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Sharing the Arts This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


Every Saturday morning I do something I love: I help ­children with disabilities learn to dance.

“Sharing the Arts” is a performing arts conservatory created by two mothers. Their daughters – who have disabilities including autism – had nowhere to dance and be creative. Classes at most studios would move too quickly for these children and would not accommodate their special needs. “Sharing the Arts” offers a dance studio where children with disabilities can become ballerinas too. The classes are run by teachers and supported by volunteers like me. “Sharing the Arts” is such a fitting name for this dance studio because, as volunteers, we share our love and ­passion for dance with students who learn how to share their art too.

I work with 4 to 6-year-olds in a pre-ballet class, making up dances and practicing technique. The girls are such an inspiration to me each week. One girl started class barely talking and now she sings along with the music. One week two girls went up to do a duet and held hands while dancing; it was honestly the sweetest thing I have ever seen. If these girls did not have this place to be creative and make friends, their lives would not be the same. They care so much about each other and always cheer their friends in such a compassionate way. It motivates me to learn from their caring and share it with others.

These children will face so many challenges in their lives as they cope with their disabilities, but I know that they will always have this creative outlet to turn to. Every person deserves a place where they can share their art and inspire others as much as these little girls inspire me.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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