Stopgap Dance Company - Frock (C) Chris Parkes

Empower in Motion Gala: Celebrating 30 Years of Children Today Charitable Trust

LONDON – In a grand celebration of inclusivity and artistic expression, Children Today Charitable Trust is set to mark its 30th anniversary with a dazzling fundraising gala titled Empower in Motion – A Ballet Inclusive. The event, scheduled for February 7, 2024, at Sadler’s Wells in London, promises an enchanting evening that unites disabled and non-disabled dancers from various organizations, all in the name of raising vital funds and awareness for the charity’s work with disabled children and young people with disabilities.

At the heart of this gala lies a powerful mission – to empower and uplift children and young adults with disabilities, granting them the freedom to pursue their dreams unhindered by physical limitations. The gala’s proceeds will be entirely dedicated to Children Today’s mission, providing specialized equipment and support to families nationwide.

Empower in Motion – A Ballet Inclusive will serve as a testament to the incredible power of dance, showcasing both classical ballet and contemporary styles of movement. This unique fusion of artistry will weave together narratives of unity, resilience, and inclusivity, told through mesmerizing performances by exceptionally talented dancers.

The event’s star-studded lineup includes renowned figures from the world of dance:

  • Joseph Powell-Main: As the ambassador of the gala, professional dancer and choreographer Joseph Powell-Main is set to mesmerize the audience. Powell-Main, who gracefully performs using a wheelchair and crutches, made history as the first dancer to do so at the Royal Ballet. His accolades also include being a former UK National Para Dance Champion in Solo Freestyle and Combi Freestyle.
  • Yaoqian Shang: Birmingham Royal Ballet Principal Yaoqian Shang will grace the stage with a special performance.
  • Stopgap Dance Company: Recognized globally as leaders in disability access in dance, the Stopgap Dance Company will present a collection of highlights from their illustrious body of work, which has captivated international audiences for over a decade.
  • Alice Bellini: Award-winning First Artist at the English National Ballet, Alice Bellini, will collaborate with a dancer from icandance, a creative and therapeutic community dedicated to children, young people, and families with lived experiences of disabilities.

Emma Prescott, the charity director at Children Today Charitable Trust, shared her heartfelt sentiments, saying, “Children Today was founded 30 years ago because we believe that disability shouldn’t stand in anyone’s way of achieving their dreams. Childhood is precious, and it doesn’t last forever. You blink, and you miss it! We believe in giving disabled children and young adults the power to live their lives the way they choose – whether that means becoming the next Para-dance star or simply being able to do the things you love with friends and family – today and in the future. Empower in Motion epitomizes everything we stand for – inclusivity, freedom, and independence. It is the perfect way to celebrate our 30th Anniversary!”

Joseph Powell-Main expressed his excitement, stating, “I am really looking forward to being part of this exciting showcase, celebrating two things I am passionate about, dance and inclusion. I am looking forward to performing on the stage at Sadler’s Wells in what I am sure will be an evening to remember!”

Ross Freddie Ray and Henry Dowden, Producers of Empower in Motion, lauded the incredible support they have received, saying, “It has been an incredible privilege learning about all-inclusive dance within the UK, and to have the pleasure of meeting so many inspiring companies and foundations that are going above and beyond for inclusive dance. The willingness to help this event and support Children Today has been far greater than we had ever imagined, and it will be our privilege to be able to present the audience the wonderful work that is being created and the artistry we have brought together for this celebration.”

Children Today Charitable Trust remains dedicated to making a positive impact on the lives of disabled children and young people across the UK daily. By providing vital, specialized equipment to families in need, the charity strives to offer these children greater independence, enhance their quality of life, minimize social isolation, and improve their physical and mental well-being.

Tickets for Empower in Motion – A Ballet Inclusive are on sale at ChildrenToday website.

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👤 📅4 October 2023
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📷 Main photo: Stopgap Dance Company - Frock (C) Chris Parkes

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