Kate Stanforth Academy of Dance now sponsored by Allied Mobility
As we move into the summer of 2021, Allied Mobility have announced that they’ll be sponsoring the Kate Stanforth Academy of Dance for the rest of the year. This is in an effort to encourage dancers with disabilities to return to the world of dance or give it a go for the first time.
Allied Mobility have been following Kate and her experiences ever since 2018, showcasing her abilities as a fantastic campaigner for disabled rights with a bright, outgoing personality.
Kate trained as a dancer from a young age and was preparing for life as a professional when she fell ill at age 14. She became unwell with ME and went on to be diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, Vasovagal Syncope, and MCAD.
Unfortunately, this prevented Kate from following her dream career as a professional dancer, but that didn’t stop her from pursuing her passion in other ways. She returned several years later to the studio, both as a dancer and as a beginner dancing teacher starting her teaching qualifications.
In Kate’s own words, “I want the dance industry to be accessible for all, whether it’s teaching, choreography or physically dancing.”
Making dance accessible to everyone
As Kate is both a wheelchair user and a disabled teacher, she was acutely aware of the struggles which people may face. The lack of accessibility in dance studios and the physicality required to teach new students both posed challenges.
However, she overcame these through adaptations to her teaching style, providing more detailed vocal instructions and demonstrating choreography from her wheelchair.
During lockdown in March 2020, Kate decided to use her skills as both a dancer and a teacher to offer free weekly classes online which were inclusive to all. These classes proved popular amongst many, and soon she had gathered a dedicated following of aspiring dancers.
The success she found allowed her to open her own dance studio by September 2020, a brand new accessible space for dancers of all abilities. This stemmed from collaboration between Craig Heap, a Commonwealth Games gold medal winning gymnast, and YouTuber Demi Donnelly who transformed a space into a studio with Kate in mind.
As Allied Vehicles looks to Kate’s future alongside a wealth of other sponsors, she states that her overall goal is to make the whole dance world more accessible. Allied Vehicles will be sponsoring Kate’s Friday classes for the rest of the year, helping to fund her dreams and help turn them into a reality.
By building a strong community and sharing her experiences with others, hopefully others with a passion for dance won’t feel that their disability will prevent them from following their dreams.