While dances classes might be taken for granted by most children, these little girls in their bright purple tutu’s are being given the opportunity of a lifetime.
Jumping around with colorful scarves and wide smiles, the children at this dance class all have Down syndrome.
A selfless student has set up a free dance school for them and says it improves their ‘core strength, discipline, respect, and social skills.’
Holland McDowell, 20, from Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, launched The Purple Tutu ballet classes in 2014 and teaches girls from four to 10 years old.
A young student has set up a free dance school for children with Down syndrome in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
The student was still at school when she founded the organisation after learning that people with Down syndrome have great flexibility but lack core strength.
Holland, who now studies at The George Washington University, says her biggest achievement is that the children are always having fun during her classes – and making big improvements at home, too.
She says: ‘Whatever their favorite part is, whether it be jumping over the “river” or dancing with colorful scarves at the end of class, you are guaranteed to see a bright smile on each child’s face throughout the thirty minutes.’
The 20-year-old says she can attest to numerous benefits the Purple Tutu has produced.
She can, for example, notice the children growing stronger and they remember more and more with each class.
Not only this, Holland says you hear about the improvements from the parents of the students and their therapists who work closely with the children.
The Purple Tutu ballet classes were launched in 2014 and teach girls from four to 10 years old
When the girls enter the free dance class, they are given a purple tutu to put on and wear
A young ballerina is taught how to dance by passionate volunteers, who help to teach the children
A girl in pale pink holds hands with two volunteers who teach the class in Mount Pleasant
She says: ‘They are finding that their children are practicing what they have learned in class at home.
‘Parents have also told us that when they take their children to therapy sessions, therapists are pleasantly surprised by the kids’ improvements.’
She added: ‘I would love to see these kids continue to dance into adulthood, but even if they decide not to, the benefits of ballet that they gain as young children will persist through improved core strength, discipline, respect, and social skills.’
Holland says: ‘I believe that the kids love that they have their own special time dedicated just to them.
‘When they come into class, they are given a purple tutu to put on, and when they put that tutu on, they know that it is time to dance.’
The founder, Holland McDowell, says the children…