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Enhancing Provision and Progression Routes for Young Disabled Dancers.

Dance4 hosted the regional Centre for Advanced Training (CAT). Dance4’s CAT is a dedicated training programme created in order to nurture and support young people with potential, ambition and determination to become professional dance artists.

Dance4 was interested in exploring how talented young disabled dancers could access training such as CAT, and so in 2013 commissioned Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance with funds from the Department for Education to undertake a research project examining dance provision and progression routes for young dancers with disabilities in England.

Overview of the Research

The research had two main strands.

  1. An extensive scoping of current provision and progression routes for young disabled dancers across England.
  2. A written paper exploring how best to identify and develop talented young dancers with disabilities.

Scoping Strand

The scoping strand is a directory for inclusive dance provision in the UK. There will be an online map for each region, including details of inclusive dance companies and classes/ training operating in that area.

This strand also includes a document looking at barriers for young people with disabilities wishing to access dance provision, and recommendations of where to seek support.

Case studies are also included within this strand, detailing perspectives of organisations working successfully in inclusive dance, individuals that have found their own pathways to a profession in dance, and parents of young disabled people hoping to pursue a career in dance.

Talent Identification and Development Strand

The talent identification and development strand includes a paper detailing a potential framework for interview and observation criteria when assessing young dancers with disabilities at auditions.

This has been developed through interviews with practitioners working in the field of inclusive dance, as well as consultation of existing literature relating to talent identification and development, and dance teaching.


View the full papers of the Changing Perceptions Research below. Alongside this there are publications of, The identification and development of talented young dancers with disabilities and Barriers to dance training for young people with disabilities.

Please contact Hayley for further information about the research.