Surprises in store for a local hero who’s given so much
DanceSyndrome was founded in 2009 by Jen Blackwell, who has Downs Syndrome, but refuses to be defined by her disability. Jen is a passionate dancer but faced countless challenges and obstacles in finding suitable training and performance opportunities. Her solution was to form her own company to empower people through dance.
In 2017 DanceSyndrome was awarded £160,000 of National Lottery funding to help them expand their Everybody Dance programme in Oldham and Beeston. Everybody Dance will engage people with learning disabilities in dance workshops that aim to improve self-esteem, health and social skills whilst reducing isolation. Participants help design and develop the sessions, can gain leadership qualifications and jointly run their own workshops. Outreach taster sessions and performances will inspire people with or without disabilities and change perceptions of disability within the communities of Oldham and Beeston.
A ‘magical trip’ to a famous dance studio
Jen as the founder and Creative Director of DanceSyndrome has given so much to this project and brought so much joy to so many people, so The National Lottery decided it was time to give a little something back to her by arranging a surprise visit with one of her favourite singers. Take a look at what happened when we brought a little magic to Jen’s world