Spirit of 2012 recently awarded over £650,000 to three separate projects, all of which focus on inspiring disabled and non-disabled people through music and dance.
One of those projects was Stopgap Dance Company, who were awarded nearly £210,000 for a three-year project that aims to embed inclusive dance classes in Norfolk. Stopgap work with partners Norfolk & Norwich Festival and DanceEast and various local schools to train dance teachers and to engage young people in the area to participate. The funding from Spirit will also enable them to perform a large-scale outdoor production in Great Yarmouth as part of Norfolk & Norwich Festival in 2018.
Sho Shibata, Executive Producer at Stopgap Dance Company, said: “We will be training local dance teachers to deliver an inclusive dance syllabus (IRIS) as part of this project, which will be the first time we have attempted to embed the syllabus outside the south east of England. Our long-term aim is to make the syllabus available nationally and internationally, and this is the first step in testing how the company can manage that remotely. In the future, we hope that IRIS will create a level playing field for disabled and non-disabled dance students everywhere, so that they can achieve artistic excellence together as equals.”
"In the future, we hope that IRIS will create a level playing field for disabled and non-disabled dance students everywhere, so that they can achieve artistic excellence together as equals." - Sho Shibata
Spirit of 2012 Chief Executive, Debbie Lye, explained: “This year’s challenge fund focused on inspiring people through music and dance, and all three of the projects we funded got us very excited about the innovative ways they will be doing exactly that. We look forward to seeing as many people as possible in the East of England benefiting from Stopgap’s inclusive dance syllabus in the coming years.”