November 1, 2010

Dance Class for Bertrand?!

Studio room at Virginia Tanner.

This past weekend at a birthday party, a new friend mentioned a Dancers with Disabilities Dance Class through the Virginia Tanner Creative Dance Program at the University of Utah. (Up until this point, I'd though "Virginia Tanner" was a near mythical institution for dance prodigies in Utah for which you had to sign up at birth.) Understandably, I couldn't believe my ears! And then I couldn't believe my eyes once I was sent the class description**:
Creative movement classes designed especially for children with disabilities who, because of their unique challenges, may need special attention in order to fully enjoy the freedom of movement, creative self-expression and therapeutic benefits of dance.

Classes maintain a smaller student teacher ratio. For children who use a wheelchair or may need assistance in moving, dance partners (senior members of the Children’s Dance Theatre or other volunteers), are often available. Students are invited to participate in the annual Virginia Tanner Creative Dance Program spring show.

When I read this, I started to cry. I hadn't even realized that I'd given up on the possibility of Bertrand being able to do NORMAL extracurricular activities until this moment. I mean, he does Musikgarten and hippotherapy, but dance? when he can't crawl or walk? and a spring dance show?! The entire concept was moving (no pun intended)!

Since he is turning 3 this December, Bertrand can no longer attend Musikgarten because it is administered through Early Intervention in our state. Anyone who knows Bertrand knows how much he loves music. This dance class could be the perfect transition! Plus, I can finally fulfill the dream of being that glowing (read: annoying) parent sitting in the front row with camera, video recorder and an entire cheering section for my son!


** A typical class (one hour, once a week) for a child Bertrand's age at the Virginia Tanner Dance Program runs $222.00 for a semester and $422.00 for a year. The Dancers with Disabilities Class is only $25 a semester and $50 a year! Clearly someone realizes that medications, doctors' appointments, wheelchairs, etc. don't come cheap! But the opportunity to see your disabled child have fun and dance is priceless. :)


  1. That's so wonderful. I almost started crying too!!! Will B be wearing a pink tutu? ;-) I love you all very very much.

  2. This is so inspiring! Bertrand will be able to enjoy music and dance at his own pace!
    Keep it up! I'll continue to cheer for Bertrand!!! Love, Titi Lili

  3. sounds like lots of fun! go Bertrand!

  4. Oh, fun! If Bertrand does this, I will come to his show and cheer for him!

  5. Oh hurrah, that's great news! I love that they've dropped the price, that's some definite <3 right there :)

  6. That sounds like so much fun!

  7. Oh my goodness! I want to see Bertrand dancing!

  8. Hello,

    Interesting blog. Dance can be participatory, social or performed for an audience. It can also be ceremonial, competitive or erotic. Thank you very much for posting this!!!!