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1 February 2021

Dancing, all inclusive!

Many people love to dance, though we don’t all dance the same. Some have good, or even excellent dance technique and might become professionals. Some will, try as they may, never have much technique at all, but have a wonderful feel for the music, as do two of my students with Down’s Syndrome. For them, dance is not so much about mastering the steps but about what happens to the body when you hear the music. It’s also about being with friends in dance class and on stage doing something lovely and beautiful together. 

My two students have been with me a long time. They tell me when I‘m asking too much or when the music is too loud, and they don‘t let me forget to socialize. They are now young adults who have long grown out of their original dance class. Their classmates have finished school and all gone out into the world and they now dance in my adult ballet class. 

Putting people with different capabilities together into a stage production is not easy, but it is always my goal. To find a way for everyone to shine in their own way, no one being held back. To put on a production where they realize they are in it together and where they can learn from one another. 

Many of my students have come and gone.  Some were really talented, though few of them wanted dancing as a career.  But I know that they will all have taken something with them. Be it discipline, grace or love of being one with the music. They will be a part of future dance audiences and may have learned that we can work and do things together, even with our differences. 

Dani Thomas

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