Dance is a powerful form of communication and expression that can be accessible to anyone, regardless of background, experience, or ability.
To give people of all abilities the opportunity to experience the joys of dance National Dance Institute (NDI) created the Dancers Realize Excellence through Arts and Movement (D.R.E.A.M.) dance program. It's a week-long program pairing kids of various abilities with able-bodied kids. The focus of the dance class is on inclusivity, teamwork, and fun. At the end of the five days, the students showcase a performance celebrating their achievements.
Now This posted a Facebook video of one of the classes in action, and it's enough to make anyone smile.
Everyone involved seems to be benefitting and having a great time. In the video above, 13-year-old Jaimilyn Serrano says, "For me, it's really inspiring because even though they have special needs, they are still here, doing what they have to do and trying their best."
The NDI explains on its website that to create the program, they partnered with board-certified pediatric physical therapist Agnes McConlogue Ferro, along with the institute's master teacher Kay Gayner. The choreography takes into account all abilities, and new movements are often inspired by those with limited movement.
Eight-year-old Greta is one of the dancers in the program. She was born with nemaline myopathy, a neuromuscular disorder. She told Now This that the dance program allows her to express herself.
"At D.R.E.AM, you can express your feelings and use your imagination," she said.
The program helps all students discover their own potential and push the boundaries of what they thought was possible. D.R.E.A.M. also demonstrates that it's not simply about movement, it's about the experience and the emotions you get from being involved in the group.