Flamingo Chicks is an inclusive dance organisation which provides disabled children, their siblings and friends the opportunity to enjoy ballet. Through dance, children develop confidence, social skills, co-ordination, communication and concentration. Flamingo Chicks welcomes children aged 3-19 for its main dance classes and has recently introduced two new programmes: ‘Hatching Chicks’ for mothers and babies and ‘Flamingo Dance’ for those aged over 19. These new programmes mean there is a continuous progression for disabled children through from birth to adulthood. Flamingo Chicks uses dance ribbons, feathers and chiffon scarves to provide a multi-sensory experience as well as developing fun routines for the children to perform.
Classes are fully inclusive – they are designed to celebrate what children can do, focussing on their strengths. Flamingo Chicks classes include children who are undergoing treatment for cancer, children who are visually impaired, those with autism, cerebral palsy, Downs Syndrome or other needs. Around one third of dancers are boys and one fifth have no disability. Alongside the dance classes, Flamingo Chicks provides an opportunity for parents and carers to access peer support and respite.
True Colours is delighted to have been supporting Flamingo Chicks since its early days. Our first grant to the organisation allowed the charity to expand its work from Bristol to several new areas. The charity now operates in Bristol, Cardiff, Bridgend, Bradford, London, Leeds and York. We currently fund the charity’s core costs. It has been wonderful to see programmes develop to reach more disabled children across the UK.