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Catherine Wilks for the JABADAO team

JABADAO is the National Centre for Physical Play.

JABADAO was established in 1985 to create more opportunities for people of all ages and energies across the UK to be exuberantly and physically playful because it has the potential to make life so much better.

We are dancers, acrobats and physical players. We offer full-bodied, whole-hearted events and training - wreathed in smiles and ringing with laughter. 

We are also developmental movement play specialists and teachers. Between 1998 and 2009 we researched and created Developmental Movement Play (DMP), an approach putting 'movement play' on the map as a particular way of working in the early years (and beyond) and influencing thinking about the importance of physical play in child development. DMP is now widely used across the UK.

Wherever we work we put play at the centre. (And we appreciate the need for detailed, credible evidence to support new ways of working.)

We humans live in our bodies.
Everything we do, we do in our bodies. We are just fancy mammals.

Movement is our first (and most direct) language; and our body is our first home. The brain's primary purpose, it would seem, is to organise complex movement.

And yet, in the West, we manage to spectacularly ignore this. We vastly favour the education of our fabulous intellects and miss the need to educate - equally - our capacity to notice and draw on the bodily stir - the stream of physical sensations that flow through us every second of every day; the sensations that tell us who and how we are; that map our relationship with everything in the world.

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