Dance group’s groovy mission

Dance group’s groovy mission

Amy dancing to the rhythm of the music. Photograph - Richard Polden.

Seven years ago a local resident and his wife created a night dedicated entirely for people with disabilities.

Today, Dancing for the Disabled continues its legacy in Bentley every Wednesday night.

Retired community members Colin Yates and his wife Janette decided to form the social dance group in March 2013 in honour of one of their four children who has Fragile X Syndrome.

This condition causes mild to severe intellectual disabilities and symptoms include delays in talking, anxiety and hyperactive behaviour.

However, the condition hasn’t stopped their son Samuel from doing what he loves as he continues with his employment at Workpower and attends SMP lifeskills2work and Rocky Bay Life Skills Programs.

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His parents haven’t stopped either as they wanted to offer something that would bring joy and confidence to people living with disabilities.

Mr Yates is also a former professional ballroom dancer and said music and dance runs in the Yates family.

“Samuel gravitated more and more towards this over the years and we thought it would be a great idea to take Samuel to a place where he could enjoy both with the added advantage of being with his peers,” he said.

“After many weeks of looking for a suitable dance and music venue we came across a dance night at the Bentley Baptist Church, which was surprisingly run by an old acquaintance from my ballroom dancing days.

“Regrettably due to ill health and dwindling numbers, the dance night was going to close and since we could not let this dance night close, we agreed to take it on and apply our ideas to the Wednesday dance night.

“We trust carers and parents see this night as a great opportunity to encourage positive interaction and social behaviour in a non competitive environment.”

More than 30 people living with disabilities attend the weekly session for 18 year olds and above.

There are also special themed nights throughout the year with food, prizes and medals for those lucky dancers on the night for only a small fee.

Registrations are not needed and sessions start from 7.30pm to 9pm with a 15 minute drink break in the middle.

For more information call Colin Yates on 0411 884 021.