Topeka dance studio offering adaptive classes for children with special needs

Data pix.

TOPEKA, Kan. – A dance studio in Topeka is taking a special approach to teaching dance, and the kids are learning more than just how to "cut a rug."

Fuzion School of Dance has been offering adaptive dance lessons going on three years. It’s believed to the be the only program of its kind in the capital city.

“There`s not that many adaptive dance programs in the State of Kansas,” said Alyssa Schultz, a dance instructor at the studio.

Schultz teaches two adaptive classes at the studio. She works with a handful of kids with different capabilities, for about a half hour each week. They`re learning balance, crossing midline, kicks and discipline.

“I`ve noticed they have really grown in following directions,” Schultz said. “They`re able to follow one-step commands independently.”

Lisa Collete’s daughter, Madison, was the first child to take one of the adaptive class at Fuzion. The six-year-old lives with a rare syndrome known as CHARGE.

“All of the senses are kind of affected, but the major areas are the eyes and ears, so it`s the leading syndrome for deaf, blindness,” her mom explained.

Collette said Madison has always been physical, so signing her up for dance was a no-brainer. However, finding a studio that understood her daughter’s needs was challenging.

“Being able to have a task that`s simpler for her, easier for her to complete,” she said. “Do more of the tumbling and hands-on is great for her and it just makes her feel more involved.

Collette said the dance lessons provide structure, routine and a sense of normality. The biggest impact the classes have had on her daughter is that they’ve made her more social with her peers at school.

“She is actually going up to them and trying to participate with them and actively be involved with them, when normally she wouldn`t do that,” she said.

Collette plans to keep Madison in dance. Her instructor, Alyssa, said she’s not going anywhere either.

“The kids teach me different things, so it`s awesome,” Schultz said. “They are so loving.”

The adaptive classes start in September with recital performances in the fall and spring.

If you would like to learn more about the adaptive classes at Fuzion School of Dance, click here.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.