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Down For Dance: Incredible Program Provides Artistic Outlet For People With Down Syndrome

Image shows Down for Dance students performing on a lighted stage.

There are not many programs developed specifically for people with Down syndrome. Noticing this void, Annie Griffith and Sari Anna Thomas devised a solution. Down for Dance, created in 2017, is a non-profit organization. Griffith grew up with a brother with Down syndrome, so the issue was close to her heart. The program holds nothing back. Some choreography is quite complex, and the dancers step up with pride and precision.

In the video above, Joey is the first Down for Dance student to perform a solo routine. After watching, it is evident he was born to dance! During an interview with CBS, Griffith said, “They love music. They’re visual learners. This is what I always say, that dance is our universal language. Some may be non-verbal, but we, when we come into this space, like we all dance and we all understand each other.”

Down for Dance began with 2 weekly dance classes and about 20 dancers. Since 2017, the nonprofit has grown tenfold and now serves almost 200 students in 22 states. The program added art and yoga in 2020 and continues to grow. For those with Down syndrome, the programs offer a way to express themselves through music. The dance movements assist with motor skills, balance, coordination, and strength. The social interactions help them make friends, gain self-confidence, and stay active.

Down for Dance students performing at Spring Fling.
Image from Instagram.

The program is getting some much-deserved recognition as Griffith and Thomas continue to grow their reach. The dancers are amazing. They strive to learn difficult choreography and practice until they get it right. They have fun in the classes and are gaining great skills. Nothing is beyond their grasp. No matter your mood, you will smile when you start watching these dancers. They are truly incredible!

Stay Involved With Down For Dance

You can follow these amazing dancers on YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. If you know a family with special needs, you can check their website, Down for Dance, to find classes or programs in your area.

You can find the source of this story’s featured image here.

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