Joy’s School of Dance Ballerina Dreams Program
This program was started in 2007 in collaboration with Hope Therapy to allow children with physical and mental disabilities the opportunity to experience the joy of dance. These special dancers take ballet classes once a week at the studio with their lead teacher Abigail Remine and several college student volunteers. The program is fully funded by community support. These students perform yearly in the JSOD Recital and several of these students have been awarded 5 year trophies.
From the Hope Therapy website:
Ballerina Dreams is a modified, ballet class for children with special needs. The occupational and physical therapists and speech language pathologists of Hope Therapy consult with the instructors at Joy’s School of Dance.
Many children ranging from age 3 to 12 who dreamed of being ballerinas and wearing tutus and tiaras just like other little girls dance weekly in this class. They have difficulties arising from cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, developmental delay, autism, etc and are each paired with volunteers with able bodies and infinite patience. The volunteers are recruited to assist the dancers in whatever capacity they require.
Some of the students have trouble raising their arms or standing upright by themselves. Some have difficulty with balance and therefore use walkers or wheelchairs to move around. Some of them wear their ballet shoes over their leg braces. All of the children have made their dreams of becoming ballerinas come true.
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