Classes offered for dancers of every ability level

Posted at 5:41 PM, Feb 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-16 21:51:36-05

For the tiny tots in this class, dance is a way to express themselves through movement, however they're able to. Dance Arts Academy started up an Idaho chapter of a national non-profit, called Darby's Dancers, dedicated to teaching dance classes to children with disabilities.

"Darby's Dancers is super special because it offers dance to kids who may not have been able to experience it," said owner of Dance Arts Academy Dotty Hancock.

One of the young dancers, Vivian, knows some of her classmates through the Idaho Spina Bifida Association.

"She was born with part of her spinal chord outside of her back; it just causes different things depending on the condition," said her father Darius Elison.
For Vivian, it affects her ankles and feet, making traditional dance classes a bit harder.

"She went from being in a cast to walking in a walker and crutches and now she's five," said Elison.

Her weekly Saturday class gives her a space to dance freely - and have just as much fun as any other kid her age.

"When I'm a grown up i want to be a ballet girl," said Vivian.

Leaping past their individual struggles, these dancers are constantly encouraging each other to try their best, which after all is the whole *pointe*.

"It's a judge free zone," said Hancock, "these kids all have difficulties, they all have disabilities they've all been through a lot in their lives, the kids and the parents and it's been extraordinary how it gives them that outlet."