Side Notes episodes are not necessarily about special needs homeschooling, but are topics of interest to the special needs or homeschooling communities.
Anyone can dance.
No matter their physical abilities. That's what my guest Shannon Wrights passionately believes. In fact, Shannon has founded Aspiring Attitudes, a dance studio for people of all abilities. As she teaches kids and adults alike, she combines her love of dance with her belief that the concept of dance should not be put in a box, and neither should dancers. Shannon has dancers with autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, and other disabilities--as well as neurotypical students. And they all dance side by side in true inclusion.
Listen in as Shannon shares about her vision for dance and its amazing benefits for everyone. And this episode is a little different, because we're also going to talk about how you can participate in this vision of making dance accessible to everyone!
Shannon, who is visually impaired, grew up in special education. Perhaps that's where her conviction and heart to serve the special needs community comes from. And as she got married and had children, she also became a homeschool mom. But when a parent of a child with cerebral palsy reached out to Shannon and asked her to teach dance to their daughter, Aspiring Attitudes was born. You can watch Cora Beth's inspiring performance with some of the Aspiring Attitudes students.
Here are some of my favorite quotes from Shannon in this episode.
- “Every accomplishment is celebrated here.”
- “The studio gives kids a place to belong, a place to feel connected.”
- “There’s no failure.”
- “I think that every child, regardless of having special needs of being typical, should learn to jump and hop and gallop and skip….that’s all so good for kids. Period.”
- “I’m on a mission to redefine dance for the world…I would like to suggest that dance is merely at simplest form ‘movement to music,' and that anybody is capable of doing that enjoying that.”
- “We are who we are created to be. And if you have a disability then that comes in after who you are. I have students who I believe ARE dancers, regardless of the fact that they are in a wheelchair or that they have autism.”
You can help Shannon and Aspiring Attitudes make dance accessible to everyone!
Dance can be an expensive extracurricular activity. And if you are a special needs parent, you understand that therapies, medical appointments, and equipment can also be quite expensive. Aspiring Attitudes is a non-profit dane studio that tries to keep the tuition as low as possible, and therefore relies on grants and community donations to keep operating.
As mentioned in the episode, if you are reading this post in November of 2020, Aspiring Attitudes is fundraising in a very unique way. And we'd love for you to participate! You don't have to be affiliated with the studio in any way to join us. You just need a heart willing to help share the mission and vision of Aspiring Attitudes. Because as this studio grows, the message and vision of the studio will also spread.
To find out more about how you can donate or fundraise and possibly win a $300 Amazon gift card in time for Christmas, go to aspiringattitudes.com.