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On Friday 5th April 2019 at 5:30pm, Apple’s flagship store in Covent Garden, London, will be abuzz with energy when Autism with Attitude (AWA) – the groundbreaking street dance group from Hillingdon Manor School, Uxbridge – showcase their moves as part of World Autism Awareness Week, 1-7 April. The dance troupe – whose tenacity and talent has inspired millions – will be joined by performers from Autism’s Got Talent, the show created by Anna Kennedy OBE, Autism Ambassador for Options Autism, to raise public awareness of the condition and give adults and children with autism the chance to shine.
World Autism Awareness Week aims to increase global understanding and acceptance of people with autism and to raise awareness of it being a spectrum condition that affects people in different ways. Joining AWA at Apple Covent Garden will be five other talented dancers and singers from Autism’s Got Talent, coming from Kent, Hertfordshire, Essex, Ipswich, Surrey and West London – Callum Kirrage, Marie Gorton, Ethan Kumalo, Macauley Elvin and Emma Awahi.
AWA was formed in 2013 at Hillingdon Manor School, part of Outcomes First Group, which provides specialist education and support to pupils aged three to nineteen years old with autism. The dancers showcased at Autism’s Got Talent later that year and have since achieved phenomenal success at international mainstream competitions, whilst also becoming ambassadors for autism by challenging commonly held perceptions and showing that dreams can be realised with enough determination and hard work. The troupe made history again in February 2019 by becoming the first special needs dance team to qualify for the United Dance Organisations (UDO) World Championships, taking place in August later this year.
Jonathan Baron, AWA’s dance teacher and professional dancer who recently won a national Inspirational Teacher Award, first introduced dance classes to Hillingdon Manor School six years ago and now teaches dance to over three quarters of the school.
Commenting on Autism Awareness Week, Jonathan said, “Performing at Apple Covent Garden is an amazing opportunity to reach a public audience and inspire others affected by autism – individuals, their families and friends. At Hillingdon Manor School, we have seen the power of self-belief and the younger students really aspire to the older students’ achievements. We instil the same ethos in them – with hard work and discipline comes success.”
Anna Kennedy OBE, Autism Ambassador for Options and organiser of the Apple event, added, “We are so excited that our Autism’s Got Talent performers are showcasing their acts at the Apple Flagship Store in Covent Garden during Autism Awareness Week! This is a chance to celebrate success and have fun – all while raising public awareness and helping to make the world a friendlier place for people with autism.”
Autism’s Got Talent is now in its eighth year and 20 performers will be showcasing their talent at the Mermaid Theatre in London on 4th May 2019.
For further details about the event at Apple Covent Garden please visit: https://www.annakennedyonline.com/autism-awareness-week-agt-at-apple-covent-garden/
To find out more about Hillingdon Manor School, please visit the website: https://www.hillingdonmanorschool.org.uk