Tess Walters, Gastonia, North Carolina – is Executive Director of DanceAbilites Academy, a non-profit special needs dance studio that makes all types of dance available to all individuals with special needs, this is regardless of age and is FREE to all. Autism Daily Newscast contacted Tess to learn more about her dance company and part 1 can be read here.
DaceAbilities has recently required a new building in which to house their new dance studio; it was donated to them by a very generous woman in their community.
“(She) recognised the importance in what this studio is going to do and wanted to make sure we are successful in our journey. We are however fundraising to renovate and purchase equipment for the space.”
At present DanceAbilities are turning one of the rooms into a sensory quiet room for students who may become overwhelmed and need somewhere to take a moment to refocus.
One of DanceAbilites goals is to obtain transportation methods for the students in order to be able to access the dance class. Tessa said that this would eliminate yet another strain for parents.
Tess is hopeful that in the future they will be able to bus the children to DanceAbilities straight from their schools so that they are able to immediately utilize their after school time with exercise, instead of tv and video games.
Tess ends by candidly telling us:
“This will also open the parents up to have more time to rejuvenate and de-stress. Just knowing that my child is in a safe place that is free and they are getting up and moving would take a weight off my shoulders.”
DanceAbilities will launch in early July and a start date will be announced at the Carnival on Saturday June 7 which is taking place at the Piedmont Charter Elementary Campus, more details can be found on the DanceAbilities website . They are also planning a wonderful Summer Camp which will soon be revealed which will include basic movement, mommy & me (for children born with special challenges, ballet, yoga and hip hop to name but a few.
DanceAbilities is run entirely on 100% donations provided by the community’s generous and compassionate nature. If anyone is able to donate you can do so by clicking on this link
DanceAbilities are currently accepting donations of new and gently used dance shoes so that the students don’t have the extra cost of buying dance shoes. They can be shipped to the studio at the following address.
1385 E. Garrison Blvd.
Gastonia, NC 28052
More information about DanceAbilities can be found on their website