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Adapted Dance Classes


At Doreen’s Dance Center we believe that music and dance is something wonderful that should, and can, be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of physical, emotional, or mental disabilities.  It is with great pleasure that we embark on classes specifically designed for students with special needs.  These classes are for those with Down Syndrome, Autism, Asperger’s, and any physical or emotional disabilities preventing one from participating in traditional dance classes.
These dance and movement classes are set in a studio environment where children with disabilities are engaged by exploring music, movement, and body awareness in a safe space supportive of self-expression, personal progress and physical activity. Classes are taught by Erin McKenna, life-long DDC dance student, former DDC class assistant and substitute teacher, B.A. in dance and M.F.A. in Adapted Physical Activity, Slippery Rock University, PA.
Miss Erin’s classes will focus on having the dancers follow her directions while interacting with her and their classmates, helping to increase their social skills. Classes will assist children’s growth in independence, heighten creativity, and increase self-confidence.
(Note: staff does not physically manage behavior; only verbal instructions are given.)
Learning Objectives:
  • Increase focus and ability to follow directions.
  • Improve balance, posture, and alignment and muscle tone.
  • Distinguish between right and left, fast and slow, high and low, etc.
  • Support self-expression within the parameters of the directions.
  • Explore performance in the studio.
  • Increase knowledge of music, rhythm and tempo.
  • Bring the joy of music and dance movement to all children.
A typical class will include:
Welcome:  A time to welcome and acknowledge students into the studio, to get to know them personally, and establish the schedule for the day’s class.
Warm-up:  Preparation of the body for movement, and establishing focus.
Barre work:  Development of alignment, posture, balance, and non-locomotor movement.
Progressions & Center Floor Work:  Development of locomotor movement balance, and coordination using pathways and patterns
Free Dance (Improvisation):  Increase self-expression, self-esteem and creativity and implement what was learned in the day’s lesson.
Closing:  A time to recap the day’s lesson, acknowledge students’ participation, and end the class with a traditional dance Reverence.
Private Lessons Available By Appointment
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