Disabled Children Learn through Dance
On Saturday, 13 October 2012, a sizzling and vibrant dance competition took place in Stellenbosch for hundreds of disabled children from disadvantaged communities. The 2012 Truworths Disabled/Wheelchair Ballroom, Latin American and Hip Hop Inter-Provincial Dance Trials at Coetzenberg provided the platform for these dancers to display their skills with the hope of making the cut for the National Championships next year.
The trials were the result of a partnership between the South African Circle of Dance Academy (SACDA), the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Truworths and others. Participants from special schools across the Western Cape competed in the various dance styles on offer. The event mainly focused on learners with special needs, including Down’s syndrome, celebral palsy, blind, deaf, paraplegic, wheelchair-bound and “Les Autres” (learners with disabilities that do not fit into any of the other categories).
Ms Agnetha Jeftha of the department said that without sport, an education would be incomplete, a life would be less balanced and an opportunity to challenge body and mind would be missed. “The growth potential of disabled children in our region looks very promising and together we can better nurture grassroots development through dance,” she said.
Ms Gladys Bullock and her team at SACDA created opportunities for disabled children to perform in this major event to develop their physical and academic abilities. Through its talent identification activities for youth in all sports, including dance for the disabled, the Western Cape Government believes that participants gain important life skills as well as opportunities to realise their inherent talents.