Inclusive Dance Pedagogies

Inclusive Dance Pedagogies: going forward backward or just standing still?

This panel discussion delves into the role of inclusion in education systems at primary through to higher education in Finland, UK and Uganda. The panel discussion is part of Erasmus + project Dance Out Of Line and is co-founded by Erasmus + and X Dance Festival 2021.

The aim of the panel discussion is to open up discussion about inclusive dance pedagogy. What are the different strategies applied to each level of education in each country to create more accessibility? What was learned from Erasmus + project Dance Out Of Line? What can we learn from different practices? What are the shortfalls and challenges? Are inclusive agendas improving and turning into action? What are future dreams?

The panel discussion participants have been immersed in different education systems informed by different cultures. The results of Erasmus + project Dance Out Of Line will be presented and participants are invited to offer reflections on the state of inclusion within their own experience and to notice if there are common denominators that move beyond geographical location into collective goals and action for future inclusive pedagogies.

There will be time at the end of the discussion when participants can ask questions to the panelists.

WHEN: Saturday 12 June @14:00-15.30

WHERE: Via Zoom. Link here: 

Adam Benjamin (UK) has been a keystone in developing in inclusive dance in the UK and recently innovated an Inclusive Dance Program in Plymouth University in the UK. Joseph Tebandeke (UG) and Noora Västinen (FI) have been working with children in Uganda and Finland within the school systems and Eeva Antilla is a part of Art Equal research initiative in Finland and lecture in dance pedagogy at UniArts Helsinki.

The panel is moderated by Kaarina Koistinen an occupational therapist and DanceAbility -facilitator, who has produced Erasmus + project Dance Out Of Line, an inclusive project for schools.




Adam Benjamin – joint founder with Celeste Dandeker, of CandoCo Dance Company and author of Making an Entrance. Theory and practice for disabled and non-disabled dancers (Routledge
2002). He has received numerous awards including a London TimeOut performance award, the Sainsbury’s award for education, he was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship while on the
faculty of Theatre and Performance at Plymouth University and was named a Change Maker by the South Bank Centre in 2015. He founded Tshwaragano Dance Company, the first South
African dance company integrated on both racial and disability lines, more recently helped establish Company-Kyo in Japan. During the pandemic he launched the Dancers’ Forest initiative and is now raising funds for the first forest site in Devon.


Eeva Anttila works as a professor in dance pedagogy at Theatre Academy of University of the Arts Helsinki, Finland, and leads the MA program for dance pedagogy. Her research interests include dialogical and critical dance pedagogy, embodied learning, embodied knowledge, social justice and equality in arts education, as well as practice-based/artistic research methods. She has led the Arts@School research team in the ArtsEqual research initiative (2015-2021) funded by the Strategic Research Council of the Academy of Finland ( Currently, leads the ELLA -research project (2021-2024) that focuses on embodied language learning through the arts, funded by Kone Foundation. She has published several articles and book chapters nationally and internationally and is actively involved in national and international dance and arts education organizations. She served as the Chair of Dance and the Child International (2009–2012). She is member of editorial board of International Journal for Education & the Arts, and Nordic Journal of Dance: Practice, Education and Research.


Tebandeke Joseph is a choreographer, dancer teacher for both people with and without disabilites. He was born in a small town in Busega Kampala-Uganda on 30th July 1993 born like any other normal child. However, when he was 5 years old he got polio, which made people and relatives around him lose hope in him.
As he grew up, he faced very many challenges and neglects which he says made him so strong and helped him to know what he wanted to be.

He choose to inspire and motvate others by trying different things such as wheelchair racing in which he won two gold medals in the MTN Uganda marathon 2017 and NSSF 7 hills 2016. He also joined wheelchair basketball and became the team captain in few months. But still this wasn’t enough for him. He started to dance with a small group which changed his life; dance gave him a platform to express his and others feelings. This became a source of income to him as well as allowing him the chance to be mentored by professional choreographers and establishing himself as one of the top artists with disability in East Africa.

He uses peoples’ challenges to make them strong and heal them through the performances he makes mixing contemporary dance, traditional dance, and break dance.

Currently he teaches and choreographs for different schools for people with and without disabilities namely Embracekulture Uganda, and co-director of Splash Dance Company. And other small groups of people at the National Theatre of Uganda.


Noora Västinen is a dancer and teacher of inclusive dance (DanceAbility), and expert in applied and participatory arts.
Noora works in the field of art in various projects and is involved through DAF in the Dance Out of Line – Erasmus + project.

In her work, Noora wants to promote equal opportunities for people to participate in art and culture and enjoy the joy of dance and movement.


Kaarina Koistinen is an occupational therapist and DanceAbility -facilitator, who has produced Erasmus + -project Dance Out Of Line, which is about inclusive dance in schools. Kaarina is interested in enabling dance for diverse groups.

Photo: Jonna Lehto X Dance Festival 2018 panel discussion.