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Dancing with stars in their eyes -

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Reporter: Nance Haxton

PETER CAVE: The comedians Peter Cook and Dudley Moore never failed to get a laugh out of their
famous sketch about the one legged actor who wanted to play Tarzan.

Well in South Australia the country's only professional dance company for both abled and disabled
dancers is rehearsing for its new production 12 months after it ceased to be an amateur ensemble.

And while it may be a lot of fun the Restless Dance Theatre is certainly no joke.

As Nance Haxton reports.

NANCE HAXTON: When Lorcan Hopper dances on stage, he says it's like the world stops.

LORCAN HOPPER: I love dancing because it's in my blood, yeah.

NANCE HOXTON: What do you feel when you're on stage.

LORCAN HOPPER: Bit of stage fright.

NANCE HOTXON: Bit nervous?

LORCAN HOPPER: Bit nervous.

NANCE HOXTON: Do you move beyond that and then you feel a bit more at home?

LORCAN HOPPER: Yes, it's good.

NANCE HOXTON: But Lorcan Hopper's humility betrays his dancing talents. He has Down syndrome, and
was selected as one of the founding members of Restless Dance Theatre's professional ensemble after
being discovered at one of the company's workshops.

He says getting paid for dancing was one of his proudest achievements yet.

LORCAN HOPPER: When I got paid I feel like growing - bit more muscle.

NANCE HOXTON: You feel empowered.

LORCAN HOPPER: Empowered, yeah.

NANCE HOXTON: And his mother Sandra Hopper can attest to that, saying that until her son was chosen
by the company, they had no idea of the extent of his latent talent.

SANDRA HOPPER: We would have been content for him to just be in a regular dance class that happened
every week, never thought anything about performing.

NANCE HOXTON: Lorcan Hopper is now in rehearsals for Restless Dance Theatre's new production
'Bedroom Dancing', a no-holes-barred performance where the audience moves through 15 rooms that
reveal intimate moments in the dancers' lives.

And Restless is working on another show called 'Next of Kin', that involves the families of the
ensemble as well.

Lorcan Hopper's 12-year-old sister Keava is excited at the prospect of joining her brother on
stage, and having something creative that they can share.

KEAVA HOPPER: We haven't actually done it yet - but I think it will be interesting. I think it's
helped Lorcan to show all his stuff that he can do and yeah, show his personality.

NANCE HOXTON: Restless Dance Theatre is Australia's only professional dance group for dancers with
a disability.

Company manager Nick Hughes says going professional last year was a huge step in the evolution of
the company.

NICK HUGHES: Not only to tour but to give opportunities to those dancers that show real promise
like Lorcan, who could actually make a career out of it. To take the next step and to say well the
dancers too are moving into a fully professional arena is a really important maturing step for the
company to take.

NANCE HOXTON: Designer Gaelle Mellis says without Restless - there would be little or no vocational
training for disabled dancers.

GAELLE MELLIS: I think the professional aspect is absolutely important because if we want a really
diverse society with equal opportunities for people then we cannot deny disabled people the
opportunity to train into professional opportunities such as artists.


NANCE HOXTON: As well as dancing, Lorcan Hopper has now gone on to direct his own show with

He says that was one of the biggest thrills of working for the company.

LORCAN HOPPER: When I was directing a piece called 'Binge Drinking', and it's about people getting
who's getting drunk and it's about puberty and sex and stuff.

NANCE HOXTON: And you directed that?


NANCE HOXTON: So that was great to be able to direct as well as perform.

LORCAN HOPPER: Yes but for me I'd like to direct more because I'm going to get into a lot of
companies like in Sydney and Melbourne and overseas.

PETER CAVE: Restless Dance Theatre performer and director Lorcan Hopper ending Nance Haxton's