Sparkle and Shine school celebrates a decade of dance

Brianna Winbridge (Right) dances with student of 10 years Ella Hogan at the the Sparkle and Shine dance school, located at the Guy Daniel Clubroom in Heathridge, primarily for children with special needs but is also open for all ages, even adults. Photo: Matt Jelonek
Brianna Winbridge (Right) dances with student of 10 years Ella Hogan at the the Sparkle and Shine dance school, located at the Guy Daniel Clubroom in Heathridge, primarily for children with special needs but is also open for all ages, even adults. Photo: Matt Jelonek

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.

Brianna Winbridge (Left with hands on hips) dances with students at the the Sparkle and Shine dance school, located at the Guy Daniel Clubroom in Heathridge, primarily for children with special needs but is also open for all ages, even adults. Photo: Matt Jelonek

“(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.

Brianna Winbridge (center) with students of 10 years Bianca Schmid and Ella Hogan at the the Sparkle and Shine dance school, located at the Guy Daniel Clubroom in Heathridge, primarily for children with special needs but is also open for all ages, even adults . Photo: Matt Jelonek

“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.