Dance 21 is an Unincorporated Association which provides a dance group, ‘Dance 21’, for children and young people with Down Syndrome and their siblings in the Essex area, projecting a positive image of disability. We operate to a professional standard and encourage participation of family, friends and other interested parties in supporting and developing the dance group. Our committee is run by parents of children with Down Syndrome on a volunteer basis.
In the Dance 21 dance group we offer a dynamic, fun, structured environment where everyone has the opportunity to improve their potential through dance and movement. We also develop a variety of skills and each child is valued as an individual and a respected team member.
The Dance 21 dance group was set up in September 2000 by Mary Schultz, as founder and Jean Hunter, as dance teacher. Mary felt that people with Down Syndrome are so much more capable than a lot of people give them credit for and wanted to raise their profile in her local community. Her daughter, Ellen who has Down Syndrome, has attended one of Jean’s other dance classes since the age of five years. She enjoyed it so much that Mary asked Jean if she would be willing to become the dance teacher of a very special dance group of children with Down Syndrome and their siblings. Luckily, she agreed and soon after the group began.
Since then we have expanded to two dance classes, one for younger children and the other for young adults. Dancers range in age from five years upwards. We are extremely fortunate to have four excellent sessional dance teachers who match the depth of character, warmth, love, dedication, sense of humour and performance shown by our two groups.
In addition to weekly dance classes and performing at events we also have put on various workshops.