Author's Name: Rosemary Johnston
Date: Sun 27 Mar 2022

Congratulations BusyFeet on 10 years of dancing

BusyFeet was presented as a possible special project to the Rotary Chadstone/East Malvern Board in 2011 and was met with enthusiasm and support. It was instigated by (the late) Lin Hughes who was very impressed when she watched a dance group on the television for children with special needs. Lin rang the person in Sydney who was leading the group and Lucy Ricardo told Lin that her son with Down Syndrome had badly wanted to dance but there was nothing available to him. Lucy then decided to start her own dance class and Danceability was formed. It is still going strong today with over 70 participants. Lin made some inquiries and found that there was nothing available to children with special needs who wanted to dance in Melbourne so a Committee was formed and the first BusyFeet class started in February 2012.

BusyFeet is open to all children aged 6-16yrs with physical or intellectual disabilities and is designed to create a special place for children to have fun through dance and music. The dance continues today with an average of 17 children turning up every Tuesday for their special time with dance and fun.

Parents/carers of the children can sit for a quiet chat over coffee whilst the children dance and many friendships have developed through this.

The children have performed at the Rotary Fun Day, travelled to Hobart to dance at the Rotary International Zone Institute and received a standing ovation; also they have engaged in other public events to the enjoyment of everyone.

Catherine was one of the first members at BusyFeet, a shy little girl with a ready smile who loved to dance. We watched her confidence grow and today at 20yrs old she is a very committed volunteer loved by all the children.

The dance could not continue without the dedication of the volunteers who say they get as much joy watching the children have fun as the children do. Also, recognition of the support of the Stonnington Council must be mentioned here.

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