I am a Perform-Ability Instructor and it's the biggest joy of my life.

Miss Danni talks about what she loves about being a Perform-Ability instructor and why you should become one too!

Working for Perform-ability has been the most unforgettable experience of my life. Never before have I found work which makes me so happy and there are a number of reasons why.

Miss Danni posing with student, Matthew Lloyd.

First of all, my Perform-Ability students are the light in my life. Each and every one of them has a unique and amazing personality, often brimming with joy, possibility and triumph. They all love music and dancing and want to be there (in class) and learn from you. It’s not only the parents who see our service as an opportunity, but each student sees dancing with us as something to cherish and they respect and frankly adore the teaching staff. I have worked in mainstream teaching drama and dance and a lot of the time I had to fight for attention, and definitely respect. I’m not saying there are no challenges – there are certainly many challenges in any class, but our students attitude is not one of them.

Working for Perform-ability has been the most unforgettable experience of my life. Never before have I found work which makes me so happy and there are a number of reasons why.

Secondly, learning how to teach dance to people with a disability gives you a new perspective into movement, behaviour and communication. (As dance teachers) We all know how to break down a move in terms of counts, and maybe you usually ask the class to “move to the left” when needed. But what if the people in your class weren’t sure which way left was? Or perhaps your student has reduced proprioception and needs assistance literally finding their feet. How are you going to give instructions to someone who finds it difficult to follow instructions? That is both the challenge and the joy of working with people with disabilities. It not only gives you a different perspective on how to think about movement and music, but also how to use your problem solving skills and knowledge to find a new way to teach. You are then rewarded with the finished product of a dance that you and your students have worked hard to create, which they can perform locally, inter-state and sometimes overseas! When other people say, “it’s too hard”, we learn to say, “no, it’s just different”.

When other people say, “it’s too hard”, we learn to say, “no, it’s just different”.

The final reason teaching dance to people with disabilities is the best job in the world, is the huge, heart-smattering, joy bringing smiles that the students give you when they dance. They remind me every day what dance is about, which is essentially to have fun. Oh and we do have fun. We dance, we laugh, we giggle, we smile, we work hard, but most of all, we make a difference in people’s lives just be reimagining the rules on how to teach dance. 

Love Miss Danni’s story? Find out how you can join the Perform-Ability community today with our brand new #danceforinclusion course!


I just wanted to be like my big Brother.

Today marks World Cerebral Palsy Day and we turned to Jourdan Ibe from Las Vegas to learn more about this condition. Jourdan’s brother has CP.



Miss Miranda and Jourdan onstage together in Japan

Hey Jourdan, We’ve been working together for about 6 months now and I know your brother Dominic has Cerebral Palsy. Can I ask you some questions him?

I’m always happy to talk about my brother! He’s my favorite person in the world. (Except for when he’d hog the TV when we were kids.)

When Dominic was born, did you know straight away that he had CP? What was his diagnosis process like?

Dominic is 18 months older than me so I was brought into the world knowing that he had to do things differently than I did. I knew it was called “Cerebral Palsy”, but I genuinely never thought anything of it until a kid at school asked me “What’s wrong with your brother?” I very innocently replied with “Nothing, what’s wrong with yours?” It didn’t occur to me that not everyone’s older brother had CP. He wasn’t diagnosed with having Cerebral Palsy until he got to the age where he should be walking and couldn’t. He had a lot of leg surgeries to correct some muscular problems he’d developed by the time was a toddler. He still has all the giant surgery scars that I was jealous of as a kid. I thought they were so cool looking and I wanted to be just like my big brother. I vaguely remember seeing him in casts that covered both of his entire legs as a baby so he had to pull himself around on his stomach when we played.

I genuinely never thought anything of it until a kid at school asked me “What’s wrong with your brother?” I very innocently replied with “Nothing, what’s wrong with yours?”

World CP day Logo

Do you know what type of Cerebral Palsy your brother has?

I’m not entirely sure what kind he has, but I do know that the motor functions in his brain were damaged at child birth due to lack of oxygen. He has extremely limited movement in his legs and has to use a wheelchair for long distances or crutches for very short distances.

Growing up, do you think both yours and Dominic’s life was different because of his disability? How?

Our lives were pretty different compared to a lot of kids. For instance, I grew up learning how to take care of someone else as a first priority. When I learned how to tie my shoes, I automatically always made sure to tie Dom’s before we went out and played. As a kid, it didn’t seem different at all to be going to his regular physical therapy sessions or to ride the special needs school bus to school with him in the mornings. From primary school up until he was a teenager, he’d have a caretaker with him all day, every day. (Shout out to Ms. Linda!) It never felt strange or unusual to me. They’re definitely great memories that I have and wouldn’t change for anything, but as an adult I can see that not every child had that upbringing.

Dom & Jourdan together as babies

How did Dominic having Cerebral Palsy affect you as a sibling?

It definitely affected me in a few different ways. I had to learn to be okay with not getting all the attention from my family because Dominic was the one who needed it the most. At times, this was hard to understand, especially at such a young age. However, having a sibling with Cerebral Palsy gave me a very strong sense of compassion for others. Growing up around not only Dominic, but other children with special needs was really rewarding because I learned that they’re just regular children who have to handle life in a different way.

What are some misconceptions about people with Cerebral Palsy that you would like to set straight?

First and foremost, there is nothing “wrong” with people who have Cerebral Palsy or any other disability. They are much more capable than you think they are and often times just want to be treated like everyone else. Everyone is different and their disabilities are all on a spectrum that is unique to that person. In other words, not all people with special needs are created the same way and there is no “general blanket method” to interacting with them.

Has there ever been a time when your brother couldn’t be a part of something because of his disability?

For most of our lives, there wasn’t too much that stopped him. However, my most vivid memory of the first time I realized the severity of his physical challenges was during a Halloween school dance. (I believe Aussie’s call it a disco) I was 10 years old. Dom, his care taker and I were all in line to go through the haunted locker room walk through and we were both very excited. Just before we got to the entrance, a teacher approached us to tell us that Dominic can’t go through because the walk through requires you to crawl through tight spaces. Dominic was very nonchalant about it. He shrugged and said “Okay, that’s fine. I’ll see you on the other side!” He left the line with his caretaker and I stood there feeling a mix of emotions. Right when I was about to enter the maze, I burst into tears and ran out to hug him. I just remember feeling so upset that I was able to do something he couldn’t. He comforted me and assured me that while stuff like that sucks sometimes, he doesn’t ever let it get him down and he would rather play ping pong in the spooky gymnasium anyway. So that’s what we did. He beat me at it too.

Growing up around not only Dominic, but other children with special needs was really rewarding because I learned that they’re just regular children who have to handle life in a different way.

We have the NDIS in Australia which is ran by the government and allows some people with a disability to access funds for supports and services. Do you know if Dom receives similar funding or a disability pension of some kind in the U.S?

He does receive monthly government pension to help him with financial necessities! He’s had it all his life. It’s helped him out a lot because it can be challenging to find employers who will look past his wheelchair. Things have been getting better but I’d say that the workplace could be better for people with disabilities.

Dom & Jourdan together as teenagers

You and I are over here in Japan working in a vocal show and I know how much you love music. Is your brother also into the performing arts?

He’s into the performing arts but not as much as I am. Our entire family is musically inclined so it’s predetermined that we have some sort of performance ability. When he was in his final year of high school, he joined the very prestigious choral program at our school and loved it. He performed in the choir musical revue we put on and my teacher made good use of his wheelchair in the choreography. He got to spin around the stage with a girl on his lap to Rogers & Hammerstein, so he was clearly living the dream. He’s also quite a good Baritenor and can read sheet music!

There is nothing “wrong” with people who have Cerebral Palsy or any other disability. They are much more capable than you think they are and often times just want to be treated like everyone else.

You mentioned that Dominic will be coming to visit you over here in Japan soon, how exciting! Will this be his first time travelling overseas as a solo traveler?

Yes! This is his first time leaving America. We never had a lot of money growing up so we didn’t get to travel much. I’m super excited for him to come out here since he’s got a nerdy streak and likes Japanese culture. I’m looking forward to showing him this beautiful country! I’m gonna make him eat an octopus ball because I’m a loving brother.

Is there anything else you would like people to know about Cerebral Palsy?

Simply put, be kind to people with Cerebral Palsy, but don’t baby them.

Jourdan and Dom together

This is how WE celebrate Christmas!

This year, we are doing something different.

To celebrate Christmas, we are inviting local community dance, music and performance groups to join us at our end of year showcase. What better way to celebrate this festive time of year than sharing the stage with people of all abilities, showcasing their talents and love of music!?

Xmas Concert Flyer

We know that it can be very expensive and time consuming to put on an end of year concert. So, why are we trying to do it alone? It’s time to collaborate with other artists, schools and community groups and put on a performance to remember!

There will be NO COST for performers, we only ask that audience members purchase a ticket to watch.

We are inviting YOU and your friends to join us on stage at our Ho Ho Holiday Show! If you’re interested in being a part of this or know someone who might be, please get in touch with Miranda - miranda@perform-ability.com.

Making every step count

This September, the Cerebral Palsy Alliance is challenging people to take 10,000 steps a day for 28 days. The challenge hopes to raise incredibly important funds to support people living with cerebral palsy right across Australia and the world.

We caught up with Sydney dancer Steve, who is participating in the challenge.

Hey Steve, we have heard that you’re taking the Steptember challenge which is starting in 11 days! What made you want to be a part of this?

This fundraiser is a great way to educate those that don’t know much Cerebral Palsy so I’m a big advocate for the educational portion but also that I can incorporate my dance life within it. I will be holding Latin dance classes soon where all funds collected will go straight to the cause.

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The goal is 10,000 steps a day. In the lead up to the challenge, have you been doing any training to prepare? Do you know how many steps you do on a average a day at the moment?

Not necessarily training as I am very active and tend to use public transport and the basic walk to get to and from places. I reach well over 10,000 steps a day so smash the basic requirement, even more when I go out dancing of a weekend!

Do you know anyone living with Cerebral Palsy?

No, but I understand it and thanks to Steptember, I’m able to help educate those that might know someone that has Cerebral Palsy within their circle of friends or family.

The challenge aims to raise money for people living with Cerebral Palsy, do you have a certain goal you would like to reach?

Absolutely, I want to get to at least $500 by myself. As a team within the company I work for which is Salary Packaging Plus, we have reached over $500 so we smashed our set goal.

How are you finding the fundraising process? Are you mostly letting people know online, in your office etc?

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Definitely online. Within the work environment, we are applying Casual Fridays where we all contribute a gold coin to be able to wear casual wear within the office. Also, we have enrolled in a netball competition with other offices around the area who are also doing Steptember. We absolutely suck (at Netball) but it doesn’t matter, we have a lot of laughs while building up our step count!

Do you think people know enough about Cerebral Palsy?

There’s always room to learn more about it but it shouldn’t just cater to Cerebral Palsy, it should be overall. Awareness of mental health, which is another subject that isn’t spoken about much unless you experience something in your life that makes you actively search for answers, is one of many said subjects that should be addressed also. I believe that informing the public of what the outcome is of the fundraiser and how it has helped (people with Cerebral Palsy) will motivate people to take the initiative to pursue it the following year.

Can we check in with you at the end of the challenge and celebrate your success?

Absolutely, I will be posting my accomplishments along with my team’s results so you’ll definitely hear my more about it.

To make a donation online, click the button below!

Source: https://www.steptember.org.au

On the world stage.

Its hard to believe that it was 2 years ago that our Central Coast performance team were training hard for the World Latin Dance Cup! It was such a special time for everyone involved.

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Our dancers were involved with weekly rehearsals and media releases whilst our wonderful Perform-Ability parents and carers got together for a number of huge fundraising events and meetings to plan the trip of a lifetime overseas! With the help of many dance schools, generous donations online and amazing fundraisers by our local community, we managed to raise over $35,000 and get our team to Orlando. We even managed to take a quick trip to Disneyland!

Each year, we line up incredible performance opportunities for our students in various locations across NSW. The joy a performer feels onstage in front of an audience is like no other and we are passionate about sharing that joy with everyone.

We talk a lot about the benefits of dance and music but the FUN of it is just as important and the smiles we see on our students faces when they perform is absolutely priceless.

Keep an eye out for our students as we will be hitting the stage again very soon!

Source: http://www.nbnnews.com.au/2017/09/16/perfo...

We want to talk to you!

With your help, this November, we hope to put on a very special showcase.

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Collaborating with inclusive music, dance, drama and art programs around NSW, we endeavour to raise awareness for people with disability in the performance arts industry.

We know how music has changed the lives of our performers. We know how dance brings smiles to so many faces every week. Now, we want to showcase our performers abilities, and the talents of many other people living with a disability from around the state of New South Wales by giving them the chance to perform in celebration of their achievements and share their love of the arts!

To make this possible, we need you!

We are reaching out to programs, groups and companies within the disability sector who participate in some form of the performing arts and would like to be a part of this very special showcase!

Festival of all abilities

Students posing for a photo in front of the beach after their performance!

The Celebration Of Abilities concert hit a high note last Wednesday 7th of August in Newcastle, NSW.

Talented performers of all abilities took centre stage at Newcastle’s Music Festival as the festival held its inaugural inclusive concert.

The concert is the first of its kind in the Hunter, working to unite all people through the power of music and we were delighted to be a part of it!

Our performance troupe students travelled from the Central Coast to be there and performed 2 group numbers and one solo by Matthew Lloyd.

Check out some footage from the day below by NBN News.

Source: https://www.nbnnews.com.au/2019/08/07/cele...

Getting to the Red Carpet!

Last month, one of our superstar students, Miss Kayla Donaldson, debuted her acting career as she starred in a Short Film for the Sydney Film Festival. We caught up with her to hear about what it is like to work behind a camera!


Hi Kayla! Can we ask you some questions about your recent work on the film “Deluge” ?

Sure.

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So, how did you find out about the role and what was the audition process like?

Miss Miranda’s acting agency asked if she knew anyone would be interested in the role. She sent them some photos and contact details for me and they rang my Mum asking her to send in an audition tape!

I had to do 3 dances and act out a scene and talk about myself. Todd, my singing teacher, helped me film the audition tape.

We sent it in and a few weeks later, they asked me to come to Sydney to audition for the Director and Producer. There was me and one other girl.

You must have nailed the audition! Congratulations on getting the role. What did it feel like to work with professional actors.

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A bit nervous, a bit scary but it got better. They were all nice and helped me. I got to know Sophie Lowe who was my screen sister. She was really nice. Skye Walmsey, my on screen Mum helped me lots.

Sounds like you learned so much on set. Do you have a favourite moment from this experience?

Seeing myself on the big screen, going up onstage and walking the red carpet!! The red carpet was the best.

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Amazing! And what do you think was the most challenging part?

Filming outside in the sun. It was very hot and there was no shade. We worked for 12 hours every day. There were rocks everywhere and I kept falling over. They had to help me walk over the rocks. It was very hot and tiring.

I guess being a superstar actor isn’t always glamour. You’re such a professional!

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Now that the world has seen you on the big screen, do you have any further acting plans for the future or do you think you will stick to dancing?

I love acting. It has been my dream to have a talking part. I love dancing too and I like to perform but I would like to do more acting.

Well, I am sure this won’t be the last time we see you up on screen Miss Kayla. Congratulations again and we can’t wait to see what you are up to next!

Perform-Ability and Kayla Donaldson would like to thank Focus Talent Management, Create NSW & Dollhouse Pictures for this experience.

Global Accessibility Awareness Day

Thursday 16th of May marks Global Accessibility Awareness day and this year, we will be revamping our website to showcase accessibility. If you are a business owner or a website designer, we challenge you to do the same!

Logo for Global Accessibility Awareness Day

To fix usability and accessibility, we plan to:

  • Add alternative text to images so that their meaning is screen reader friendly

  • Provide labelling on buttons and form fields that require user input

  • Add captions to audio and video features

  • Check colour contrast and limit colour usage for identification of content

The purpose of GAAD is to get everyone talking, thinking and learning about digital access and inclusion for people with different disabilities. Join us on Thursday, May 16 2019 and mark the eighth Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD).

Source: https://www.impactbnd.com/blog/easy-ways-t...

Childhood Speech Apraxia Day

Our Founder, Miranda Daisy is extremely passionate about working with people with additional needs and is constantly researching different types of physical, verbal and learning disabilities.

It came to my attention that Tuesday 13th May is Childhood Speech Apraxia Day, a speech disorder that I do not know much about. I reached out to Miss Danni, one of our Perform-Ability instructors who is studying Speech Pathology to learn more.

Child during a session of speech therapy

Q. Hey Miss Danni! Can you tell me in a quick sentence, what is Childhood Apraxia of Speech?

Childhood Apraxia of Speech is a speech disorder that affects a child’s ability to clearly produce sounds. Articulating is difficult because messages from the brain to the mouth do not come through correctly, which affects the coordination of the muscles in the mouth used to make sounds.

Q. I came across CAS as it was listed as a disability awareness day. Would you consider CAS as a disability or more of a speech impediment?

It is considered a speech disorder but depending on the severity it could also become a disability. If you are unable to speak and be understood that could severely affect your quality of life and your ability to participate. When this occurs, having CAS would be a disability.

Q. Is the reason that it is called Childhood Apraxia of Speech because it is something that you can improve on with therapy or grow out of? Is there adult apraxia of speech? What therapy would be used to help improve the speech for a child with CAS?

CAS is discovered in childhood. Treatment for CAS is frequent speech therapy to help improve the coordination of speech. This therapy provides the child with the means to practice planning, programming and then producing accurate movements for speech. However, if the CAS is severe, then improving speech coordination may not be possible. In this case the speech pathologist would provide ways to communicate non-verbally such as picture boards or a speech generating device. Apraxia of speech in adulthood is usually caused by a stroke or other trauma to the brain. Therapy is similar to that of CAS.

Q. Do we know what triggers CAS?

Currently, most of the causes are unknown. However, some children may have CAS as a part of a larger neurological diagnosis such as stroke or as part of a genetic disorder.

Q. Does CAS have a spectrum of ability? How does this affect the child’s social skills?

Miss Danni, Central Coast Perform-Ability Instructor, Bachelor of Speech Pathology Honours, 4th year.

Miss Danni, Central Coast Perform-Ability Instructor,
Bachelor of Speech Pathology Honours, 4th year.

Yes, like most speech disorders there is a range from mild to severe. The severity affects the child’s ability to participate socially in many ways. For children with CAS, it takes a lot of energy to produce speech, so children may shy away from social situations to avoid conversation. It also causes mispronunciation so children with CAS may not participate as they are worried they might say the wrong thing. Severe CAS may result in the inability to speak at all, which as you can imagine affects every aspect of life. Think about how hard it would be to get across your needs and wants to someone without using speech. Any disorder that affects your ability to communicate affects your quality of life and participation in some way. This true for CAS.


If you would like to learn more about Childhood Speech apraxia, head to http://www.casaustralia.org


Miss Millie talks about Autism.

Miss Millie talks about Autism and what she has learned since working with Perform-Ability.


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Hey Miss Millie!

In light of World Autism Awareness Day, we thought we would check in with you to ask you some questions about Autism.

So, what do you know about Autism?

I know that children with Autism like routine. When choreographing routines for our classes, I keep in mind that our students with Autism usually prefer to have the stability of the same moves rather than having our dances change from week to week. Our students with Autism also tend to like to know time frames for example, if there is a performance coming up, they like to know the details of when and where so that they can grasp how long there is to practice.

I keep in mind that our students with Autism usually prefer to have the stability of the same moves rather than having our dances change from week to week.


Fantastic! And how has working with Perform-Ability changed your view or opened your mind up to people living with autism.

I used to live with a friend who had Autism so I had a small understanding of how different things impacted them and how important it is to listen to what they are saying and feeling and to work with them to gain a better understanding.

Yes, it is so important to take the time to listen to people. So often I think people tend to take the easy road and not always listen fully to what someone is trying to communicate. Do you have any success stories you would like to share with us about an in class experience you may have had with a student who has Autism?

Success story… yes of course. Wonderful Liam. I know he still doesn't like doing certain moves or dance to certain music that he feels is “sexy” or slightly provocative (confident hip moves!) he is now willing to try new moves especially in the performance class. He will now do body rolls and small shimmy’s and it is so fantastic to see him reaching these goals of participation.

Thanks Miss Millie, it was so great to talk with you today!

Miss Miranda, Founder of Perform-Ability

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For Fitness Sake we talk with Sydney Performer, Jonathan.

Earlier this month, Sydney performer Jonathan Nash-Daly, took on the challenge to move 100km in 10 days and raise funds for For Fitness Sake. We caught up with him to find out more…


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What made you want to do the for fitness sake challenge?

I did the for fitness sake challenge last year for the first time and I realised just how easy it is to help those in need and to raise money to go towards a fund that really makes a difference which is why I knew I had to do it again this year with my best mate. We take for granted what we consider as ‘normal’ and when you realise that there are people out there who are less fortunate than you and that you can so easily help them by doing something such as walking a few km's to raise a few dollars, why not?

What are they raising funds for?

For Fitness Sake work in conjunction with House With No Steps and are raising money for children with disabilities. The money raised goes towards a few different vital areas including medical bills, school funding, everyday supplies, respite, travel expenses and so much more.

Walk for those who can't, raise your voice for those who are not capable and let's make a difference in this world for the people who really need it.


How can others help this cause?

A great way is to get involved with this 10 day challenge when it comes around again next year and try and reach 100km's in 10 days and get sponsored by friends and family or you can donate straight to House With No Steps or any charity out there related to helping kids live a better life. There are countless large walks through Sydney and all over Australia raising money for all kinds of causes and all you have to do is walk, something that we take for granted as something not everyone is capable of doing. Walk for those who can't, raise your voice for those who are not capable and let's make a difference in this world for the people who really need it.

What can you tell us about growing up with a sibling who has a disability?

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My foster brother Mark has Cerebral Palsy and I can honestly say that he has made me the person that I am today. He has been with us since 4 days old and he turned 18 last year. It has been both challenging and rewarding in every way possible for both mum and I but I would not have changed a single thing over the last 18 years of being his older brother and carer. He has taught me patience, perseverance, kindness and love as well as opening my mind up to the world of disabilities that not many people get to see. Being apart of this world since the age of 5 has shaped my life and my way of thinking as well as reminding me never to judge a book by its cover and the fact that no matter what disability a person may have or how different a person may be, all they want is to be treated like everyone else and be apart of society like everyone else. Mark's disability means that his speech and motor skills are affected but outside of the directly associated disabilities he is the kindest, smartest, funniest and most loving little boy with an absolute heart of gold and an amazing addiction to playing video games with me like any two brothers in the world would do. He has paved the way for my way of life and I will forever be grateful to the universe for bringing him into my life.

He has taught me patience, perseverance, kindness and love as well as opening my mind up to the world of disabilities that not many people get to see.


Did your brother go through an early intervention program as a child?

Growing up I was still finding my own way in life so I wasn't fully aware of everything that was going on. Mum was the sole carer of Mark as well as raising me as a single parent so Mum looked after all of the appointments and hospital visits etc. I know that he has been involved with various types of therapy over the years, mainly speech and physio and has been in and out of hospital more times than any kid should have to endure. He has participated in various activities through school including swimming for the disabled which he always seemed to enjoy and gymnastics was something he always put in 100% as well. Growing up in a dance family we always tried to teach him at the barre to help his motor skills increase and between watching me perform all my life and teaching him at home we found dancing and singing were always a go to especially when his favourite artist Timomatic would come on and he would do baby freezes on the floor and try and show me tap steps that I had taught him the week before. I doesn't let anything get in the way of the joy he gets when we dance together and when he shows me a new acro trick he has learned at school.

What is something you wish people knew about cerebral palsy?

I find that a lot of people think there is only one level of disability and you either have a disability or you don't. I think one of the main pieces of wisdom I would want to share with the world, and this goes for all disabilities, is that there are so many levels within each disability and each person is completely individual with how far on the spectrum they are. For example, Cerebral Palsy is both a mental and physical disability that for some means using a wheelchair and or being completely non-verbal whereas we have been working with Mark his whole life and been training his motor skills so he was only using a wheelchair for the first half of his life and now walks around very confidently, still a little shaky a times and we never take our eyes off him, but he has come such a long way since the day we fostered him and has become a very bright and independent young man. His verbal skills are still restricted to sounds and a few key words but after 18 years of living with him I can understand everything he says and you can see that in his mind he knows everything he is saying and the struggle is that it just doesn't come out the way he would want it to but he as found a way to always be heard and if someone doesn't understand him he will try everything in his power to help them understand.

As a performer, what do you think about the performing arts industry in regards to inclusion? What would you like to see more of and what are your thoughts about artists living with a disability?

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I think both the performing arts world and the world in general have come a long way in understanding more about the world of disabilities however there is still so much to learn, even if you've been involved your whole life. I have been seeing more and more people with disabilities getting involved in the arts over the years though because they find it's an escape from reality and it is so easy to find joy in performing, no matter who you are. A lot of people with disabilities tend to revert to stand up comedy and find the joy in telling their story through the art of comedy which I think is a great medium for those wanting to share with the world something that makes them different and special.

John Lennon's 'Imagine' is the perfect song to understand just how magical this world could be if we keep the momentum going and keep looking up and over the horizon at the perfect world.

I very clearly remembering seeing a show at the Globe Theatre in London quite a few years ago and one of the leading men had a stutter and I just remember thinking how amazing and inclusive that was to not only be performing professionally but performing Shakespeare professionally with a stutter when most people have trouble with Shakespeare at the best of times. I have been seeing more and more dancers with disabilities on televised talent shows all over the world including dancers who are wheelchair users and it is so magical to watch these people not let their disability get in the way of their passion and skills. I think we are going the right way with inclusion, I think we still have a long way to go but the world is becoming a much safer space to showcase people from all walks of life and I think that is what's most important, that we keep moving in this direction towards the day when no matter who you are, where you're from, whether you have a disability or not, no one will be excluded and the world will be as one.

John Lennon's 'Imagine' is the perfect song to understand just how magical this world could be if we keep the momentum going and keep looking up and over the horizon at the perfect world.

Source: https://www.forfitnesssake.com.au/about-fo...

Why all the odd socks?

On March 21st, we joined the world in celebrating World Down Syndrome Day. Our social media channels were flooded with odd socks and bright colours as we got together as a community and brought awareness to people with Down syndrome.

In the lead up to WDSD, we asked some of our students a few questions about dancing, music and what they would like people to know about Down syndrome. Here a just a few of their answers…

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“I think it’s rude for being to boss me around like a kid. I want to be the same. I want to be the same as everyone else. I want to get a job, do cooking, get my own job and have my own ideas.”
- Angela Kowalski, Maryland Class

What is your favourite song?
”Shallow!”
- Rachael Willmott, Belmont Class

Thank you to everyone who joined us in celebrating WDSD in 2019!



From Stage to Screen...

Jordan Cabrita is a shining star.

Jordan on set for Employable Me

From stage to screen and everything in between, he just shines.

Towards the end of last year, Jordan was scouted through Perform-Ability & Home Care Heroes to be featured in a new episode for a TV show on ABC. The show, Employable Me, follows people with neuro-diverse conditions such as autism, OCD & Tourette syndrome as they search for meaningful employment. The series draws on science & experts to uncover people's hidden skills.

The episode is yet to air however the series aired on Monday 28 Jan 2019. Keep an eye out everyone, Jordan will be up on our screens soon!

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/tv/programs/employa...

Lights, camera and a whole lot of action

We are well on our way to creating something big!

Miranda Daisy, founder of Perform-Ability, has been on set in Sydney, filming something very exciting ... the beginnings of Perform-Ability’s Dance For Inclusion course, the first of its kind in Australia!

Miranda Daisy on set in Sydney

When the first teachers graduate, the Perform-Ability program will be available to people with disability and additional needs all around the country. 

The course will be finalised over the next 12 months and offered for the first time in early 2020. It will run for six to eight weeks, including both online and face-to-face training and covering all aspects of inclusive dance instruction. 

We are well on our way to creating something big!

“There are very few courses and workshops available for dance teachers to learn how to teach in an inclusive environment, most of which are one day workshops or short courses,” Miranda explains. “The Perform-Ability course will go much deeper.”

During the recent shoot day, videographer Karim Hayek from Karim Hayek Productions travelled to one of Perform-Ability’s Music & Movement programs, in Dulwich Hill, to film the instructors in action with a class of 25 participants, to be used as part of the online component of the course.

In the lead-up to the release of the Dance for Inclusion course, Miranda will be offering online mentoring for teachers wanting to upskill or learn more about working in an inclusive environment. 

This is an exciting time for Perform-Ability! 

Watch this space!

A successful day for dance teachers.

Earlier this month, we held a training day in Sydney for dance teachers to learn how to be more inclusive in the studio.

The day started by introducing ourselves using auditory and physical communication. As a group, we discussed some of the common misconceptions that people may have about working with people with a disability. Inclusive language, successful teaching techniques and specific knowledge about different types of mental and physical disabilities were just some of the many things that we talked about during the day.

After lunch, it was the learners turns to teach us using the new skills they had learned. The importance of music choices and how to use props effectively were also introduced during the practical part of this session.

By the end of the day, the learners walked away feeling overwhelmed with knowledge and very keen to learn more.

“The day was jam packed full of amazing insights into the disability industry. In a very short amount of time I learned so much about what I didn’t know. I want to keep learning more. It was a fun and active day and Miranda was so generous with her wealth of knowledge and experience.”

Natalie Tesoriero,
Support Worker & Actor
https://www.natalietesoriero.com

Instructor Training Day in Sydney!

Short Course - February

Do you have a passion for the performing arts? Do you have experience teaching dance, music or drama? Perhaps you have a passion for working with people with disabilities and want to do more for the community.

Perform-Ability does just that, and now you can too!

We are thrilled to be running our first Instructor Training Program this Sunday in Sydney. The course has been 4 years in the making and trialled and tested with our wonderful Perform-Ability teachers and our students of all abilities. The instructor program is designed to teach you everything you need to know about working with people with a disability, adapting lesson plans and choreography, answering those “You can’t ask that” questions and essentially, giving you the skillset to feel 100% confident in teaching people of all ages and all abilities.

When we first started Perform-Ability in 2009, we searched all over the country and overseas to find the training that we felt we needed to run inclusive classes. Unfortunately, our searches came up empty and we soon realised we were going to have to learn on our own.

For the past 9 years, we have asked millions of questions to carers working with people with additional needs, parents of children living with disabilities, professionals working with people with disabilities and of course, our students themselves, living with a disability. We have tried and tested numerous activities, learning materials, music, spaces… you name it, we have tried it. And now, we can finally say, WE KNOW WHAT WORKS.

Unfortunately, our searches came up empty and we soon realised we were going to have to learn on our own.

Now, we want to share our knowledge with teachers like us who are passionate about making their classes more inclusive, adding more tools to their belt or running their own Perform-Ability classes. Our mission has always been to make our program accessible for everyone, everywhere and we believe that by sharing our knowledge with wonderful teachers across the globe, we can achieve our mission.

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Course Overview
The Perform-Ability Instructor course is the only of its kind in Australia. Learning directly from the founder of the company with over 10 years teaching experience, you will acquire the unique skills that you need to succeed in this industry. 

The Perform-Ability Instructor course is the only of its kind in Australia.

The course is split into 7 modules and includes both online and face to face studies.

  • Working with a person with disability 

  • Inclusive Dance Practice

  • Teaching Effectively

  • Enrolling a student

  • Appropriate Workplace Environments 

  • Enrolment and NDIS

  • Your role with Perform-Ability

    This February, we will be holding a short course which will include part of the above full course. Including how to effectively work with a person with a disability, our fool proof choreography secrets, our top teaching techniques and more.

    Education Level: Introductory

    Prerequisite: No prior experience in working with people with disabilities is required. It is however recommended that students have a minimum of 2 years experience teaching dance. Special exceptions are made on a case-by-case basis.

All enquiries - info@perform-ability.com

Event Details - https://www.facebook.com/events/370634510382815/



We are getting CREATIVE!

As well as the wonderful Active Kids Vouchers offered to people under 18 years in New South Wales, we will soon also be a registered CREATIVE KIDS provider!

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About Creative Kids

NSW Government is helping your cost of living with more than 40 rebates and savings including Creative Kids, which is all about making it easier for school-aged kids (4.5 to 18 years old) to get involved in creative and cultural activities.

Parents, guardians and carers can claim a $100 voucher per year to put towards the cost of lessons and fees with registered providers.

It's a great opportunity to let kids find their passion and learn new skills.

Vouchers can be used to contribute to registration, participation and tuition costs for performing arts, visual arts, coding, languages, literature, music and other creative and cultural activities with our approved list of activity providers.

To see if you’re eligible for a Creative Kids Voucher, head to https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/campaign/creative-kids

Source: https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/campaign/cr...

Don't stop till you get enough!

Our Wadalba students were blessed to perform alongside some of the Central Coast’s most talented dancers on the 10th December.

Students posing after their performance

D3 studios ran by the wonderful Darren Disney, kindly invited our students to share the stage with them at their end of year dance concert this year in Wyong.

Rocking it with their MJ hats and suspenders, the team performed their new Michael Jackson routine and brought the house down with their radiant confidence and flair on stage.

Our students can’t get enough of being on stage, they absolutely love it.
- Miss Danni, Central Coast Perform-Ability Instructor

We want to thank Darren and the team at D3 for having us at their concert and for supporting Perform-Ability over the years.

Pumped for 2019!

We are sure that this is going to be our best year yet, with some extremely exciting news to be announced at the end of February. But for now, it’s 2019 enrolment time and we have spent the past couple of months training with our wonderful instructors and updating our music playlists to ensure our students have the best possible experience in their Perform-Ability classes.

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