Learning disabilites Croydon dance squad receives grant


SLIDE is made up of children with learning diabilities, including autism and down syndrome.


By Rachel Stevenson

A Croydon dance squad has received a grant from Croydon Council.

SLIDE, South London Integrated Dance Experience, run by Gemma Coldicott and Anita Wadsworth, were given the grant as part of Croydon Council’s initiative to support local projects.

The youth dance squad, founded in February this year, is made up of six 11-20 year olds with learning disabilities, including autism and down syndrome.

Miss Coldicott, 33, said: “I have a real passion to change peoples lives through dance.
“I want to make children’s lives more enjoyable and I believe that dance creates communities.”

Miss Coldicott said her creative dance classes, held every Wednesday, aim to improve the children’s life skills.

As well as dancing, the children are involved in the choroegraphy which builds on their team working skills.

The squad is affiliated with Croydon Schools’ Dance Association.

Miss Coldicott said; “The squad gives them confidence as well as helping with their communication and leadership skills.

“It also creates a family bond between the children.”

The funding will be used to rent the space the squad practices in at Shirley High School, Croydon, as well as pay for the teachers.

Miss Coldicott says she hopes that the group will become a touring dance company, perfoming their dances in local schools and community venues, as well as entering dance comptetitions.

New members are always welcome and anyone interested in joining the squad should call Gemma Coldicott on 07887781361. 

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