Introducing Cheshire Dance Associate Artist Ben Wilson


3 min read

A young adult with Downs Syndrome and glasses sitting on a studio floor. Only the upper body is visible with half his face angled forwards. A slight smile on his face.

Ben Wilson joined Cheshire Dance as an Associate Artist in 2023 on a brand-new programme that supports Learning Disabled Dance artists to develop skills and knowledge to support them to work professionally in the dance sector. This new programme is in partnership TIN Arts as part of their NPO funding agreement with ACE, and Yorkshire Dance.

Ben is 19 years old and has Down’s Syndrome. His relationship with Cheshire Dance began six years back when he joined DS Winsford, a Cheshire Dance group run in partnership with Down Syndrome Cheshire.

Ben has a level 2 Extended Certificate in Sport and assistant-coaches football for others with Down’s Syndrome.

This week, we chatted with Ben to find out about his experiences on the programme so far.


A young adult lying on the floor of a dance studio, legs in a running position. Sun shines through the window creating a lined pattern where it reflects from the blinds A young adult with Down Syndrome dancing in a studio, performing a break dancing move. Crouched, one hand is on the floor, one leg is outstretched. Sun shines through the window creating a lined pattern where it reflects from the blinds 


What do you love about dance?

I love the freedom of it; it’s like a fire inside. It means I can express my emotions and it helps me to deal with things that can be difficult for me.

Why did you want to work with Cheshire Dance?

As soon as I heard about the programme, I wanted to join. I have been a part of a regular Cheshire Dance class called DS dance for 6 years. I didn’t know that I could become I dancer, Cheshire Dance has shown me that this is an option for me.

What do you do in the programme with Cheshire Dance?

I do 1:1 sessions with Alex, who is a Hip Hop artist; choreography sessions and mentoring sessions. I’ve also attended bigger training workshops with lots of different dancers and have had opportunities to perform the work I make. With the programme I get to learn about the dance world.

What is the best thing you have done so far?

I’ve done so many great things but one of my favourites was a choreography routine game where we rolled a dice to create a routine. In the game each move has a number and we roll the dice to choose the order. It helps me to remember the moves more easily and to challenge myself to do the moves in a random order. It was fun and exciting!

Has working with Cheshire Dance changed how you see your future?

Before coming here I didn’t know I could be a professional dancer – now it feels like I can!

I have been recently accepted onto an Advance Dance Training programme with Frontline Dance and I was encouraged to apply and audition for this by Cheshire Dance. I didn’t think training at that level would be possible for me and Cheshire Dance have pushed me.

What do you see yourself doing in the future?

I would like to run my own dance studio! And be a professional dancer!

Describe your experience so far in three words.

Awesome, Unbelievable, Amazing!


A Note from Emma Thomas, Ben’s Producer at Cheshire Dance:

Ben has been working with us for the last 7 months and has grown in confidence and ability. Ben is open to trying new things and is very hard working. He is a beautiful mover with a unique style and voice. I find inspiration in him every time we work together.

Watching him grow and learn about a dance world that isn’t created for someone with more challenges is incredibly inspiring. He rises to every challenge presented to him and I see great things in his future.



The Cheshire Dance team would like to congratulate Ben on his hard work and progress so far; there is a very bright future ahead of him and we will continue to share his progress.



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