Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Town in Australia offers dance school for kids with Down syndrome

From The Moreland Leader in Australia:

A new dance school for children with Down syndrome will open in Pascoe Vale South this month.

The studio is an expansion of the non-profit e.motion21 program which caters for 76 children and young adults in Kew.

The school offers specially designed dance programs for those with Down syndrome as well as public performances such as at the Glenferrie Rd Festival in Hawthorn.

Founder Cate Sayers said the school was created after her daughter Alexandra, 8, who has Down syndrome, found it too difficult to continue mainstream dance classes.

In two years it has grown from six students to 76.

Ms Sayers said classes focused on learning techniques such as visual memory with a high ratio of teachers to students.

“(Alexandra) has gained an enormous amount of self-confidence that she has been able to take across to her mainstream school,” she said.

The Pascoe Vale South centre will meet a strong demand in the northwest suburbs with some already travelling to Kew.