Program Tailors Dance Class to Children With Developmental and Physical Disabilities
The Marietta-based Georgia Ballet will again be able to offer its DanceAbility class to local children free of charge thanks to a $10,000 donation from the Resurgens Charitable Foundation.
The 12-week class is geared toward children ages six and up whose physical or developmental disabilities make it difficult or impossible to participate in a regular ballet class. A professional dance instructor teaches the class with support from teaching assistants, who are assigned to the participating children on a one-on-one basis, giving each child extra assistance as needed to help him or her with the exercises. The class will culminate with an in-studio performance showcasing what has been learned.
Thanks to the Foundation funding, the Georgia Ballet is offering the class at no cost to the students. The goal of the class is to give children with special needs a traditional dance class experience, while tailoring the class to allow for their comfortable participation.
Dr. Kay Kirkpatrick, president of the Resurgens Charitable Foundation and co-president of Resurgens Orthopaedics, said she is proud to be able to support such an important program. “Our core mission of the Foundation is to enable children of all abilities to maintain an active lifestyle. This dance program is an ideal fit with our mission, and we are excited to see it implemented by the Georgia Ballet,” she said.
Due to the overwhelming success of the program, Georgia Ballet will now offer two levels of dance classes to better accommodate a diverse range of physical limitations.
Georgia Ballet leadership hopes that students in the class will build confidence, socialization skills, and self-esteem. Each participating student receives full tuition for the semester, a uniform for the class, and a costume for an end-of-semester performance opportunity.
This isn’t the Foundation’s first donation to DanceAbility. In January of this year, the Foundation donated $4,610 donation to the program, which helped complete funding for two semesters of DanceAbility classes. Thanks to that grant from the Resurgens Charitable Foundation, the DanceAbility program was fully funded for a year, open to eight children per semester.