Students at Communication Specialist College Doncaster (CSCD) have had a week of special sessions with a team from Deaf Explorer.

The students, who are Deaf or have communication difficulties, including Autism, have worked with dancers from Deaf Explorer to investigate dance, drama and poetry as ways to express their feelings.

Rebecca Loosemore, assistant principal at CSCD said: “Our students have had an amazing time with the team from Deaf Explorer.

“Billy Read, Ariel Fung and Chris Fonseca, who wowed audiences on BBC One’s the Greatest Dancer, have worked with our students to help them to express themselves using dance and drama.”

Deaf Explorers work with groups across the country to break down barriers so more Deaf people are confident to take artistic leadership roles. Their purpose is to provide communication support, so Deaf people gain skills and competences in their artistic work to be independent and successful.

The students also had a workshop with drummer Nao Masuda, who brought in instruments to help the group move to the beat through vibrations.

This Arts Council funded project, called Sign Criminal, sees Billy Read working with young deaf people on participatory dance.

Billy shares his artform, that blends visual communication with dance, and in Sign Criminal he describes visually the experiences of young deaf people really well. Young deaf people have expressed in feedback that they have empathised with Billy’s story and want to use dance to tell their own story about the frustrations of communication breakdown and the privilege of having a secret language.

“Our students have had a really amazing time with the group and have developed so many new skills over the week. It has been fantastic to see their confidence grow and they have really challenged themselves,” added Rebecca.