Project information

SG Youth Company

To provide regular and high quality accessible and inclusive dance sessions for disabled and non disabled children and young people using Stopgap Dance Company's unique integrated dance training.

September 2012 - July 2013

Charity information: Stopgap Dance Company

Stopgap Dance Company logo
  • Need


    Provision for accessible dance training is currently very limited. We know from our outreach work there is a need for quality dance training for disabled young people, resulting in very small pool of professional disabled dancers of a high standard. By enabling disabled young dancers to participate fully in classes with non-disabled dancers & reach a standard of excellence needed to compete in the professional dance world, we can nurture emerging talent that will feed the sector in years to come


    By developing our successful training scheme it will become a powerful vehicle for changing the way dance is taught. Encouraging the sector to become much more accessible for disabled people with aspirations; allowing the same level of investment and training their non-disabled peers currently receive. Weekly sessions will teach technique, develop movement skills, encourage social interaction, build self confidence and give students a pathway into a profession as professional performers.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To provide disabled and non disabled young people access to top quality dance training


    » • Weekly workshops taught by trained and experienced professional dancers all trained in the Stopgap inclusive dance technique
    » • Dancers are both athletes and performers. Fitness, technique and performance skills will be taught
    » • Sessions will be held in well equipped professional dance studios which are fully accessible
    » • Dancers will be trained in a variety of dance genres, styles and techniques

    What success will look like

    Success will be measured termly in assessments and open sharings and through reports via newsletters and our website

    Aim 2

    To challenge perceptions about disability and to open up the door to the world of professional dance


    » • Presenting high quality integrated work through public performances will challenge perceptions about disabled dancers
    » • By introducing like minded professionals to how we teach we hope to produce an industry recognised national inclusive dance training programme

    What success will look like

    Success will be through disabled dancers performing alongside non disabled dancers engaging new audiences and gaining nationally recognised training

    Aim 3

    To improve opportunities in the Arts World for disabled young people


    » • A yearly platform which industry peers will be invited to where the SG Youth Company get to perform alongside the Main Company and the SG2 trainees
    » • Strong links and partnerships within the dance industry mean that the SG Youth Company will be exposed to other Arts Companies
    » • From the SG Youth Company talented dancers can progress to the Associate scheme and onto the SG2 Graduate scheme leading to professional paid work

    What success will look like

    Success will be shown through recognition growing from the yearly platforms, reviews and exposure within the sector

    Aim 4

    To develop skills that prepare young people for entry into vocational training and a career in dance


    » • We will work alongside top dance training organisations such as ISTD and RAD to make sure that dance taught in the sector is inclusive
    » • We can offer an alternative to allow disabled dancers to prepare for auditions for vocational schools; allowing them time to prepare and develop
    » • We will offer high quality dance training that challenges both disabled and non disabled young dancers
    » • With links to the professional company participants will learn professionalism and get to interact regularly with a professional dance company

    What success will look like

    Success will be shown through dancers progressing onto other vocational courses and entering the profession

    Aim 5

    To provide inspiring role models and mentors


    » • Once students have reached a high standard they will be offered chances to volunteer in assisting with outreach workshops
    » • Students will become Ambassadors for both the Company and integrated dance through assisting and supporting with Main Company
    » • Bringing together disabled and non disabled young people to break down barriers and challenge perceptions

    What success will look like

    Success will be encouraging others to join the SG Youth Company, numbers attending growing and dancers starting to facilitate their own workshops

  • Impact


    Through promoting best practice and providing exceptional tuition to young people we hope to be able to change the way inclusive dance training is viewed in the sector. Success will be demonstrated through students dancers gaining industry recognised training and employment within the professional dance world. Working alongside influential dance training organisations we can move inclusive dance to a new level and offer more opportunities for further vocational training and employment.


    Risk: attracting potential participants. Mitigation: We have run a successful two year pilot scheme and know that there is a need and that we have young people wanting to join the SG Youth Company. Risk: Not reaching our funding target. Mitigation: We are looking at other ways of fundraising and approaching other trusts and foundations and asking partners for support in kind. Fees will be charged for attending the classes.


    Donors will receive quarterly newsletters, invited to open sharings and to the yearly platform. Feedback forms from parents and participants will be collated at the end of every term and the results shared. The SG Youth Company will be included in the charity’s annual accounts and report.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £18,092

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      Amount Heading Description
      £1,500 Dance Studio Hire Hiring fully accessible dance studios
      £3,000 Transport Offering transport burseries allowing students to travel to attend
      £8,700 Staff Staff wages to run the project
      £3,362 Marketing and Documentation Admin, marketing and documentation costs
      £1,530 Annual Performance Platform Annual performance platform for industry peers and audience

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Support in kind for Dance Studios £1,500 Conditional
  • Background


    Stopgap are based within the Farnham Maltings in Surrey with access to accessible dance studios and performance space. For over 15 years we have worked with the local schools and community delivering unique outreach work and toured professionally internationally and nationally producing both indoor and outdoor work and reaching a wide and varied audience.


    We can cater for up to 15 participants in a class and aim to run 2 workshops a week for different levels – one beginners and one advanced class. We are unique in that we work with both physically and learning disabled dancers. Through open sharings and platforms other members of the community will benefit and be influenced by our work. We have access to live streaming and will live stream the annual platform allowing thousands of people all over the world to see the work we are doing

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Stopgap are the leading UK arts charity in integrated dance. As a professional integrated dance company with over 15 years experience all our dancers are experienced in teaching inclusive dance sessions and trained as dancers at top vocational training establishments. Working within the sector with experience working as professional dancers; they are up to date with teaching methods and dance trends. As a NPO within the Arts Council of England we are recognised as a leader in integrated dance.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Lucy Bennett

    Artistic Director with Stopgap, dancer and choreographer, Lucy trained at Doreen bird and has worked with the likes of Hofesh Shecter and Dave Toole.

    Laura Jones

    A dancer with Stopgap having worked with CandoCo & the Paralympics, Laura was the first person in a wheelchair to complete all of A-Level dance

    Chris Pavia

    Dancer. Mencap award for person with Downs Syndrome achieving excellence in dance. 1st dancer with learning disabilities to perform in Resolution

    David Willdridge

    Dancer. Trained at Middlesex & Northern School of Contemporary Dance. Also has experience in working as a careworker for children with disabilities.

“It has enabled him to feel he is good at something and we all need to find that in life”

parent of student