A Thank You to the Dance Studio That Welcomes My Daughter With Disabilities


It’s easy to take what we have for granted. As we approach Thanksgiving, I want to draw special attention to the dance studio where my daughter Namine, who has caudal regression syndrome and other disabilities, takes ballet, jazz, and tap lessons.

Anita’s Dance Center does not advertise itself as catering to disabled individuals. Yet, when we were searching for a place where Namine could take dance lessons, it was the only place willing to accommodate her needs.

This was back in 2013. Namine’s participation in ballet — which was the only class she took, at the time — was limited to sitting in her wheelchair and scooting on the floor. Nevertheless, Namine’s teacher was supportive.

Namine took a break from dance for a few years. She was involved with baseball and basketball, and while she loves them, she missed dance. It was, in a way, her first love. We were not very surprised, then, when she asked if she could take dance class once more.

The new class was actually a trio of classes: tap, ballet, and jazz, in that order. This time around, instead of staying in her wheelchair, Namine wanted to try dancing in her walker. Thinking that tap would be too difficult, Namine participated in ballet and jazz.

Like the first time Namine took dance, I sat through the class in case she needed help. Unlike the first time, however, I was the only parent to do so. Namine’s teacher, however, did not mind. As the class went on, Namine became more confident, and asked less of me. By the time the classes ended prior to the recital, I was hardly doing anything at all.

And there was no taking a break from dance this time around. Namine wasted no time in telling us she wanted to be in dance again, and this time, she also wanted to take tap.

Ever since we signed Namine up for her first class, Anita’s Dance Center has been understanding every step of the way. Namine is thankful she’s been able to continue taking dance; we are thankful for an encouraging dance studio that makes all of its students feel welcome.

This story originally appeared on Eichefam.net.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Related to Caudal Regression Syndrome

To the Dad Overwhelmed by His Newborn's Bleak Prognosis

My daughter, Namine has double-inlet left-ventricle heart defect (DILV) and caudal regression syndrome (CRS). As far as physical limitations go, the latter is certainly the more apparent disability. But as serious as Namine’s conditions are, she’s doing exceedingly well. We were in the grocery store yesterday, and Namine was being her normal hyper self – singing and talking and kicking her [...]

How I Got Over My 'I Don't Want Him Labeled' Mindset

“I don’t want them labeled.” If I had a dollar for every time I heard this, I could pay off my house, your house and probably have enough left for a nice new car. Honey, it’s time we had some real talk. I keep hearing this. Hell, I’ve even said it myself. But, this isn’t [...]

Why I’m Thankful We Didn’t Know About My Daughter’s Disabilities Before She Was Born

If I knew then… that Ashlea would need a kidney transplant… that she would have multiple disabilities… that our lives would never be the same… would we have done things differently? I’m sad to say that we may indeed have done things differently. If we’d been told before the girls were born that Ashlea was [...]

To the Mom Who Thought a Down Syndrome Diagnosis Was Devastating News

If I could go back to the day I received what I deemed “the most devastating news ever” — that my newborn son had Down syndrome — I would say, “Girl, you shed an extreme amount of unhappy tears on a day that was supposed to be one of the happiest days of your life.” I would [...]