ABC News World Latin Dance Cup

Perform-Ability: History-making special needs dance group to take stage at World Latin Cup

By Mark Reddie

Updated 11 Sep 2017, 7:10pm

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VIDEO: Perform-Ability are heading to the World Latin Cup (ABC News)

Years of hard work have paid off for a special needs dance group from the New South Wales central coast.

Perform-Ability is the first Australian team to qualify for the 2017 World Latin Cup to be held in the United States.

The group of 12 was selected for the Orlando competition after a win at the Australian Latin Dance Championships in July.

The dancers, aged between seven and 23, will take on performers from other countries in two limitless divisions in December.

"We are making history — this is the first team to be selected to represent Australia on the international stage in December," Perform-Ability founder Miranda Daisy said.

 

"We need to raise another $80,000 so we can take all 12 dancers to Orlando, where they will perform salsa and bachata routines.

"It's important we get the whole group there because it's partner dancing and it's not fair to only send a couple."

Kids no longer in the back row

Kayla Donaldson has been dancing since she was a teenager and she has dreams of making it big on Broadway.

"I just love dancing — it makes me feel special and I hope Orlando will eventually take me to New York or Hollywood," she said.

Dancer Liam Marynissan said he never thought he could do big things until he enrolled in the Perform-Ability program.

Ms Daisy said it was amazing to see how far the Perform-Ability program had come since it was established.

"I formed Perform-Ability seven years ago because parents with special needs children kept telling me how their kids were often excluded or put in the back row of a dance," she said.

"I met one girl with Down syndrome, she was so talented and full of personality that I thought there's a career for these kids as performers, and that's how Perform-Ability was born."

The dancers have been rehearsing weekly at the Wadalba Community School Hall in preparation for the World Latin Cup.

Daily Telegraph 2017

CENTRAL COAST

Perform Ability dance group win their way to World Latin Cup in US

Fiona Killman, Central Coast Gosford Express Advocate

September 8, 2017 1:25pm

TRAVELLING to Orlando to dance together would be “a dream come true” for a Central Coast special needs dance group.

The group of 12 dancers, from Perform Ability, are the first Australian team to qualify for the limitless division of the World Latin Cup to be held in Orlando USA in December.

Perform Ability founder Miranda Daisy said the team, who have been dancing together for three years, qualified after winning the limitless division at the Latin Dance Championships in July.

Perform Ability dancers Chloe Powick and Ryan Farrel in action.

“We were all so excited,” she said. “This will be the first team ever to represent Australia in the limitless division.”

Perform Ability and the families of the dancers have turned their attention to fundraising, so they can take every dancer to Orlando where they will perform a salsa and bachata routine alongside dancers with additional needs from all over the world.

“At the moment, we can afford to take four,” Ms Daisy said. “We want to get everyone over there, especially because it’s partner dancing. The dancers are super passionate and just love to dance.”

Perform Ability dance group are fundraising to get to the World Latin Cup in Orlando, US.

Instructor Ray Cornwell said this was the first Latin partner dance the team has ever done, and it was impossible to pick and choose who can and can’t go to Orlando.

“They are all great friends, and they are really keen to get to Orlando,” he said.

The Express were treated to a preview of their winning performance, and you could see the concentration and focus on the dancers’ faces. This was followed by elation afterwards, along with celebrations and laughter for a job well done.

Perform Ability dance group performing their Latin routine.

Kayla Donaldson said she wanted to go to the World Latin Cup to “win the big cup”.

“We have to get to Orlando,” she said.

Kayla’s mum Kim said Kayla had been dancing since she was 16.

“She just adores it. She has dreams of going to New York and being on Broadway,” she said.

Mrs Donaldson if the team make it to the USA, they will take Kayla to New York to see Broadway.

Sonja Lloyd’s son Matthew started dancing with the group three years ago.

“He just loves it and all the kids have improved immensely, and it has really helped their fine motor skills,” she said.

She said the dancers attend many Latin dance events in Sydney, with crowds always getting behind them.

“They always get standing ovations,” she said.

“When we went to Rooty Hill for the bachata, not even the five time world champions got a standing ovation but our group did. Wherever they go they just bring smiles to everybody.”

Liz Williamson said her son Ryan loves being a part of the group.

“He has loved this group from day one and he loves Miss Miranda,” she said.

“The teachers’ patience and kindness is just amazing.”

The dancers, aged 7 — 23 years, have been rehearsing weekly at the Wadalba Community School Hall in preparation for the World Latin Cup. To donate, visit gofundme.com/performability-goes-to-orlando