Therapy and Dance

It is often a small group of like minded individuals with a vision that can make dramatic changes in our community for the better. The Endeavour Foundation springs to mind, which began in the 50’s, where a small group of mother’s wanted something better for their children with disabilities. Today it stands as one of the largest disability support foundations in the state.
The sentiments of this powerful movement can be felt in this again with a Gold Coast base group making positive changes in the lives of many special needs children across the city!
 I thought I would put into focus a group I came across while looking for more recreational activities offered on the Gold Coast for children with ASD . TAD or Therapy and Dance was a highly esteemed , not for profit  group helping children all over the coast get involved in the joy of dance. I was lucky enough to have Courtney the treasurer of TAD and Jan who is a parent and committee member involved in the group. These ladies were kind enough to answer some questions about this sensational and inspiring power force that is taking Gold Coast Dance to a new level.
A wonderful little side note I found out is that TAD is not only very reasonably priced, but also accepts Government sports vouchers too!
SMLXL

Name: Courtney Hutchins

Association: Therapy and Dance Association Inc.

Position: Treasurer

When did TAD start and what was the inspiration behind it?

Therapy and Dance (TAD) as we like to call it, initially came together in January 2014 because of three passionate people whom had an active role in the dance realm with all three of their girls dancing together at Ikin Dance Studios in Varsity Lakes. Two out of the three foundation members had children or family whom had special needs and would come to classes with their mum and sister and prior to class would dance with the girls at the studio and have such a ball. Unfortunately, when it came time for their sister/cousin to start class they had to sit on the side lines and weren’t able to participate which upset them every week. It was at this point the three ladies thought about the need for such a revolutionary change to societies norms, the girls came to me as a trusted friend and accountant and after a long board meeting I was extremely thrilled to get involved and help start this venture, thus TAD was formed. It commenced with the support of Anthony Ikin at Ikin Dance Studios who donated his dance school to us for a couple of hours on a Saturday, his teachers saw what we were doing and also wanted to participate. From there our numbers grew rapidly across the Gold Coast, Brisbane & New South Wales, performing in Eisteddfods, in the Ikin/Ariel Angels Spectacular, Competing in Competitions and the Casino, Convention Centre & even Melbourne…The team behind TAD has substantially changed and the numbers have mirrored this, but the concept/values and mission remain the same and we are hoping to redevelop a more suitable program.

How did you get involved?

When the three ladies brought the idea to me for my expertise in the business arena, I quickly jumped on board with the idea and thought it was an incredibly inspiring concept. I donated my time and the capital to get the Not-For-Profit organisation off the ground and spent time and energy in building a sustainable environment for our students and to organically grow our concept.

Tell us what TAD does?

TAD aims to bring the pleasure of dance and movement to children with additional needs. Our aim is to foster growth in our students’ ability to build social skills, have fun, and build strength, coordination and confidence. We do this by providing a safe, non-judgemental environment where all can feel accepted, welcome and unapologetically themselves.

What can students get out of classes?

Our classes vary to cater to different childrens’ abilities as we offer our program to everyone it is an inclusive program. We hope students gain/maintain friendships, have fun, gain fitness, strength and coordination. We aren’t looking to push students to be an elite category of dancers we are simply providing another alternative activity for students to try.

Can you run us quickly through your program and what it has to offer?

Our program is currently run at both our Southport Venue & now our new Varsity Lakes venue. We have relocated back to Ikin Dance Studios were our roots were formed, because of how well receptive/understanding this dance studio was of our students and their needs. (Also most of our teachers are also teachers there!J). We offer a range of different styles and genre’s including the following;

Introductory Dance

Competition Hip Hop

Move Your Body

Tumble & Fun

Mixed Dance

Competition Cheer

Lyrical/Contemporary

Introductory Dance

Where can we find you?

You can find us at two great locations now:

Southport Community Centre – 6 Lawson Street, Southport QLD 4215

Ikin Dance Studios – 5/17 Crown Court, Varsity Lakes QLD 4217

What’s next?

Our ultimate goal at this stage is to build the awareness of our program and continually develop it to the needs of our students throughout both locations.

We are also working hard toward our fund-raising goals to provide a unique space to our students that we can call home! We want to provide/maintain a fun environment which is tailored to our students and to enable stability.

Eventually in the next few years we would love to see TAD go nationwide, we are looking to ensure we have a refined program before our expansion though.

I was also lucky enough to have a quick chat with one of the parents and committee members Jan, whose daughter has been attending  classes for almost 2 years now.

Tell us about your family?

 My daughter has a chromosome deletion and high functioning Autism.

How did you come across TAD?

    I was inquiring at Gold Coast Recreation and Sport for a dance program and they had a long
wait list. I was told that another Mum had found somewhere that caters for special needs so I
hunted on the internet until I found TAD, as from then I knew there was something out there.

How has this helped you and your family?

    It has given my daughter somewhere to go and express herself. It has helped her with confidence,
friendship and social skills. It has also given myself and my husband somewhere for support and
friendship. It really is like a family, not just a class to attend.

How long have you been attending?

We have been attending TAD classes since around May 2014, which explains the feeling that we are

 with family.  Quite a few of the kids who started when we did are still there.

I love and believe in the concept so much that I have become a committee member and am glad to be

a part of something so wonderful

Contact Therapy and Dance via the direct links on the Helpful Links page to learn more about enrolment.

Classes are held at Southport and Varsity Lakes! We look forward to seeing more from these guys.

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