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My Daughter With Down Syndrome Wanted to Participate in a Dance Competition

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My daughter, Danielle, told me that she wanted to be in a dance competition when she was 16 (she is now 27).

Danielle: Mom, I want to be in a dance competition.

Me: You have to be on a dance team to compete.

Danielle: Mom, I want to be in a dance competition.

Me: You first have to try out for the team, then when they pick you on the team then the team competes together and some do solos, duets, etc.

Danielle: Mom, I want to be in a dance competition.

Me: Oh, I’m sorry, I misunderstood. You are not asking me — you are telling me to make it happen! I will check into that with your dance teacher.

Teacher: Not a problem. Let’s see what we can do.

Sometimes, us parents really catch on slow. Stick with us because we are still learning. It takes longer for some of us to get it.

Guess what, she was in a dance competition in Middleton, Wisconsin, with all groups of individuals, but she was the only one with Down syndrome. I quietly cried in the dark. My husband was sitting in the row in front of me and came to sit by me before he noticed I was crying. He asked me what was the matter. I told him I just needed a moment. The awards came out and Danielle got a first! Her love for the music showed in every movement she made. My husband leaned over to me and whispered: “Are you over it?” I shoved him playfully. The following year she competed again and again got first place but also got a special award for outstanding dancer.

I love when my daughter pushes me to help her out.

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Originally published: November 20, 2017
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