After beginning an Adaptive Dance program in 2008, I have seen the positive effects dance can have not only for the dancers, but also on the general community. The Toledo Ballet Adaptive Dance Troupe performs at schools, churches, community centers and our Showcase. This exposure raises awareness of these students abilities as opposed to disabilities. We often integrate with typical students- allowing both parties to cultivate a joy for dance side by side. Educators/artists need not be "Certified" or have expensive background to teach students with special needs. In a society where certifications are more the norm, we need to recognize that just because students display various abilities/disabilities, does not mean we, as educators, can not facilitate the emotional, physical and social growth of individuals with Special Needs.
I also teach a dance program for the county Board of DD. My daughter has followed and began an Adaptive Dance program at her College. To be clear, before teaching these programs, we had no formal training for adaptive programming. Artists- follow passion for your art and teaching, and simply adapt your teaching to those you serve. It will be rewarding experience for all!