SIDEWAYS Director Charlotte Foster Williamson is passionate about making dance accessible to all students, and expanded the programming this spring by adding a cotillion style class for students with special needs. This past February and March, a co-ed class of six students participated in the cotillon class that ended with a Spring Fling!
“In the FS Cotillion class, we focus on communication skills, boy and girl relationships, and partner dancing. Throughout the six-week program, we learned how to introduce ourselves, enter a room, say goodbye from an event, invite someone to dance, thank them for the dance, and compliment someone”, says Charlotte about the new program. Parents of students in the program have only positive things to say about what their children have learned and how they have grown. “Andy has lots of friends and enjoys school and mountain biking, but dating presents a whole new world for him as a young man with Down syndrome. This class was an excellent way for him to learn how to use proper manners with girls, how to dance more formally, how to introduce himself to new people, and it was a fun way to make new friends!”
On top of social skills, the students are also learning traditional ballroom dance moves. The boys especially love learning to dip their partner to prepare for their future first dance at their wedding! The group just wrapped up all of their lessons and had an opportunity to show all that they had learned at their “Spring Fling” last Friday, March 18th at Atlanta Dance Central. The Spring Fling was a two-hour event with dancing, dinner, and conversation! All of the participants dressed up for the event, and they sure did look good. The group loved dancing to all of their favorite songs including Taylor Swift and Bruno Mars.
We are excited about this new way to connect with students who have special needs in our area and plan to offer this class again in the future. We hope to reach even more students with this new and unque program, and are already looking forward to our next Spring Fling! If you are interested in receiving more information about our upcoming programs, please send us a message through our contact form.