Children Today to hold fundraising birthday gala at Sadler’s Wells

Stopgap Dance Company. Photo by Chris Parkes.
Stopgap Dance Company. Photo by Chris Parkes.

Leading children’s disability charity Children Today Charitable Trust is hosting a star-studded fundraising birthday gala with celebrated figures from the world of dance to raise vital funds and awareness of their work with disabled children and young adults. The event will take place on 7 February 2024, at iconic London dance venue Sadler’s Wells.

Empower in Motion – A Ballet Inclusive will be an evening of both classical ballet and contemporary styles of movement. Both disabled and non-disabled dancers will take to the stage for performances that will tell moving and inspiring stories of unity, resilience and inclusivity. All proceeds on the night will be donated to the charity to help provide specialised equipment and support to families across the country.

Highlights of the programme so far include: professional dancer and choreographer Joseph Powell-Main, who uses a wheelchair and crutches to perform and is the ambassador of the gala; a special performance by Birmingham Royal Ballet Principal Yaoqian Shang; global leader of disability access in dance, Stopgap Dance Company, who will perform a special collection of highlights of some of their work they have been touring internationally for over a decade; and award winning First Artist at the English National Ballet Alice Bellini, who will perform choreography with a dancer from icandance, a creative, therapeutic community that caters for the needs of children and young people and their families with lived experience of disabilities.

Emma Prescott, charity director, at Children Today Charitable Trust said, “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 epitomises everything we stand for – inclusivity, freedom and independence. It is the perfect way to celebrate our 30th anniversary!”

Joseph Powell-Main said, “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, said, “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 is proud to help change the lives of disabled children and young people across the UK every day. By providing vital, specialised equipment to families in need, the charity aims to help give these children more independence and the best possible quality of life, as well as help minimise social isolation and improve their physical and mental health.

Children Today’s gala, Empower in Motion – A Ballet Inclusive, will be held on 7 February 2024 at Sadler’s Wells. For tickets and more information, visit www.childrentoday.org.uk.

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