Tuesday, October 13, 2015

~Live to Dance, Dance to Inspire~

About a year ago a friend gave me advertisement  for a dance studio that was advertising special needs classes.  Anyone that has spent any time with Riley knows that this kid lives to shake his groove thang.  He has always been a music and dance kid.  I had previously tried a dance class that was happy to include him but the class was geared for typical kids.  There were a lot of dancers and it moved fast.  It just wasn't a good fit.  When we found Inspirations Dance Studio and more specifically Mikaela we knew immediately it would be a good fit. 

We stumbled into dance class at a time when Riley was really struggling at school. Both socially and academically he was a hot mess.  There were weeks that dance was the the only happy place he had.  It was an hour a week where he was 100% welcomed and completely accepted for who he is.  Mikaela has amazing composure and is not for a minute fooled by Riley's "cute" routine.  She has very high expectations for him and knows he is capable of so much. It is a special balance when you can meet a person where they are, challenge them to be more, and all the time make them feel special and accepted.  

 A year later and school is 100% improved.  Riley is thriving both socially and academically.  He has a full team of people that completely accept him and celebrate him.  Now dance is icing on the cake.  

I very obviously am not a dancer.  I know really nothing about dance.  I know the important stuff.   Like the fact that my kids loves it, when class is, and where to drop him off.  Past that Mikaela gently moves us along in the right direction.  This fall she helped us pick out Riley's first dance shoes.  The very nice man that sold them to use used to teach dance to adults with disabilities both in the USA and Germany.  How cool is that.   

Riley loves to be like his big brother.  Rex plays baseball, football,basketball...  those are things that I am familiar with.  Dance brings an entirely new experience to our family.  I think it is so awesome that Riley has found something he loves and he can do on his own in a meaningful beautiful  way.  Seeing Riley's dance shoes next to Rex's football cleats sums up the beauty in the differences in my boys. 

I was able to take a few pictures of this afternoon's class.  They only begin to show how much fun dance class is. 

Inspirations Dance has a full menu of dance classes for typical and special needs students.  You can find the studio at Inspirations Dance Studio   and read all about the classes, schedule and the instructors.  I have added the mission statement below for your reading ease.   

Inspirations Dance Studio is a non-profit organization dedicated to teaching all ages and skill levels the world of dance. We pride ourselves in making sure everyone has a chance to express themselves. We have made sure to implement a variety of diverse programs including: financial options for low-income families and dance classes for people with special needs. We are here to serve our community with highly trained staff and encouraging attitudes. There are classes offered in floor gymnastics, ballet, jazz, tap, and hip hop for all ages and abilities. Everyone will have a chance to shine their brightest. 
~Live to Dance, Dance to Inspire~

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