Dance Your Jolly Socks Off to Celebrate WDSD

Dance your jolly socks off is 21 hour Dance-A-thon which will celebrate the lives of people with Downs Syndrome.

The celebration was started in 2016 by Jesse Jessip. She was inspired by the vote in General Synod 100% in favour 'we value the lives people who have Down syndrome' and the new antenatal NIPT blood test which targets people with Down syndrome for abortion.

"We want to celebrate the lives of our friends who have Down's Syndrome. I feel very strongly that people and professionals are not aware of the high quality of life our friends lead. People with Down's Syndrome are aware of the high rate of abortion for babies expected to have Down's syndrome and this is extremely painful for them. They are trying to speak up, but it is the quality of their lives, and the beauty of their dancing, which speaks most powerfully, We are beginning to see their true potential as professional artists, actors, dancers, photographers, models, musicians, even politicians says Jesse.

Brilliant Drama Group was asked to take part by Stacey Bryne from the charity #Wouldn'tchangeathing. The charity's aim is to create a world where negative perceptions of Down's Syndrome are a thing of the past.

" We had so much fun with our last two collaborative flash mobs. When Stacy asked we didn't hesitate," says Cat Randle Director of Brilliant Drama Group. " We also relish being part of events and helping charities and groups who are helping change perception and lives of families, friends and people with Down's Syndrome. Our group's confidence grows with each performance. This is a celebration very close to our collective member's heart. and it's a great honour. "

On Thursday 21st The Brilliant Drama group got to meet Blue Apple acting superstars Tommy Jessop and Katie Francis. Both dancers are very generous and we joined in with at Barclays Bank. Afterwards, the group went down to The Square in Winchester, watched Winchester Dance Schools year 1 and year 2 perform silent dancing. The precision of the young dancers was enchanting. As we started dancing That's Hampshire TV arrived. For the second time this year, we've been filmed and broadcast on television.

We want to send a #bigthankyou to Jane Jessop for inviting us to Dance Your Jolly Socks Off in Winchester. We had a wonderful time performing our flash mob. #bigthankyou to Winchester University Year 1 and Year 2 dance students who joined in our flash mob, and Stacy Byrne from #wouldntchangeathing.

After our dancing, we went off to 3 Joes pizza and had lunch. Pauline comment sums up our day

"We had a lovely day out."

The event has been put together in a partnership which includes the University of Winchester, Winchester Cathedral, Winchester GoLD, Blue Apple Theatre, St Lawrence Church, Barclays Bank, The Point Eastleigh, Andover and District Mencap, #wouldn'tchangeathing, St John's Church Hythe, and many other groups across Hampshire.

Special mention to Jane Jessop who worked her jolly socks off and made our day so very special.

Author Cat Randle

Andover and District Mencap

Enabling Choice & Independence

The Wellington Centre

Winchester Rd, Andover
Hampshire, SP10 2EG


Opening Hours

Monday to Friday, 9.00 – 17.00

General enquiries:

01264 321840
[email protected]