TigCHILDREN with complex needs have been involved in a spectacular multi-sensory arts event focussing on exuberant movement play.

Students from The Dales School enjoyed The Tig, a stunning inflatable space filled with colour light and music created by JABADAO in partnership with Architects of Air.

Inside, six dancers and acrobats play, engaging students who live with complex learning and health needs in a focussed dance event.

The Tig which tours nationally, has been visited by special schools across North Yorkshire. It was hosted by The Dales School, Morton-on- Swale, near Northallerton, for two days where it was also visited by children from Mowbray School.

Organised by special needs schools sports co-ordinators Val French and Maureen Breen, the initiative proved a hit with children and their families.

Maureen said: “Spontaneous movement can be extremely exhilarating but children don’t have many opportunities in their day to explore creative movement.”

JABADAO director Penny Greenland said: “The Tig creates a portal into another world – one where words are redundant and movement is the shared language. All the play is child- led – our job is to pick up precisely what each child wants to do, however small or boisterous, and make the most of it. It’s very focused and vibrant.”

Year 4 student Aniela Newton, of Thirsk, who was born with cerebral palsy, loved the experience.

Her father Andrew, who is chairman of Inclusive Sports for Hambleton, said: “It was absolutely amazing. Aniela loves movement and the atmosphere was incredible. She found it so stimulating. You can’t get a better, safer, more immersive environment.”

The Dales School head teacher Hanne Barton said: “We strive to inspire the children to move so The Tig was a spectacular and different way to help pupils who are difficult to reach in other ways.”

Parents were also able to see for themselves the work carried out at the school, including the use of special bikes, wheelchair swings, tennis, handprint art and other activities.