Last night, Melissa Fox won a Big ‘A’ Artistic Achievement Award for her achievement as a dancer. Melissa has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair. She dances in the Jolt Dance Company which last night had a performance in Christchurch with 70 dancers – children and adults. This is a mixed ability dance company with disabled and non-disabled people dancing together.
One of the judges said that Melissa had “ability, determination and courage”. She has been dancing for several years now and her dancing skill has developed.
Other cities also have mixed ability dance companies. Auckland’s Touch Compass Dance Company is performing 27th and 30th of this month.
One of the people responsible for encouraging people with disabilities to dance is Wellington’s Bronwyn Hayward. She said, “If you can breathe, you can dance.”
The final Big “A” Artistic Achievement Awards ceremony will be held in Wellington on July 18th.
award – prize e.g. a cup, a certificate or a medal
achievement – success because of hard work or ability
cerebral palsy – a physical disability; can’t move the body easily
disabled – people with physical and intellectual disabilities
determination – she does not give up easily; she keeps trying very hard
developed – improved
Mixed-ability dance companies have benefits for the dancers – disabled and non-disabled, and for the audiences. What do you think are the benefits?