I Feel Like Dancing
I was very pleased when I received the email from my editor that this issue is about music, dance and movement. Although I usually write about organizing, I wanted to touch upon the need for our children to be included in classes that offer music, dance and movement. Maybe this is a little about organizing – I kept detailed notes on this journey! Here is my story…
I started dancing school at the age of 5 and continued until I was 17 and loved every minute! So when I had a daughter in 2003, I was excited to introduce her to dance when she was ready. When my daughter was two, she was diagnosed with Autism. Because I did not know much about Autism at the time, I was thinking there goes my dream of her in dance classes, recitals and glitzy costumes.
A Place to Start
As my daughter received more and more services to improve her speech, behavior and understanding of simple directions, in the summer of 2010 my husband and I began to search for an adaptive dance class. We found nothing so we decided to email dance studios in the area to ask them if they would consider offering an adaptive class. Everyone I spoke with said they did not have the staffing to accommodate an adaptive class but wished me well in my search. I emailed and called at least 10 studios in the area and only one studio said they were willing to try. Well, her exact words were “I have never taught dance to special needs children but I believe all children deserve to dance so I will give it a try.” I was thrilled out of my mind! Three other families in the area jumped at the chance to join this class. Initially, we only wanted the class in the summer to keep our kids busy (because as we all know services slowdown in the summer) but were very pleased and surprised that the owner and instructor of the dance studio wanted to continue into the fall and include them in the recital that following June.
A Place to Belong
Fast forward to 2013, the adaptive class is still going strong and now has two classes for special needs children and they are part of the recital each year. Students from the area are the aids in the class for our little dancers and do it on a volunteer basis. How awesome is that!
A Heartfelt Thanks
I want to say a big thank you to Helene Joy School of Dance in Middleton, MA for saying yes, when others said no. Because of generous people that are willing to try, I found that dance studio for my daughter and will never give up searching for programs that are willing to try to include our children.
Susan Parziale is a certified Professional Organizer. She is also a mother to 8 year old daughter with Autism. Visit www.susanparziale.com
Photos courtesy Susan Parziale
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