Kids With Disabilities Get Unforgettable Dance Experience With the NYC Ballet
Pearl Armoza loves music.
The 5-year-old also has a great sense of rhythm. Her mom, Natalia Armoza, always wanted to attend a dance workshop with her daughter, but because Pearl has cerebral palsy, Armoza was hesitant to put her in a situation where she might be subject to stares and unwanted attention. So, Armoza decided to take matters into her own hands.
Armoza decided to email the New York City Ballet, one of the most prestigious ballet companies in the world, with a suggestion.
“It would mean so much to my daughter and children like her to be able to take part in a New York City Ballet workshop and to one day to feel like they too could be come ballerinas,” Armoza wrote, according to the Upworthy video above. She figured the worst-case scenario was they’d tell her they weren’t interested.
Turns out, the ballet company loved the idea. They arranged four workshops at Lincoln Center for Pearl and 18 other children with disabilities, Upworthy reported. Maria Kowroski and Adrian Danchig-Waring, the company’s two principal dancers, led the classes.
A cerebral palsy specialist, Joseph Dutkowsky, M.D., attended the workshops as a consultant. He told everyone to take their braces off so they could experience the class completely unrestricted by devices.
“It just moved me,” Armoza told The Mighty in an email. “This would be a once in a lifetime experience for anyone, and it was even more so for children whose greatest challenge is moving their bodies.”
“Sometimes we can’t protect our children from stares and comments,” Armoza added. “But at this workshop, they were just kids in a safe and loving environment — happy children engaged in an athletic and joyful activity. No wheelchairs, braces, awkward gaits or curved backs — just a bunch of kids. That’s priceless.”
Armoza also has some advice for all the parents who’d like to find similar programs for their children with special needs.
“If you can’t find it, just ask,” she told The Mighty. “All children, regardless of ability, deserve art, music, dance, culture and, most of all, joy in their lives.”
h/t Daily Life.
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