photo: Sarah Nelson Garcia Con/ Today
When Kim Smith couldn’t find a dance class for her autistic daughter, she decided to start one of her own. Check out the video below to see how one single class has grown into an entire dance school helping kids with special needs.
Smith was frustrated when she learned that there were no dance classes in Charlotte, North Carolina that could accommodate for special needs kids like her 7 year-old daughter Reagan. She wanted Reagan to experience the same joy of dance that she had as a child, so she decided to start a class of her own. A local dance school, Miss Donna’s School of Dance, offered her a space to use, and A Chance To Dance was born. The class is not only inclusive, but supportive of kids of all abilities.
The very first class in 2015 had seven students who performed in an end of the year recital, receiving a standing ovation. Since then the program has grown to include 34 students working with 10 volunteers. Not only are they dancing and performing on stage, but one small group of students has even formed a competitive dance team that will compete with dance teams that don’t have dancers of different abilities later this year.
Beyond the competitions and applause, the most important thing is that A Chance To Dance is really making a difference in these kids’ lives. “It truly is life-changing,” Smith told the Today Show “I am really excited about what these kids are showing the world.”
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