The groundbreaking street dance group, Autism with Attitude (AWA), are set to bring the poise to Apple’s flagship store in Covent Garden on Friday 5 April. Performing at 5.30pm as part of World Autism Awareness Week (1-7 April), the troupe – from Hillingdon Manor School, Uxbridge – will be joined by five singers and dancers from Autism’s Got Talent, the show created by Anna Kennedy, autism ambassador for Options Autism.
Performing at Apple Covent Garden is an amazing opportunity to reach a public audience and inspire others affected by autism
Hillingdon Manor is a member of Outcomes First Group, providers of specialist education and support to autistic young people aged from three to 19. AWA formed there in 2013, before going on to showcase their moves at Autism’s Got Talent later that year. They have since found acclaim at all manner of mainstream international competitions, challenging commonly held perceptions about autism along the way. In February of this year they became the first special needs dance team to qualify for the United Dance Organisation’s World Street Dance Championships, taking place in August.
Jonathan Baron, professional dancer and AWA’s teacher, recently won a national inspirational teacher award. He introduced dance classes to Hillingdon Manor six years ago, and now teaches dance to more than three quarters of the school.
From our archive Jo Golding looks at some practical ideas for helping those with special educational needs and disabilities at school:
According to the Department for Education, 2018 saw the percentage of pupils with special educational needs increase for a second consecutive year. So, the responsibility lies with teachers to ensure they are doing everything they can to accommodate these pupils, and make their educational experience fun and informative.
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“Performing at Apple Covent Garden is an amazing opportunity to reach a public audience and inspire others affected by autism – individuals, their families and friends,” said Baron. “At Hillingdon Manor School, we have seen the power of self-belief and the younger students really aspire to the older students’ achievements. We instil the same ethos in them – with hard work and discipline comes success.”
“This is a chance to celebrate success and have fun,” added Kennedy. “All while raising public awareness and helping to make the world a friendlier place for people with autism.”
Autism’s Got Talent is now in its eighth year, and 20 performers will be showcasing their talent at the Mermaid Theatre in London on May 4.
For further details about the event at Covent Garden, please visit: annakennedyonline.com/apple