Dancing might not be the first thing that springs to mind when people think of the NDIS, but it’s something we’re frequently asked about. Not only are dance lessons fun, they also offer social and physical benefits for people with a disability.
Because of this, the NDIS can provide funding to help you join a dance class; either by funding the lesson itself or by assisting you to get to and from class. As with any support, the NDIS will fund dance lessons if they can be considered reasonable and necessary and linked back to the goals in your NDIS plan.
Which support categories fund dance lessons?
Dance lessons are most commonly funded by the NDIS in the support category ‘Increased Social and Community Participation’ (category 9) in your NDIS plan. This is a capacity-building support and is designed to help you build the skills to participate more in your community.
Keep in mind, dancing is just one of many community activities that can be funded under this category. It can also be used for singing lessons, cooking classes, or any other recreational activities that develop skills to build your independence.
Dance classes don’t have to be disability-specific and there’s no limit on how much each lesson can cost – you just need enough in your budget to cover them. Having said this, offering value for money is a key component of whether the NDIS considers something as being reasonable and necessary. So, if you use all your budget on one or two expensive lessons and can’t demonstrate how they have helped you achieve your goals, you may not receive funding for dance lessons in your next plan review.
Support with accessing dance lessons
Another way to get dance lessons funded by the NDIS is through the support category ‘Assistance with Social and Community Participation’ (category 4).
This category is meant to make it easier for you to access dance lessons. Generally, it's used to fund a support worker to help you get to and from classes. As this is a Core Support, you can draw budgets from category 1 and 3 as alternative options.
How to find dance lessons in your area
Dance classes tend to be fairly popular, so unless you live in remote areas where you may have to travel further, you're likely to have a few options. The best way to find the type of dance classes you're looking for is through Google, Facebook, or to ask friends, family or people within your local community. If you’re looking for dance lessons specifically for people with a disability, your Local Area Coordinator might be able to help. Alternatively, you can use online platforms such as Clickability and MyCareSpace.
If you have support coordination included in your plan, your support coordinator can help you find and connect with the best dance studio or dance teacher for your goals.
Just take into account that many dance studios or teachers aren’t registered with the NDIS and if your funding is NDIA managed, you can only access NDIS registered providers. Plan management gives you access to both registered and unregistered providers, so you have more choice.