Newswatch 16’s Emily Kress tells us about an upcoming dance class that aims to accommodate kids of all skill levels.
MOUNTAIN TOP, Pa. — Angela Martino-Higdon has been teaching the art of dance for nearly 15 years at Encore School of Dance in Mountain Top. It expanded just before the pandemic hit, creating the Northeastern Dance Awareness with the needs of her daughters Lily and Ana in mind.
“It’s inspired by my two daughters who we adopted from Bulgaria. They came home with a lot of special needs, and I felt there wasn’t much for them and I saw how the dance and the music were powerful for them. When the music comes, it’s almost medicinal for them.”
So Martino-Higdon wanted more kids to have the opportunity to have that feeling. Next month, the studio will be offering a dance camp suitable for children ages 4 and up to experience a dance lesson with a parent or guardian.
“I get a bit of information about them ahead of time, so I know if they’re scared of bright lights, and I try to make it as calm as possible. We also have a sensory room.”
Encore School of Dance has ensured that all of its classes are inclusive for dancers of all skill levels. No student is turned away. Instead, they’re paired with a buddy to guide them through the moves.
Nicole Langan is one of those friends.
“It’s really good to give kids an opportunity that maybe they wouldn’t have otherwise. They get a chance to do normal things and have fun,” Langan said.
The adapted camp is free, which makes it an invaluable activity to share with the family.
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