Press Release

December 08, 2021

NBS Adaptive Dance Program participants

EnAbling Change Grant Supports Capacity-Building and Access to Inclusive Dance Education Resources

Kids living with disability(ies) are underrepresented in physical/recreational activity and are 4.5 times more inactive than kids without disabilities (Bassett-Gunter, Tristiani, 2020). Dance is a powerful, yet underutilized tool to engage kids living with disability(ies) in physical, emotional and social learning. However, dance is delivered in a variety of contexts (e.g., dance studios, schools, community spaces, etc.) where levels of expertise in inclusive program delivery are inconsistent and often lacking. 
Through the Ontario Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility’s EnAbling Change Grant, Canada's National Ballet School will equip educators, programmers, volunteers and families with online resources that support the integration of inclusive dance education into their daily interactions with kids of all abilities. These resources will build capacity and support in increasing opportunities for kids across Ontario to experience the transformative power of dance while fostering inclusion of kids living with disability(ies).
Participation in physical activity is especially critical for kids living with disability(ies) to improve health-related outcomes and quality of life, and to foster inclusion. (ParticipACTION 2018).

Through this project, NBS will:
  • Leverage digital technology to train and support educators, programmers, volunteers and families in engaging kids living with disability(ies) in inclusive dance programming.
  • Deliver digital dance content and programming that is accessible, inclusive and responsive to community needs, with appropriate modifications and adaptations to support participation of kids of all abilities.
  • Build collaborative partnerships to help people discover the wide-ranging benefits of dance. Partners will contribute knowledge and expertise on the project’s development and delivery, and support knowledge mobilization activities across Ontario. 
Click to read press release

This project, funded through the EnAbling Change Grant, is informed by learnings from NBS' Adaptive Dance Program pilot, which offers creative movement classes for children ages 6-9 with diverse cognitive, physical and developmental needs. Created by NBS in consultation with Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, the Adaptive Dance Program will wrap its initial eight-week pilot in December 2021. Initial feedback from parents/guardians and volunteers shows a positive impact on dancers’ confidence, both physical and socially.

Click to learn more about the Adaptive Dance Program

Photo by Celeste Cole