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Sunday, July 15, 2012
When Megan was 3 we signed her up for her 1st dance class. Boy was she a trouble maker.
Dance Class - Year 1 - see video from year 1

I had gone around to a few studios to try to find the right fit for Megan.
1st studio we went to everything from the walls to the floor was brand new. The owner said, those mirrors are really expensive, she cannot touch them.  My response, "Well what about licking...I think she might lick them"...She had a look of horror on her face so the 1st studio was out!
2nd Studio told us they did not have a "special needs class"....well I was looking to put her in just a regular class but there were a hundred other dance studios, if that's what they are assuming I will check them off my list. 
3rd place, the little old lady took time with Megan and didn't assume anything.  Told us the information we needed, so we signed up.  Megan learns by example and the teacher although sweet was too bruised and beat up to teach from standing so she would sit in a chair and teach.  Well what do you think Megan did during class?  She did all her dancing from the floor.  We spent the 1st year of dance at the studio but they went under and couldn't even give me the DVD I ordered or t-shirts.

So I cut my losses and moved on to The Dance Academy.  It would be Olivia's 1st year to dance and I wanted to find a place to call home....no more looking!  My aunt Jill had taken her daughters to this studio so I knew it had to be a wonderful place.  After our 4th year at the Dance Academy I can say for certain we found a place where I know Megan will graduate from.  I can envision her on that stage her senior year, not a dry eye in the auditorium as she does her senior solo.

Every one of the people, staff and teacher's at TDA LOVE Meg.  I think of her as the mayor! She leads impromptu team building classes in the foyer.

She walks in and immediately seeks out to find her BJ.  BJ has been Megan's jazz teacher for 2 years.  She admires him.
BJ Byrne

I think she wants to grow up and be his assistant.  She always wants to help him or find out what he is working on.  BJ is the perfect teacher for Megan.  He understands that she will be a step or two behind but she always knows his dance.  He makes sure of that.  He has high expectations of her and that is important to me.

Meg and BJ after recital

And then there is Donnajean, she is the owner of The Dance Academy.  She has taught Megan tap for 3 out of the 4 years.  She is an amazing human being.  Kind with words.  A sweet disposition.  Exactly the person I was looking for when I went on my dance teacher hunt 5 years ago.
Megan truly has blossomed as a dancer in their care.   Our experience there is one I wish for all my friends out in the Down Syndrome community to find.  Don't give up! Keep looking because you will find that dance studio that see's your child as a potential dancer and not a diagnosis.  When you find that, hold on tight and treat it well!
DonnaJean with Megan and Olivia

Tonight our studio can start receiving votes for Philly's Hot List as the best dance studio in the Philadelphia area.  Please Vote for them! Help them win what they so much deserve! You can do the voting through Facebook.  Here is the link. Voting starts at midnight tonight!
Thank you in advance for voting!