Unified Indonesian Heritage: Dance Festival

by Special Olympics Indonesia

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  • Youths from Special Olympics Indonesia organized a dance festival celebrating the diverse cultures across Indonesia and enabling youths with and without intellectual disabilities (ID) to express themselves through dance.
  • The youths were led by Aloysia, who has a sister with ID. Aloysia wanted to advocate for her sister and support her in showcasing her dance skills.



  • Generally, awareness of intellectual disability in Indonesia is low. At the same time, Dance Sport is an official sport of Special Olympics but is not recognized as a sport in Indonesia.
  • Through the festival, Aloysia wanted to promote: Dance Sport as a platform for expression, mutual learning between youth with and without ID, and the acceptance of differences from oneself (especially towards people with ID). The festival also served as a celebration and showcase of the diversity of cultures, song and dance in Indonesia.
  • As a sibling of a sister with ID, Aloysia also wished to engage siblings of people with ID to support their siblings and act as role models for a Unified Generation.


  • 9 youths (with and without ID) who were new to Special Olympics were recruited and engaged in planning the festival. They developed their organizational and leadership skills through this experience.
  • The festival participants included 20 Special Olympics athletes and 34 participants without ID, from different provinces across Indonesia. Through dance, they expressed themselves and showcased their culture to the audience.

“I had so much fun. I’m so happy when I’m dancing on the stage.” – Michael, Special Olympics Indonesia athlete

“We are very happy to present our culture through dancing.” – Tatu, Unified Partner [participant without ID]

  • Parents and siblings could take pride in the skills showcased by their family members with ID, fostering closeness between them and encouraging siblings, especially, to act as advocates.

“As an audience member, I was very entertained with all the performances. They dressed up nicely. All the participants prepared very well and the unified partners themselves contributed a lot. Well done!” – Risa, parent

What we learnt:

  • “I was really surprised to see these athletes and their partners wearing amazing costumes. They were performing amazingly which surprised me the most. Some of them even came with props. They seem to have been preparing and practicing so well. The athletes looked happy and they seemed confident on stage.” – Aloysia, project lead


Media report 1
Media report 2

Project Report
Personal Experience