Performers with Grace Dance stole the hearts of many at a national dance competition at Rose State College. Previous and current patients at The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital performed alongside company dancers from Victory Dance during the STAGEONE National Dance Competition. The group performed a Hip Hop piece to the song “Every Bit of Lovely” by Jamie Grace, and received a standing ovation. The dancers also received a special trophy and pin for their participation.
Grace Dance is a program that offers a variety of dance opportunities for the inpatients at The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital. Mindy Cash is a special education teacher at the Hospital, as well as the dance teacher of Grace Dance. She said it’s incredible to watch her dancers overcome daily physical challenges with such heart and positivity. “Watching the patients perform on a big stage and with their peers is such a huge blessing. These patients are not afforded many of the same opportunities to take part in a national dance competition like this, because of their hospitalizations,” said Cash. “So the dancers love being able to express themselves and be as independent, as possible.”
Since 2013, Grace Dance has provided 4-6 week sessions throughout the year, where the patients go to dance class once a week with peers similar in age. Each dancer is also paired with a dance partner, either a therapist, teacher, family member, or volunteer, as they learn a dance routine. The dance partners are educated on the physical and emotional needs of their dancer, in order to maximize their participation during the dance sessions.
Cash said dance is not only an art form, but is therapeutic for the patients at The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital. “Dance is a powerful artistic expression. For our patients, dance helps relieve stress and anxiety, builds their confidence, improves muscle recognition, and helps them overcome daily challenges,” said Cash.
Pictures and video were graciously provided by Take 2.