The arts have a crucial role in empowering young people with special needs through diverse dance initiatives. Inclusive pedagogy that integrates all students in rich, equitable and just dance programmes within education frameworks is occurring alongside enabling projects by community groups and in the professional dance world where many high-profile choreographers actively seek opportunities to work across diversity to inspire creativity. Access and inclusion is increasingly the essence of projects for disenfranchised and traumatised youth who find creative expression, freedom and hope through dance. This volume foregrounds dance for young people with special needs and presents best practice scenarios in schools, communities and the professional sphere. International perspectives come from Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, Denmark, Fiji, Finland, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Taiwan, Timor Leste, the UK and the USA.

Sections include:

  • inclusive dance pedagogy
  • equality, advocacy and policy
  • changing practice for dance education
  • community dance initiatives
  • professional integrated collaborations



ByStephanie Burridge, Charlotte Svendler Nielsen

part 1|34 pages

Inclusive dance pedagogy

chapter 21.1|10 pages

Making no difference

Inclusive dance pedagogy
ByWhatley Sarah, Marsh Kate

chapter 1.2|8 pages

Developing inclusive dance pedagogy

Dialogue, activism and aesthetic transformative learning
ByTone Pernille Østern

chapter 1.3|4 pages

Beyond technique

Diversity in dance as a transformative practice
ByChannells Philip

chapter 1.4|3 pages

Exploring The relationship between dance and disability

A personal journey
ByPrada Jackie

chapter 1.5|4 pages

‘Sowing Dance’ – body movement for children from six months to three years old

The experience in Mesquita, Brazil
ByVeiga Luciana

chapter 1.6|4 pages

Dance for children with developmental dyspraxia

The impact of projects of the Royal Academy of Dance, London
ByOvenden (née Hogg) Lesley

part 2|38 pages

Equality, advocacy and policy

chapter 2.1|8 pages

Values and principles shaping community dance

ByBuck Ralph, Snook Barbara

chapter 2.2|7 pages

The ugly duckling

Stories of dance and disability from Denmark and South Africa
ByGerard M. Samuel

chapter 2.3|8 pages

Dance, education and participation

The ‘Planters’ project in Girona, Spain
ByGemma Carbo Ribugent

chapter 2.4|5 pages

Building identity through dance

Exploring the influence of dance for individuals with special needs
ByReinders Nicole

chapter 2.5|4 pages

Encountering and embodying difference through dance

Reflections on a research project in a primary school in Finland
ByJaakonaho Liisa

chapter 2.6|4 pages

New spaces for creativity and action

Recent developments in the Applied Performing Arts in Catalonia
ByBaltà Jordi, García Eva, Àvila Raimon

part 3|38 pages

Changing practice for dance education

chapter 3.1|10 pages

Supporting Change

The identification and development of talented young dancers with disabilities
ByImogen Aujla, Emma Redding, Veronica Jobbins

chapter 3.2|8 pages

Reflections from a/r/tography

Perspectives to review creative activities with special needs children
ByJung Shu-hwa, Chang Chung-shiuan

chapter 3.3|8 pages

Learning in action

Intersecting approaches to teaching dance in Timor-Leste and Australia
ByStevens Kym, Huddy Avril

chapter 3.4|3 pages

Exploring disability and dance

A Papua New Guinean experience
ByFaik-Simet Naomi

chapter 3.5|3 pages

ASEAN Para Games 2015

Dancing for inclusivity
ByCortezano Tariao Filomar

chapter 3.6|4 pages

Dancing partners/dancing peers

A wheelchair dance collaborative
ByGiguere Miriam, Federman-Morales Rachel

part 4|44 pages

Community dance initiatives

chapter 4.1|9 pages

Dance and affect

Re-connecting minds to bodies of young adult survivors of violence in India
ByUrmimala Sarkar Munsi

chapter 4.2|10 pages

Digital stories

Three young people’s experience in a community dance class
ByCheesman Sue, Bliss Elaine

chapter 4.3|9 pages

Community initiatives for special needs dancers

An evolving ecology in Singapore
ByBurridge Stephanie

chapter 4.4|3 pages

Celebrating diversity

A Jamaican story
ByCarolyn Russell Smith

chapter 4.5|4 pages

‘I Can …’

A Cambodian inclusive arts project
ByEvans Laura

chapter 4.6|3 pages

Learning together through dance

Making cultural connections in Indonesia
ByGiadi Gianti

chapter 4.7|4 pages

From the ground up

A Portuguese dance education collaboration with regional communities
Edited ByStephanie Burridge

part 5|45 pages

Professional integrated ­collaborations

chapter 5.1|7 pages

Pulling back from being together

An ethnographic consideration of dance, digital technology and Hikikomori in Japan and the UK
ByBenjamin Adam

chapter 5.2|10 pages

Freefalling with ballet

ByMead David

chapter 5.3|10 pages

Troubling access and inclusion

A phenomenological study of children’s learning opportunities in artistic-educational encounters with a professional contemporary dance production
ByCharlotte Svendler Nielsen

chapter 5.4|4 pages

Dancing in wheelchairs

A Malaysian story
ByLeng Poh Gee, Anthony Meh Kim Chuan

chapter 5.5|4 pages


Connection to place through an intergenerational, multi-site dance project
ByStock Cheryl

chapter 5.6|4 pages

Navi’s story

Access to collective identity through intercultural dance in the Fiji Islands
BySoro Sachiko

chapter 5.7|4 pages

The value of an extended dance residency

Restless Dance Theatre in a South Australian school 2014–2015
ByHughes Nick, Ryan Michelle, Lennerth India