Dance program has heart


Michaela Meade

A project set to run in the Whittlesea municipality has been announced as one of the 2021 Active Australia Innovation Challenge winners.

The Heart Foundation runs the challenge, which invites tertiary institutions, schools, councils and other organisations to submit innovative ideas for getting their communities moving.

Spectrum at the Barre’s project, called inclusive dance for children with a disability, was one of 19 challenge winners.

The organisation will receive $10,000 to make the project a reality, which aims to improve the health and fitness of children with disabilities through dance.

The project will provide weekly dance classes for children with a disability, allowing them to participate and get comfortable in the studio at their own pace, before integrating into a mainstream dance class.

The project will also provide disability awareness and inclusive training to three local dance schools, yet to be announced, delivered and supported by allied health professionals.

Heart Foundation Victoria heart health manager Adam Stormont said the foundation “could not be more pleased” with the amount of entries for the 2021 challenge.

“One reason for the spike in entries could be that the pandemic has sparked interest in physical activity at a grass-roots level,” he said.

“Being stuck at home for long periods is making everyone appreciate their communities more and think creatively about ways to stay healthy and active.

“A big congratulations to all this year’s winners – we look forward to working closely with you to bring your projects to life.”