Dance Barnet finals

The sparkling finals of Dance Barnet, a pan-disability Strictly-inspired dance competition took place on Thursday 16 May at the Pentland Theatre in the Arts Depot, north Finchley.

The event saw ten disabled people perform as they competed in a special initiative designed to provide accessible dance to everyone and to encourage more disabled people in the community to be active.

The Dancers performed in front of a panel of celebrity judges including Roxy Milliner aka GB Breaker B-Girl Roxy, Wheelchair Athlete and Advocate Justine Levene, Broadcast Journalist Krupa Padhy, and Amanda Skoog Chair of One Dance UK.

Cllr Ammar Naqvi, Barnet Council Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure, Arts & Sports, said:

“Today’s event is a wonderful celebration of the joy that dance can bring to everyone. It is also a great way to bring people from parts of our community together who may not previously have had the confidence or opportunity to take part in dance.

“Partnerships like these with Step Change Studios and the Arts Depot really showcase the brilliant people and places that make Barnet such a great place to be.”

Over 100 disabled people ranging in age from 11 to 101 have been taking part in free workshops and auditions as part of Dance Barnet, a pan-disability initiative created by inclusive dance company Step Change Studios in partnership with the London Borough of Barnet.

Dr Rashmi Becker MBE, Founder of Step Change Studios, said:

“Over 16 million people in the country have a disability – that is 1 in 4 people and yet we continue to see too few opportunities for disabled people to be active.

“Dance is a fantastic way to support mental and physical wellbeing, to connect people who may struggle with social interaction or feel isolated, and to build confidence.

“We see the impact dance has on the disabled people we work with and hope Dance Barnet will encourage more individuals and organisations involved in the arts and sport to provide opportunities that welcome and support disabled people.”

The finalists and winners were:

  • Alexie Roylands, 12 years old, danced to Dua Lipa, Dance the Night
  • Alfred Adefarakan, 14 years old, danced to Bruno Mars, Treasure; Rihanna, Brakin’ Dishes; Justin Bieber, Children *First prize winner
  • Lorelie Mabalot, 15 years old, danced to Lisa, Money
  • Tino Knight, 17 years old, danced to The Beatles, Here Comes the Sun *People’s choice winner
  • Alexander Webster, 87 years old, danced to Gene Kelly, Singing in the Rain
  • Myrtle Comras, 96 years old, danced The Charleston
  • Ruth Gazzano, 80 years old, danced to Englebert Humperdinck, The Last Waltz
  • Glen Jonas Makila, 21 years old, danced to Tamborder, Mukenu *Third prize winner
  • Nur Zoulikha Yekhlef, 22 years old, danced to Billie Eilish, What Was I Made For
  • Mylan Singh, 20 years old, danced to Jai Jai Shiv Shankar (by Vishal Dadlani, Benny Dayal) *Second prize winner

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