Join artistic director Charlotte Darbyshire, dancers from Candoco Dance Company, and founder of Heroes of Hope, Hollie Murphy, as they discuss the arts as a means to redefine access and belonging.

Hollie Murphy

Hollie Murphy is the founder of Heroes of Hope, a non- profit organization for people of determination. Hollie’s work with people of determination began when she was a PE teacher in Dubai. She set up an after-school club for children of determination which attracted support from organizations and facility owners who enabled it to grow.

After witnessing the benefits of the Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi, Hollie gave up teaching in 2020 and founded Heroes of Hope Heroes of Hope is a free outreach community organization that aims to inspire a fully inclusive nation in the UAE. Heroes of Hope was selected by the social incubator programme of the Authority for Social Inclusion – Ma’an.

Hollie’s vision is to weave this demographic into the fabric of our communities and initiate a necessary societal change. This is what social entrepreneurship looks like for this generation and those to come. This is about access to education, a work force and sports for a previously overlooked population. Give them a chance at a normal life. Let’s shift the perspective of people of determination that have historically been told what they can’t do.Instead, let’s see what they can do.

Charlotte Darbyshire

Charlotte is an independent artist with over 25 years’ experience of working in contemporary dance and specifically in somatic and inclusive practices as a performer, maker, teacher and director of two award-winning films.

Charlotte was a founder member of Candoco Dance Company, performing and teaching internationally with the company for the first 10 years and helping to lay the foundations of what Candoco is today. Charlotte went on to develop her independent practice and research into inclusive and creative approaches to dance practice for disabled and non-disabled people. She led integrated projects and later wrote and delivered multiple training programmes in the UK, Colombia, Croatia, Bangladesh and Sweden.

She is passionate about education and for 10 years was also a Dance Lecturer on the BA Degree Programmes at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance and London Contemporary Dance School (2000 – 2011). In the last decade she trained with Linda Hartley to become a certified Movement Therapist and Integrative Bodyworker. This has strengthened her international reputation as a movement educator and facilitator and grounds her practice as Candoco’s Artistic Director.