A NORTHERN suburbs dance school has been helping young people with special needs Sparkle and Shine for more than a decade.
Gail Wimbridge said her daughter Brianna started the Sparkle and Shine school in 2008 when she was 15 and a year 10 student at St Mark’s Anglican Community School in Hillarys.
“She had been assisting in and teaching a similar class at another dance school since the age of six and when the class ceased, the parents of the students she had been teaching asked her if she would start her own class,” she said.
“With their help she started running a weekly class, for seven primary aged students, out of the Salvation Army Church Hall in Beldon.
“(It) has since grown to more than 50 students aged from primary school age to adults, the oldest being in their 40s.
“Classes now run at community centres in Heathridge and Sorrento as well as running out of the studio of Da Beat Dance School in Clarkson.
“Classes offered include jazz and tap, hip hop (mixed gender and boys only), ballet, cheerleading, Irish and a fitness class.
“It is predominantly for children, teens and adults with special needs, although we also accept students with typical development.
“The students have a variety of disabilities – Down syndrome, autism, Angel syndrome, cerebral palsy, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, intellectual disabilities and others.
“Many of our students require assistance to allow them to fully participate in classes and we have volunteers who assist them.
“Brianna is now a teacher at Joondalup Education Support Centre and many of the volunteers are education support trained teachers or education assistants; others are young people who enjoy helping others.
“As well as participating in classes, students get the opportunity to participate in a variety of performances such as our end of year concert and local dance competitions.”
For more information, call Brianna on 0402 278 339 or visit sparkleandshine.com.au.