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The Dance Review - Richard and Anne Gleave report on Freedom to Dance, Step Change Studios and The Open Worlds

Our Blind and partially sighted dancing friends from Step Change Studios were overcome with emotion as they left the dance floor on Sunday 12th of May realising they had accomplished their long-held dream of dancing in The Tower Ballroom, Blackpool.

For some time Freedom to Dance has dreamed of bringing inclusivity to the competition floor for disability and special-needs dancers. So to support the Blind and partially sighted dancers to their journey to The Tower Ballroom was the highlight of our 14 years. With essential collaboration from Rashmi Becker of Step Change Studios and Paul Killick of the Open Worlds, we achieved our goal.

The students were overcome with emotion and were full of praise for the whole experience and the support they received in Blackpool. They had overcome so much to achieve their long held goal of dancing in this famous Ballroom and make history!

We must once again thank Mr Terence Lay of the Terence Lay Foundation, Lin Bin of Cimen Shanghai, Mr Ronnie Li of Chrisanne Clover, Mr. Michael Williams of Blackpool Entertainment Co. and Julie of MEET for their support.

Thank you also to our daughter Clair for her patient and dedicated teaching in the past few months. You did an incredible job of preparing them for this event and they were a credit to you.

We were all so fortunate to have both BBC North and ITV reporting with coverage as well as The Blackpool Gazette. This will help to reach a greater audience and encourage other Blind and partially sighted dancers to the possibilities of Ballroom and Latin American dancing. The links are below:

Photographs by Nicole Selby



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