'A Chance to Dance' gives special needs dancers a place to shine - | WBTV Charlotte

'A Chance to Dance' gives special needs dancers a place to shine

(Kristen Hampton | WBTV) (Kristen Hampton | WBTV)
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Three years ago, Kim Smith was frustrated at the lack of suitable options for dance classes for her daughter who has autism.

She decided to start her own class and open it to any level of abilities. She called it "A Chance to Dance." The studio space is inside Miss Donna’s School of Dancing in Charlotte.

Now, the class is home to 46 students and 19 volunteer teachers. It’s a place where young people can enjoy the art of dance, and learn it without distractions or judgment.

“It’s the most rewarding thing ever. To have the ability to be able to give these kids a place to give them value, worth and to set goals,” Smith said.

Two students, Corbin and Zoe, have blossomed in the class. Corbin, who has Down syndrome, says he’s achieved his dreams by coming to the program. His dance partner Zoe says it’s a place where they’re pushed to be their best.

“My teacher Ms. Kim, she always tells us that we can, and when we are sad or think we can’t do something, she always says ‘No you can do this.’ And sooner or later we figure it out and we can do it,” Zoe said.

Corbin and Zoe have been working on a lyrical dance routine and are preparing to perform it in public on March 2.

For more information, check out the group’s Facebook page here.

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