Fidget explores the lived experiences of neurodiverse dancers with conditions such as ADHD, autism and dyspraxia. Giving them a voice to inspire their fellow peers to keep it moving despite challenges. The film celebrates their unique way of thinking and moving and whilst informing the wider community on the realities of its complexities.

The Fidget dancers took part in mentoring sessions over seven weeks, where they got a chance to express themselves individually, as a buddy team and as a group. Some of them spoke of feeling stupid, dismissed and misunderstood because of their condition, but here they have a space to connect in movement whilst being allowed to show themselves fully and being allowed to Fidget and or zone out at any time!

  • Keisha Tonte Njoku
    Founder of Tonte Dance - providing classes and healing through dance workshops - Dancer in Chale by DJ Shunz feat. Elikem Kofi & Triple O, music video N3w Mind by Jum3e. The right to be forgotten dancer wiith Connecting Vibes Irie! dance theatre touring company, Dancer in Block - choreographed by Leroy Dias Dos Santos of Flawless Dance Group - Irie! dance theatre - Beverley Glean, Mass Dance with Alleyne Dance.
  • Aaliyah Josephine Dawkins
    The right to be forgotten dancer with University dance company Connecting Vibes Irie! dance theatre, Wiley Flow choreographed by Leroy Dias Dos Santos of Flawless Dance Group) Irie! dance theatre
  • Janaya Jackson-Williams
    Wiley Flow choreographed by Leroy Dias Dos Santos of Flawless Dance Group Irie! dance theatre
  • Connor Taylor
  • Callum Jaye
    Get Up Stand Up - Bob Marley the Musical, Kemi from the Block, Indie Major Tour UK
  • Vanessa Downie
    Vanessa Downie is a long-established dance practitioner trained in a range of forms including African-contemporary dance. Throughout her career, she has also performed with TEDx Wandsworth - Performance Ancestral whispers., UEFA Champions League, Bloomberg New Contemporaries at ICA and Cloud Dance Festival, among others.
  • Naomi Wynter
    Beyonce Brown Skin Girl
  • Lucky Rebecca Nakiganda
    Dancer in Chale by DJ Shunz feat. Elikem Kofi & Triple O
  • Keisha Tonte Njoku
    Artistic Director / Lead Choreographer
    Choreographer '4 Hours' and Remember Beth hesda. Choreography for From Hymns to Hip Hop - Theatre production. IDTA qualified dance teacher, Arts Award practitioner, Prince 2 project manager, PTTLS qualified workshop facilitator. International community dance practitioner Africa, Asia, Europe, Australasia and UK for over 22 years. Previously worked with Barbican, Albany Theatre, Alleyne Dance, Leroy Dias Dos Santos, Beverley Glean, Music videos with Jum3e and DJ SHUNZ, Lewisham Council Community initiative.
  • David Llewellyn
    Videographer and Composer
    Dellauno Productions - Videography and Music composition. Professional Musician touring with Joel Culpepper (Bass player), Music composition and videography for '4 Hours' dance production by Tonte Dance - Keisha Tonte Njoku
  • Athina Inneh
    Well-being Engagement Officer
    Level 3 Child Behaviour ,Spiritual & Pasto,ral Care in Mental Health, Facilitator of Youth mental health first aid course - Mental Health England.
  • Lennie Varvarides
    Mentor - Neurodiversity
    Co-Founder of DYSPLA - work internationally in film, immersive theatre, installation & digital art. Disability board for London Borough of Culture 2022
  • Mercedes Lewis
    Set & Costume Design
    BA in Philosophy and Dance, and an MFA in Choreography, MENTSCRETiVE (London/US) for choreographic exploration productions, and Future Focus (London/US) a career guidance and mentorship program for young artists, she is a mentor under the WVU College of Creative Arts Creative Consultant Professional Mentorship Program to undergraduate dance students, university lecturer and the BA Course Administrator Responsible for Student Welfare for IRIE! Dance Theatre’s BA (Hons) Diverse Dance Styles Degree.
  • Irie! dance theatre
    Dance mentors and venue space
    IRIE! dance theatre is the UK's leading dance company working in the field of African and Caribbean dance
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Experimental
  • Runtime:
    17 minutes 33 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 31, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    500 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    4k 30fps, Codec H.264, file: Qui
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Irie! dance Theatre accredited by University of Roehampton, UK
  • Back on the Map - Dancing Together Festival
    United Kingdom
    April 13, 2023
    Dancing Together Festival celebrating African diasporic dance
  • Irie! dance theatre - A selection of Fidget appears in Remember Beth hesda live dance & film performance by Keisha Tonte Njoku
    United Kingdom
    April 19, 2023
Director Biography

Dance artist Keisha Tonte Njoku, founder of @tontedance, has a vision to see communities health restored and wounds healed through Christian urban dance.

She is a IDTA qualified dance teacher, workshop facilitator and project manager, with over 20 years experience in international community dance with a range of ages.

Keisha initially trained in gymnastics, ballet, tap, street dance, and continued to diversify at Irie! Dance theatre where she graduated with a 1st class degree in diverse dance styles - developing in choreography, traditional African, Caribbean dance, contemporary, ballet, hip hop and house dance.

She recently began to explore her own ‘healing through dance’ choreographic works and is currently focusing on developing her skills in performance and screen dance production.

She created ‘4 Hours’ (2022) - which focused on the role music and dance play in healing, where she worked with a composer to create original music and then later carried on this theme and developed Fidget. A research project exploring if her healing through dance workshops were beneficial, specifically with neurodiverse dancers.

Fidget was quickly commissioned for a local dance festival - Dancing Together Festival 2023, by Back on the Map Project,London UK - focusing on dance of the African diaspora.

A portion of Fidget was also featured in her independent project with Irie! Dance theatre UK, entitled Remember Beth hesda, a live performance about the spiritual healing journey interspersed with screen dance (2023).

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Add Director Biography
Director Statement

Keisha Tonte Njoku founder of Tonte Dance, has a heart for the healing of communities through Chritstian urban dance.

In this initiative Fidget - she specifically strives to give a unique voice to and inspire undervalued and unheard neurodivergent (ND) community, to celebrate their unique way of thinking whilst raising awareness to the wider community on the realities of its complexities through screen dance.

In 2022, Keisha connected with Lennie Varvarides, co-founder of DYSPLA, a Neurodivergent-led, award-winning arts studio producing and developing the work of Neurodivergent storymakers.

Lennie was serving as a Board member for disability for London Borough of Culture 2022, in which Keisha was involved through Irie! dance theatre - pioneers in black dance Britain's leading dance theatre company working in the field of African & Caribbean dance.

They met and shared about the complexities of the neurodivergent world and the part dance may play in this.

On a personal level Keisha was also trying to understand family members and fellow dancers who experienced the condition and sought to improve her practice as a community dance teacher and choreographer by learning how to be more inclusive in her work.

The result was the formation of a project supporting a mix of 7 Neurodiverse (ND), and non-ND dancers through 7 weeks of healing through dance workshops / rehearsals, supported by a mental health instructor and / wellbeing Engagement Coordinator from First Glimpse, with the end result being a filmed piece that you see here. The piece shows the lived experience of the dancers through movement and voice.

Aaliyah Josephine Dawkins (Fidget Dancer) - explains her experience with ADHD symptoms as a dance student.

"There were times I would just get up and leave the classroom.. zone out.. you'll see me tapping my foot... "

"I'm a dancer and this is what keeps me going.."

All participants reported that they found the experience valuable.

Tonte Dance is also an Arts Award Centre so there will also be opportunities for children and young people to achieve Arts Awards qualifications as part of working with Keisha on future initiatives.

Fidget was screened at the UK at Dancing Together Festival and Irie! dance theatre live performance with film in April 2023, where more feedback was gathered to help shape the next steps and future collaborations.