The creative and performing arts are such wonderful outlets for our children, they can be used in therapeutic situations, help with fine and gross motor development, teach social skills and so much more. Take a look at these groups and services we’ve found around Australia – most groups seem to be operating normally at the time of writing but do check in case there are timetable changes or cancellations due to COVID. Also, check to see if there are any online options and get creative from the comfort of your living room!
Perform-Ability is Australia’s fastest growing therapy- based performing arts program for people of all ages with special needs and disabilities. The principal of Centre Stage Performing Arts, Miranda Daisy, founded Perform-Ability in 2010. There are now over 20 classes running in many locations throughout Newcastle, the Central Coast and Sydney, with more than 120 students attending each week! Offering programs within service providers, after school classes and private tuition, Perform-Ability has something for everyone. perform-ability.com
Rockit Performing Arts (Mount Barker, SA)
Rockit is a studio that does things a little differently. It was established as a centre that uses dance, drama and singing as tools to improve the health and wellbeing of the local community – with a welcome that includes absolutely everyone. There are inclusive mainstream classes, a diversity dance company, as well as the Launch Pad program which has been designed for students who require a carer present. rockitperformingarts.com.au
Tutti Arts Kids & Youth (SA)
Tutti Kids & Youth (TKY) provides South Australia’s only out of school hours arts program where young people with disability can develop their creativity through the arts: music and movement, drama, and visual and media arts. Their growing program includes Music and Drama and Visual Arts as well as a theatre workshop program for children on the autism spectrum. tutti.org.au/tutti-kids
Inside Out Theatre Club with Active8 (Brisbane, QLD)
Inside Out offers a space for members to explore their theatrical ability, developing skills in imagination and creation as well as enhancing their love of theatre and the arts. Each session is designed to build self-confidence and communication skills through a range of energetic and enjoyable activities. Sessions follow a similar lesson plan that includes both movement and vocal warm-ups, drama games, character exploration and improvisational exercises. Everyone between the ages of 5-25 years is welcome to attend. activeeight.com.au
BAM Arts Inc (VIC)
BAM began life as BAM Allstars in 2009 when founder, Lisa Murphy was looking for a dance class for her son, Buster, who has Down Syndrome. Finding there was nothing suitable for his needs, she decided to get something started. In 2019 BAM HQ was established and the organisation now offers other creative arts beyond dance including visual arts, musical theatre, choir and more. bamarts.org.au
Arts @ Scope (VIC)
If you want to be active, artistic, or just love being social, Victoria’s Scope can help make it happen. Older teens and young adults can explore their creative side with three options:
Kaleidoscope: an inclusive arts project that has been running since 2006. Scope partners with a number of community arts organisations to support budding and established artists to reach their creative potential.
Telescope: a project that supports people with a disability to write and tell their stories.
OCRA: a weekly performance group that meets in St Kilda and enables participants to express themselves through physical theatre and improvisation. scopeaust.org.au
Art Mania Studio (Wallsend, NSW)
Art Mania Studio is a creative community hub that offers you a place to relax, unwind, meet friends and find yourself through art. This supportive and inclusive space offers a wide variety of classes, workshops and block courses that cater for busy lifestyles, different income levels, all age ranges and diverse backgrounds and abilities. Alongside after school classes, Art Mania have created 6 Video Workshops with Art Kits available so that you can create works of art at home, following the instructions on the video. artmaniastudio.com.au/kids-and-teens
Therapy & Dance Association Inc (Nerang, Gold Coast, QLD)
Therapy & Dance Association is an additional needs dance studio offering a number of different dance style classes for children with a disability. Classes include Rhythmic Dance, School Yard Games, Intro to Hip Hop and Advanced Dance. With the help of specialist teachers qualified in Dance and Occupational Therapy, they hope to help their members express themselves through dance, exercise and fun. therapyanddanceassociation.com.au
InsideOutside Dance (Brisbane, QLD)
This is model, Madeleine Stuart’s dance company! InsideOutside Dance is the leading NDIS registered dance school for people with disabilities in Queensland offering 21 classes a week in 8 locations. They offer classes in a number of styles of dance including contemporary, hip hop, Jazz, Musical Theatre and Robot, also offering classes in yoga, drama, drumming and fitness. The overall aim of InsideOut is to create a dance school where dancers with mixed abilities can have fun, get fit and make friends whilst they learn, create and perform a body of work that we can showcase at twice yearly performances and local events. insideoutsidedanceensemble.com
DanceAbility Australia (Vaucluse, NSW)
DanceAbility Australia Ltd aims to enrich the lives of children and adults with intellectual or physical disabilities through dance and music in a safe, fun and caring environment. A diverse group of participants ranging in age from 6 to 55, have the opportunity to learn Hip Hop, Jazz, Line and Ballroom dancing, learning new skills, having fun, gaining confidence, and making new friendships in an exciting and refreshing atmosphere. danceability.com.au