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Teaching dance to special-needs kids is the best reward

Credit: Kidsday staff artist / Kaylah Bozkurtian, Garden City

There are some things in life that are more rewarding than trophies.

Twice a week, I teach kids with special needs how to dance at Emilia’s NY Dance Studio in Huntington. The studio offers classes for children with disabilities because dance is a universal language that all people should have the ability to experience and enjoy. The girls always have so much fun dancing, and they truly love it. Some of them are nonverbal, but the pure happiness on their faces cannot be replaced.

As a studio, one of the competitions that we participate in is called The Power of Dance. This competition includes all the girls that I teach. They are always so excited for this competition, to the point that win or lose, it’s a pleasure to just be there and spend time with them.

One of my favorite experiences is working with a 12-year-old girl named Abbie. I have worked extremely hard with Abbie on her tap-dancing skills. Even though she cannot express her feelings through words, the smile on her face says it all. The friendships and memories I have built are the best reward I could ever ask for!

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