Free 2 Be Me Dance Dublin is an adaptive dance program designed for children and young adults with Additional Needs.
Through careful guidance and lots of attention in the classes, the children learn dance movements, coordination, and how to follow directions. It is a chance for the dancers to feel accepted all the while having fun, building confidence, strength, and forming meaningful relationships with their fellow dancers as well as with their teacher and teachers helpers, their “Ballet Buddies“.
The following are some of the outcomes we intend for our dancer as he or she participates in Free 2 Be Me Dance:
- Appreciation of music
- Building self-confidence
- Enhanced self-esteem
- Learning how to work together as a class
- Learning to help and encourage one another
- Following directions
- Learning left from right
- Separate upper and lower body movements
- Coordinating movements to stop and start on cue
- Improving focus
- Adding movements they have invented
- Improved balance & co-ordination
- Posture and alignment
- Increased pride in their accomplishments
Each Free 2 Be Me Dance class follows the same outline, providing stability for the dancers and helping them mature in their skills. Here is an example of some of the things we do in class and why they are helpful for your child:
The Welcome: Each child is greeted by name with enthusiasm so they know that they are welcome. This is meant to establish good feelings, warmth and emotional safety for the dancer. This is designed to make their transition to group work easier.
Following warm-up exercises and stretches, the children then move on to Barre Work:
- The dancers take their place at the ballet barre using visual cues to increase understanding of “where” to stand in order to reduce anxiety and distraction.
- The teacher makes sure she has the students’ attention on her (increasing mental attention) before asking for volunteers to demonstrate the movements that were learned the previous week (increasing memory recall).
- The teacher then does the movements with the dancers so that they have visual and auditory cues while performing each movement, all the while being supported physically by their “Ballet Buddy” to be sure the proper technique is acquired and reinforced. This portion of the class requires maximum amount of self discipline.
- Relaxation activity is meant to be used ritualistically as part of the closure of the class.
- Dancers are asked to lie on a mat and “visualise” their favourite part of class.
- The teacher gives some suggestions to cue the dancer i.e. seeing their friends, learning a new ballet step, free dance, etc.
- Visualisation helps the dancer to “cement” new learning or pleasurable feelings into the neutral network of the brain. Also, it helps the dancer to focus in a more relaxed way.
Teacher for Free 2 Be Me Dance Dublin: Rebecca O’Brien Taylor
To give you my background and to explain where my passion for adaptive dance comes from, I’ll give you a short resume of my Ballet training and experience to date. I began my own ballet training at the age of four and qualified as a RAD ballet teacher in 2011. Since then and have been teaching ballet in Dublin , Australia and the UAE. After returning to Ireland in 2015, I trained as a special needs assistant and received a distinction in this course. I believe I have the ability and passion to introduce adaptive dance to the children of Dublin. From my personal experience teaching ballet over the past number of years I realised that there was limited opportunity for some children to attend ballet after the primary classes, because of their complex learning needs.
In 2017, I opened the Dublin City Ballet School an Inclusive Ballet School for children, adults and for people with Additional Needs. No ballet school I have worked in offered a fully inclusive programme and I felt we needed one here in Dublin. I searched and searched for courses online to get a qualification in this area but I couldn’t find anything. This was when I came across “Free 2 Be Me Dance” in LA.
These “Free 2 Be Me” classes began as a labor of love by Colleen Perry, former ballet dancer. Colleen is running a successful ballet school for the Down Syndrome community, over in LA. After I came across a Documentary on the internet about Free 2 be Me Dance, I contacted Colleen immediately. I flew over to LA the following month to spend some time with Coleen and her wonderful students. After seeing how the Free 2 Be Me Dance program has positively impacted the dancers lives in LA, I just had start my own adaptive dance program here in Dublin. Colleen is kindly mentoring me on this new venture. Now the Dublin City Ballet School is offering Free 2 Be Me Dance Dublin, for children and young adults with Down Syndrome but also for those with other Additional Needs. My hope is to start with one class and slowly set up other classes around Dublin as the programme becomes established and the word spreads.
I am passionate about this form of training and have seen at first hand how it positively impacts on the lives of children and young adults with Down Syndrome. I would love for all children in Dublin to have the chance to be part of the Free 2 Be Me Dance.
Our Mission Statement;
“To bring the Joy of Dance to Children and Young Adults with Additional Needs”
|Monday||3 - 3.40PM|| Passion Studios, Baldoyle,
|Monday||3.50 - 4.30PM|| Passion Studios, Baldoyle,
|Thursday||4.30 - 5.10PM||Clonliffe & Croke Park Community Centre, Drumcondra, Dublin 13|
|Sunday Mornings||Down Syndrome Centre, Cabinteely, Dublin18|
|Sunday Mornings||Down Syndrome Centre North East, Carrickmacross, Monaghnan|
Please feel free to enquire.08641249829am - 9pmContact Us from email. Email contact form