Graceful & Gifted is a dance program for individuals with special needs. Dance or Dance Movement is considered a therapy for everyone. The use of movement is psychotherapeutic. The use for dance is emotional, cognitive, social, behavioral and physical conditioning.
Dance Movement Therapy not only strengths the body but also the mind through body movements that improve the mental and physical well-being of individuals.
Research has shown that Dance or Dance Movement Therapy has been very effective in helping to heal those who have developmental disabilities. Some examples of these are:
Autism – can connect on a sensory-motor level, provides a sense of acceptance, expands skills and cognitive ability.
Learning Disabilities – develops better organizational skills, learns/experiences control and choice also gives higher self confidence.
Mental Retardation – improves body image, social skills, coordination, motor skills and promotes communication.
Deaf & Hearing Impaired – reduces feelings of isolation and provides inspiration for relationships.
Blind & Visually Impaired – improves body image, motor skills and personal awareness.
Physically Handicapped – improves motor skills, body image, provides a way to communicate and express emotion.
“Several years ago our special needs son started to enjoy musicals and dancing. Matthew would watch a video and then try to mimic the “moves” of the song. It was at that time we began to research dance studios in our area that would work with children with special needs. Matthew has a neurological disorder that causes severe speech, learning, and fine and gross motor delays. We wanted him to be able to share in the experience of participating in dance classes but at the same time, we needed the class to be at a slower pace and based on his unique abilities.
Our service coordinator told us about a Graceful and Gifted Hip-Hop Dance class in Niagara Falls at Time to Dance Studios. This class is a dance program for individuals with special needs, just what we were looking for! We asked Matthew if he wanted to try it and he was eager to begin dancing! Our journey with Graceful & Gifted Hip-Hop soon began!
Students and staff at Time to Dance all go out of their way to encourage, support, and make our children feel welcome and part of the Time to Dance family. Throughout the year, our special children are working very hard to learn basic dance skills, social skills, cognitive and behavioral skills to create a beautiful end product…performing in an actual dance recital in both December and June.
Time to Dance offers both ballet and hip-hop Graceful and Gifted programs to attract both males and females with special needs. It is very heartwarming and joyful to watch these kids get on stage and perform with their whole hearts and souls for all to see…just as the other students are doing in their performances. Smiles, cheers, and encouragement fill the theater as these students perform on stage showing their true talents and doing something they love to do…DANCING.
If you are a parent of a special needs child who loves to dance, come join Matthew and his friends at this great program offered by Time to Dance studio.
Thank you Time to Dance for giving our special children the gift of dance!”