The volunteer component is an integral aspect of the organization. Our volunteers find that the experience is life changing and many young people have decided to pursue careers in special education, physical therapy, speech therapy, etc. as a result. Our volunteers are generally, but not limited to, other dancers in the studio who make a one hour commitment per week to partner with a dancer with special needs and help them during the dance class. Many colleges require volunteer hours of community work and this is a great way for young teens to obtain these hours. Our volunteers and students form close relationships and often become like a part of each other’s families. There is no limit to the bonds they form. It requires a commitment on the part of the teen to be present each week with their child and at any dance opportunities that may present themselves.
The dancers with special needs may be able to perform the dance steps independently, or they may need more assistance depending on their disability. The teen helps the dancer by modeling the dance steps and assisting them in following directions. Special training is not required though a general volunteer training will be conducted before class begins. The goal is not dance perfection. The goal is for each dancer to find joy in dance and performing.