Dancers with Up Syndrome


There are certain moments in life that just catch you off guard—in a very deep way. I was attending on Sunday a parent-only session for my 15-year-old daughter’s upcoming dance season and dance competitions. For a good 90 minutes, I listened to all the rules and regulations. There were so many that the director had to talk very quickly for the full 90 minutes just to squeeze them all in.

And then it happened. An innocuous little announcement. A dance troupe with Down syndrome was about to perform for us in the studio next door. The troupe is called “Free 2 Be Me Dance.” Evidently, their plans to perform for another company fell through, so my daughter’s dance company was honored to welcome them.

My mind was overloaded with the rules I had just consumed as I walked over to the studio next door to see them perform. Any mental break was welcome. But the sheer humanity of what I was about to witness…that I didn’t expect.

Thank God I filmed it. You can see it below. There’s not much I can add. It’s a little clip of dancers with Down syndrome giving it their all. The dance moves mattered less than the extraordinary effort they put in. But you know what? I loved the dance moves, too. So did the crowd. Notice the boy on the left who is off to the side, as if he’s not sure whether he should join in. I have no doubt that all the love in the room helped him join in the fun. 

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