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Everybody Dance!

Oct 29, 2014

We recently found out about this great Kickstarter campaign aiming to make the beautiful expression of dance accessible to all of us. As someone who loves to cut a rug, I fully support what Irreverent Dance is doing for its students and our community. Check out the full post below and let us know what you think!

Irreverent Dance Kickstarter Aims To Build Europe’s First Gender-Neutral Dance Studio!
Set up by and for London’s LGBTQ & allied community, Irreverent Dance provides a safe, supportive and fun space to move together, offering classes in dance styles such as Ballet, Tap, Hip Hop, Ballroom and more.We understand that the complexities of experience, bodies, and gender don’t always fit into simple binaries – and our 500+ students agree. Not everyone who wants to learn to dance is young, skinny, graceful, cis-female and gives a toss. In fact, most of us aren’t! If you’re atypical in any way, learning to dance can be a nightmare. Be it ballet or hip hop, you might want to give it a go but you’re worried you wouldn’t be able to keep up; you’ll get stuck in the kids’ class, or you’ll look ridiculous in your oversized t-shirt and those sweatpants that haven’t seen the outside of the flat.
In many ways, Irreverent Dance isn’t really about dance at all. It’s about individuals reconnecting with their bodies; sticking two fingers up to society’s prejudices about gender behaviour, beauty, and identity; and gathering our messy, hard to define selves in a space where that imperfection is not only tolerated, but celebrated.

But for all our hard work, we’ve had to operate in hired spaces where our ideals are not always catered to. The time has come to get our own premises – we’ve found the perfect place and we need to raise £30k by 12th November to pay the deposit and fit it out as Europe’s first gender-neutral, fully accessible community dance studio. We’ve already raised over half of this amount, but still have a long way to go and could do with your support!

For a more personal insight, one of our students discusses what Irreverent Dances means to her below:

“In January this year, I began ballet lessons at Irreverent Dance. The school is different to most in that it offers a gender-neutral approach to dance. There are no attire requirements, and the teaching style is completely inclusive. For someone like myself, who gave up ballet in my teenage years, when I no longer fitted in or felt comfortable in a class full of skinny ballerinas in pink leotards dancing on pointe, Irreverent Dance has given me the opportunity to rediscover a love for dance in an inclusive environment. Perhaps most importantly to me, Irreverent Dance challenges the assumptions of gender in the dance world. They don’t assume men will lead in partner dance classes, and in ballet classes anyone who is capable and experienced enough to do so is encouraged to dance en pointe – not just the women as is traditional. I started Irreverent Dance because I wanted to return to ballet, but what I have found is a community which means so much to so many people – an accessible queer/inclusive social space, which even in London is a rare find. The power and strength of this community gives so much to its 500+ students, and we really hope to raise enough to build our permanent studio so that we can continue to support this ever-growing community.”– Catherine Hennigan, Irreverent Dance Ballet student

For more information about how you can get involved, please check out the Kickstarter page and share with anyone else who might be interested:

You can also connect with us on Twitter @IrreverentDance – we’d love to hear from you!

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