DanceSport doors open wider for people with disability

By Andrea Phillips

December 2020

A NEW partnership between Special Olympics Australia and DanceSport Australia will generate more inclusive programs in dance schools nationwide.

DanceSportWA Chairwoman, Judy Pegus said DanceSport Australia’s aim in partnering with Special Olympics Australia is “to become a truly diverse and inclusive sport”.

DanceSport WA already offers well attended all-abilities programs and competitions which increase its community reach and eligibility for state government funding.

The partnership formalises integration of Special Olympics competitions within DanceSport national and state competitions. This means Special Olympics athletes will have the opportunity to compete at a national level once a year through DanceSport competitions as well as at the Special Olympics National Games held every four years.

Corene Strauss, Special Olympics Australia’s CEO, said the partnership provides a new opportunity for Special Olympics athletes.

“I am very excited that we are adding a new sport offering to our Games and an opportunity for people in the DanceSport community to compete through the Special Olympics pathway.”

“I am very excited that we are adding a new sport offering to our Games.”

- Corene Strauss, Special Olympics Australia CEO

Strauss said that Australia is one of the first countries within the global Special Olympics movement to be introducing DanceSport programs.

The Special Olympics National Games being held in Launceston, Tasmania in 2022 will feature a DanceSport demonstration event, with DanceSport becoming an official sport at the subsequent National Games in 2026 and World Games in 2027.



Special Olympics Australia strives to ensure that everyone living with an intellectual disability can participate in sport. We provide:

  • Weekly grassroots sporting, recreational, social and health activities in local communities around Australia.
  • An environment where people with an intellectual disability can develop physical fitness, build self-esteem, demonstrate courage, and make friends.
  • Competition pathways ranging from weekly club events, to regional, state, and national games, culminating in the Special Olympics World Games.