With a focus on ability, rather than disability, they curate programmes which cater for people of all ages with a range of learning disabilities, and which crucially provide evidenced benefits to their physical and mental health, reduce social isolation, and promote a growth in confidence and positivity in their outlook on the future.
Magpie Dance applied to us pre-lockdown in 2020 for funding for “traditional” dance classes designed for adults (18+) with learning disabilities. Our grant was therefore initially put on hold pending these activities being able to resume. The charity then approached us in August informing us that they would be hosting online live classes from September and wanted to put our funding towards that. This request was approved, and the online live classes went ahead thanks in part to our funding.
This live delivery (rather than pre-recorded classes) meant that participants were able to interact with each other and with the teachers during sessions; helping to reintroduce social contact, improve communication and enabling them to take a direct role in shaping the direction and content of each class.
The two weekly open ability adult dance classes have enabled 26 people with learning disabilities to stay fit and active, support their mental health and general wellbeing, and interact with friends and familiar faces online.