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

part 1|34 pages

Inclusive dance pedagogy

chapter 21.1|10 pages

Making no difference

Inclusive dance pedagogy

chapter 1.2|8 pages

Developing inclusive dance pedagogy

Dialogue, activism and aesthetic transformative learning

chapter 1.3|4 pages

Beyond technique

Diversity in dance as a transformative practice

chapter 1.4|3 pages

Exploring The relationship between dance and disability

A personal journey

chapter 1.5|4 pages

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

The experience in Mesquita, Brazil

chapter 1.6|4 pages

Dance for children with developmental dyspraxia

The impact of projects of the Royal Academy of Dance, London

part 2|38 pages

Equality, advocacy and policy

chapter 2.2|7 pages

The ugly duckling

Stories of dance and disability from Denmark and South Africa

chapter 2.3|8 pages

Dance, education and participation

The ‘Planters’ project in Girona, Spain

chapter 2.4|5 pages

Building identity through dance

Exploring the influence of dance for individuals with special needs

chapter 2.5|4 pages

Encountering and embodying difference through dance

Reflections on a research project in a primary school in Finland

chapter 2.6|4 pages

New spaces for creativity and action

Recent developments in the Applied Performing Arts in Catalonia

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

chapter 3.2|8 pages

Reflections from a/r/tography

Perspectives to review creative activities with special needs children

chapter 3.3|8 pages

Learning in action

Intersecting approaches to teaching dance in Timor-Leste and Australia

chapter 3.4|3 pages

Exploring disability and dance

A Papua New Guinean experience

chapter 3.5|3 pages

ASEAN Para Games 2015

Dancing for inclusivity

chapter 3.6|4 pages

Dancing partners/dancing peers

A wheelchair dance collaborative

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

chapter 4.2|10 pages

Digital stories

Three young people’s experience in a community dance class

chapter 4.3|9 pages

Community initiatives for special needs dancers

An evolving ecology in Singapore

chapter 4.4|3 pages

Celebrating diversity

A Jamaican story

chapter 4.5|4 pages

‘I Can …’

A Cambodian inclusive arts project

chapter 4.6|3 pages

Learning together through dance

Making cultural connections in Indonesia

chapter 4.7|4 pages

From the ground up

A Portuguese dance education collaboration with regional communities

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

chapter 5.2|10 pages

Freefalling with ballet

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

chapter 5.4|4 pages

Dancing in wheelchairs

A Malaysian story

chapter 5.5|4 pages


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

chapter 5.6|4 pages

Navi’s story

Access to collective identity through intercultural dance in the Fiji Islands

chapter 5.7|4 pages

The value of an extended dance residency

Restless Dance Theatre in a South Australian school 2014–2015