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Adaptive Dance is designed to foster a love of dance and creative expression for individuals with special needs. The program began in 2002 as a joint venture between Boston Ballet and Children's Hospital, Department of Physical Therapy. Now in its twelfth year, Adaptive Dance offers classes for individuals with disabilities ages 2-adult at Boston Ballet's Newton, Boston, and North Shore studios. Adaptive Dance offers specialized classes for individuals with Down syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorders as well as inclusive classes for students of all abilities (North Shore location). Classes are held on Saturdays (Boston and Newton) and Wednesdays (North Shore) and take place during two 10-week sessions (September through November and March through May). All classes are led by qualified Boston Ballet faculty and are supported by experienced physical therapists and highly trained musicians.
Each faculty member is deeply committed to supporting all participants as they safely explore and develop movement, musicality, and personal/social growth. In addition to providing an important outlet for creativity and self-expression, Adaptive Dance participants have demonstrated the following observable accomplishments:
• enhanced self-esteem and self-confidence
• increased pride cooperating with and encouraging others
• increased appreciation and knowledge of music and rhythm
• distinguishing right and left
• attending to and following directions
• increased focus stopping/starting on cue
• improved balance, posture, and alignment
• separating upper and lower body movement patterns
For more information about this program, please email Portia Abernathy, firstname.lastname@example.org
It gives our kids an opportunity to relate to others like them, and with others involved in a unique arts experience."-Adaptive Dance Parent
Funding for Adaptive Dance has been provided by the Tim White Fund, Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts Department of Education, The Krupp Family Foundation, The Yawkey Foundation and Children’s Orthopedic Surgery Foundation.
Students are required to participate in a trial class to ensure proper placement in the program (see the Program Details page for more details). The age designation identified below is to be used as a guide only and does not necessarily mean student placement in the indicated class.
2014 Session Dates:
If you are interested in joining for our Fall 2014 session please contact
(617.456.6355) or click on the “How to Join” tab to register for our fall 2014 trial class.
Fall2014 Session Dates
September 13 - November 22 (Saturdays, Boston and Newton)
September 10 - November 12 (Wednesdays, North Shore)
Class descriptions and locations are coming soon - please check back
Please contact Portia Abernathy at 617.456.6355 for more information.
A trial class is required for all new students and is held prior to the start of the semester.
The Adaptive Dance staff works very hard to find a class for all interested students. We use the trial placement class (as well as feedback from the participant and parents/caregivers) to inform our decision and ensure all students in a class will work cohesively and enjoy the Adaptive Dance experience. A member of our staff will discuss enrollment options with the parents/caregivers and participant after the trial placement class.
The Fall 2014 trial classes will be held on Saturday August 23rd (Boston and Newton) and Sunday August 24th (North Shore). Please click here to register.
Tuition for the program is $175 plus a $15 registration fee for each semester. Financial Aid is available for families that qualify, email ECI@bostonballet.org to request a financial aid application.
Adaptive Dance participants and their families have the opportunity to attend select Boston Ballet performances at The Opera House free of charge.
Students perform and demonstrate their work at our end of year Adaptive Dance Showcase (held each May) at Boston Ballet. Additional performance opportunities may be available during the course of the semester; past performances have included the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress' Buddy Walk and MDSC Conference.
If you are a new student and interested in joining for the Fall 2014 semester, please click here to register for the August trial class or contact Portia Abernathy at 617.456.6355 for more information.
Financial Aid is available for families that qualify.
See Us in Action!
Our incredible Adaptive Dance students were featured at the Boston Ballet Strand Theater performance, Friday April 11th, 2014 in a special piece by Gino DiMarco, the co-founder of Adaptive Dance. This special night featured performances by the Boston Ballet company, Boston Ballet II, Boston Ballet School students, and students from Boston Ballet's Department of Education and Community Initiatives.
We were honored to have performed at the Federation for Children with Special Needs Gala on May 2nd. A group of Adaptive Dance students from Gino Dimarco and Melodie Cassell's classes performed a piece choreographed by Adaptive Dance instructor and Boston Ballet company member, Sarah Wroth. The FCSN is one of our wonderful community partners and we were so pleased to be able to be a part of their 40th Anniversary Gala celebration!
To promote leadership and mentor opportunities, we encourage our young-adult and adult Adaptive Dance participants to volunteer with the program and at Adaptive Dance events. We value our students' perspectives and experiences and are committed to involving them whenever possible. Currently, we are not recruiting non-participant volunteers. Please check back in the future for opportunities to support our program and students.
For safety reason and to respect our students and families, we generally do not allow outside visitors to observe our class sessions. If you are interested in meeting us or seeing what we do please visit us at one of our community events or contact
Portia Abernathy for more information.