By Tristan Sinclair
    Program Manager and Artistic Director of emotion21

    Everyone should have an opportunity to dance and emotion21 is an exciting new opportunity for people in the west with Down syndrome (PWDS) to learn dance from one of their own.

    Run by the Inclusion Foundation, emotion21 is a pioneering programme that’s been providing evidence-based creative programmes for PWDS across nine Victorian locations. Now, it’s launching new dance and fitness classes at RecWest in Braybrook!

    By customising their classes to suit the specific learning needs of PWDS, emotion21 creates supportive, physically active, and socially engaging environments where individuals can flourish.

    One of the unique aspects of emotion21 is their commitment to training and employing people with Down syndrome as teachers. This approach not only empowers individuals with Down syndrome but also ensures a deeper understanding of the needs of participants. 

    Emily is a dance teacher with Down syndrome and explains why this approach is so important.

    “It’s so important for people with Down syndrome, like me of course, to go out there and to teach people with disabilities, and to put us all at the front, so it’s really special to me to get to teach people with disabilities and show everyone what we are all capable of.”

    Engaging in community-based activities offers numerous benefits for people with disabilities. Dance and fitness classes help improve muscle strength, flexibility, and overall health. Emotionally, they allow individuals to develop self-confidence, a sense of belonging, and improved mental well-being. And socially, they create opportunities for people with disabilities to form friendships, expand their support networks, and break down barriers within the wider community. They also foster connections between families and community members.

    The new classes at RecWest in Braybrook will cater to a wide age range, offering tailored programmes for youth with Down syndrome (9–15-year-olds), teens and adults with Down syndrome (16+), and an all-abilities class for 16+. These classes will take place on Monday evenings, providing a convenient and accessible opportunity for the local community to participate and engage with emotion21’s mission.

    By joining these classes at RecWest, participants will have the chance to get involved in a community concert and become a part of a vibrant and inclusive community. 

    emotion21 coming to Braybrook

    New classes started Term 2 Monday 24th of April
    RecWest, 39 Lily Street, Braybrook VIC 3019

    5:45pm to 6:30pm: Youth group (8 to 15 years old)
    6:30pm to 7:15pm: Young adults and adults (16 years old +)
    7:15pm to 8:00pm: All abilities (16 years old +)

    For more information head to
    9854 7100

    Our content is a labour of love, crafted by dedicated volunteers who are passionate about the west. We encourage submissions from our community, particularly stories about your own experiences, family history, local issues, your suburb, community events, local history, human interest stories, food, the arts, and environmental matters. Below are articles created by community contributors. You can find their names in the bylines.

    Your feedback

    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here



    Latest Articles

    Latest edition

    #98 July 2024

    Recent editions


    Become a supporter

    The Westsider is run on the power of volunteers. Your contribution directly contributes to ensuring we can continue serving and celebrating our community.

    Related articles