Brisbane dance group, Bust a Move Dance is gearing up for the performance of a lifetime.
This July, 35 local dance students will jet off to the World Special Olympics in Los Angeles to strut their stuff on the world stage.
The students, most of whom have disabilities ranging from autism, Down syndrome, deafness and other physical impairments, have been working extremely hard in the lead-up to the event.
Ali Phillips, the director of Bust A Move Dance, says the group will be performing every day for 7 days.
“This is one opportunity that doesn’t come round very often,” she says.
“We’ve been working really hard, we’re exhausted and we’re under the pump but we’re all very excited.”
Ali started Bust a Move Dance after volunteering at a community centre for people with special needs in 2009.
“I found my passion expanded from there,” she says.
“I thought it was bizarre that nothing like this program was happening. There is nothing else like this out there.
“It’s life changing for the participants, and it impacts the lives of so many people – not just the people in the program, but their families, the audiences and society.”
Ali says the program offers participants more than just a dance lesson.
“It’s somewhere these young adults can feel included. It’s a great way to socialise and exercise too,” she says.
“It’s not just dance they learn. We teach them life skills, resilience, independence, confidence and help with organisational skills and social skills.
“A lot of people join and think it’s going to be all fun and games but it’s so much more than that.”
Over $42,000 has been raised through a crowd funding platform to pay for the trip, surpassing the $30,000 needed.
This is “not just a dance trip,” Ali says, but “an opportunity to bring the Brisbane community together”.
“We really want to show the international community that we’ve embraced inclusion, and that we are all working towards equality.”
For more information or to donate, visit www.bustamovedance.com.au