2017 People's Choice Winner

The Tippy Toe Co

The Tippy Toe Co. is a ballet school for children and young people with special needs.

The Tippy Toe Co. is a classical ballet school in Brisbane catering for children with special needs. The ballerinas are aged between 3-18 years and have a range of disabilities, from physical limitations to intellectual impairments or social and communication disorders. Whatever their challenges, the children come together on a Saturday afternoon for a ballet lesson that meets their individual needs. Dressed in pink tutus and leotards, the Tippy Toe Co. students are doing much more than improving their ballet skills. Physically, they work on their core strength and muscle tone and improve their stamina, co-ordination and motor skills. But they are also learning other skills like following instructions, waiting for a turn, concentrating, co-operating and supporting their classmates. With small class sizes, their qualified teachers provide individual attention so each ballerina is working on their area of need. Weekend ballet lessons would not be possible for these students in a conventional ballet class. The lesson may be too fast-paced, the ballet positions too difficult, or even the music too loud.

The Tippy Toe Co. allows children with special needs to participate, to feel included and to be valued for what they bring to a class. Most of all, they get to enjoy being a ballerina in their own special way. The Tippy Toe Co. is a classical ballet school in Brisbane, with classes growing every term.

This grant would help The Tippy Toe Co. continue their work by helping with the cost of equipment, venue hire and payment of instructors. It would also go towards the group’s plans for expansion. As student numbers increase, the Tippy Toe Co. is beginning to outgrow their current venue at the Sherwood Neighbourhood Centre. A move to a larger venue (planned for 2018) will allow more classes so they can cater for more special needs ballerinas. With this move, the group also hopes to expand the range of activities they offer, by branching into other recreational activities such as hip hop dancing, art, drumming and cooking.

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