The Center for Contemporary Dance proudly offers a series of specialty dance classes for students with Down syndrome, autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and cerebral palsy, including those requiring use of a wheelchair. Classes are supervised by the organization’s Artistic Director, Dario J. Moore, who holds a master’s degree in dance education and has more than 15 years of experience teaching dance to special populations. All classes are conducted in accordance with the National Standards for Dance Education and include customized exercises that expand the student’s range of motion, creativity and social skills. Class work is further designed to enhance skills in memorization, problem-solving and communication.
“Diversity is a cornerstone value of our organization,” says Executive Director Craig W. Johnson, “Dance is for everybody and we’re excited to be offering more classes that align with this philosophy.”
Parents of current students agree. “We are grateful there’s a place where our child’s interest in dance can be developed,” says Belinda Balleras, whose 27-year-old autistic son has been attending the Creative Dance for ASD each Wednesday. According to Balleras, her son is learning skills that translate into improvement in other areas, including communication and socialization “Furthermore,” says Balleras, “he has a new sense of creative fulfillment and an additional pathway to productively express emotions.”
Moore, who has been leading the classes since April of 2011, says, “Equalizing access to creative opportunities should be a priority in every community. We will only reach our collective potential as innovators and artists when we invite everyone into the creative process.”
“The Center for Contemporary Dance is a place where everyone is welcome, where everyone has significance,” says Johnson, “We will continue to add classes that are designed to inclusively meet the needs of our community.”