A GROUP of children from The Fiji Society for the Blind school are taking part in the dance category of the Kula Film Awards for the first time this Friday.
The film and dance awards has been organised by Film Fiji since 2006, and has now become a key event in the calendar of activities for many high schools around Fiji.
The children involved from the school include a mixture of boys and girls from classes one to eight.
One child who has lost his sight entirely is to start the whole act, which sees a fusion of dance styles, including a cane dance, an island number, and a Bollywood finale.
Amit Ashween Chand from the Masti Arts and Dance Group has been responsible for co-ordinating and choreographing the routine being performed by the children, and his enthusiasm for the competition and the benefits it will provide them is clear.
The dance group was requested by the school to help them with their choreography and have now taken over the responsibility of their entire training regime.
"There has been a stigma attached to the children because they are disabled, but they still have a lot of ability to show and this will be the first time they have been able to show this on such a big platform," Mr Chand said.
While the competition has provided a means for those students to stand up and express themselves, he added: "It has given them an opportunity to show their abilities rather than their disabilities, giving them confidence too."
The children have been preparing for the past six weeks and judging by the training session, the hard work is paying off.
They were all smiles as they performed a run through of their routine, which shows elements of individual dance as well as large segments in unison.
With the assistance coming at no cost, Mr Chand said: "We felt that we should do this, we could do this and we were prepared to do it."