A DANCE charity that aims to make dance accessible to all has been updating its knowledge on how to be inclusive to all genders.

Move Momentum, based in Winchester, aims to provide accessible, inclusive and affordable dance classes for the community.

Recently, staff from the dance charity attended Transgender Awareness training led by Mermaids, a charity that supports gender variant and transgender youth.

During the course, staff members Amanda Watkinson, Kerry Chamberlain and Lizzie Sawyer refreshed their knowledge on what comes under the umbrella term 'transgender' as well as the challenges they may face, from health care to hate crimes.

Hampshire Chronicle: Move MomentumMove Momentum

Amanda Watkinson, CEO of the organisation said: “We became more aware that it was becoming a more prevalent issue. We’ve had people come to us who are either questioning their gender or using different pronouns and we wanted to make sure that we are a place where people felt that they could be themselves and be open about it if they wanted.

READ MORE: More than 50 events celebrating the Heritage Open Days in Winchester

“The training was really helpful it gave us a lot of insight. Each of our staff members had a different base level of knowledge to begin with so we all got different things out of it. There was information we hadn’t considered before and things we realised we could be doing better as an organisation like having a place to put pronouns on our registration forms.

“We all came out of it feeling like we had learned something and were better equipped to manage those situations and be able to communicate about it.”

Following the training, all staff members now where pronouns badges and introduce themselves and their pronouns when a new dancer joins.

The team plan to develop internal transgender awareness training to make sure new team members are brought up to speed, addressing they should tackle conversations surrounding gender and pronouns.

Amanda, 30, added: “Having those conversations with other students makes sure that they’re aware and that everyone feels safe and valued coming to us.

“I think one of the biggest issues is that people don’t know how to talk about it, they know they want to be inclusive, but they don’t know how to approach it because of a lack of knowledge and understanding on how to.

“We’re going to try and ensure that we pass on that knowledge to any new staff members that join our team.”Hampshire Chronicle: Move Momentum

The local dance charity was set up when dancer Louise Todino realised certain groups of people had limited access to dance due to challenges such as financial pressures.

Amanda Watkinson helped develop the charity to help combat accessibility struggles for groups such as young people, over 65s and wheelchair users.

The CEO said: “We felt that it was a shame that certain groups of people were missing out on this amazing opportunity to be part of an activity that can have such a profound impact on you mental, physical and social wellbeing.”

For more go to movemomentum.co.uk/.