Saturday, October 1, 2011

Today Was The Day

For about 2 years, I have been trying to get Rachel in a dance class. I have tried in her gym (which offers dance). I tried in several other private studios. I tried at performing arts centers. But I have had no luck. I tried calling these studios. No one would call me back. I tried to figure out ways to include her in what I was sure would be her favorite activity. But everything I tried didn't work. That is until about a month ago, when I asked my neighbor (who happens to be a dance instructor) for her recommendation.

At the time, I didn't realize that she was just opening a dance studio. And she didn't realize that I had been trying to do this for this long. She didn't intend to do this, but the day or two before that conversation, she had hired a dance teacher who had experience working with special needs children. That afternoon, we hatched a plan. And today, it became a reality.


A Special Needs dance class at The Studio of Dance is now a reality. Currently there are only two students enrolled, and we are all working to spread the word. But today, Rachel got up early this morning and dressed in her leotard with the ballerina skirt and she went to a dance class that was designed with her in mind. This class will teach her ballet and tap. And she may or may not excel. But she will have fun. And she will learn to do things correctly so that she doesn't hurt herself. But she can be the "Ballerina". She can embrace this strong desire she has had for as long as I can remember to DANCE and develop a true appreciation for the art form.

Movement comes naturally to Rachel. She loves gymnastics. She loves to stand on her head. She loves to move her arms. She loves to glide across the floor. She loves to move to the music.

I was so worried about this class. I was worried that after fighting so hard to find something for her she wouldn't like it. That she would be so rebellious that there was nothing they could do to help her. She was perfectly fine going into the studio and playing, running around and just having fun. But when the class started, these fears were sort of realized -- she was crying and really fighting. She opened the door and ran out of the studio. I brought her back into the studio and sat on the floor near the door. I had my camera (that was muted of course) and watched her for 5 minutes. I took a few pictures. I watched her teacher working with the two girls. I saw her start to relax. I saw her posing for the mirror. I saw her starting to have fun. And after a few minutes, I left her to the care of the dance instructor and slyly disappeared from the studio.

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When we got home, she continued to dance for the rest of the day. She was moving her arms with grace and beauty. She was watching her skirt flow behind her as she ran around. She proved to me that she is definitely my ballerina.

I did good. And so did The Studio Of Dance. Thanks to them for giving my perfect daughter, who happens to have autism and ADHD, a chance to do what all little girls should have the opportunity to try. A chance to DANCE!!!!!!!!

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