Kids with special needs, defying the odds through dance

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HANOVER,Pa. -- Finding a place to do ballet if you are a kid with special needs can be a challenge.  However, one local high school girl wanted to change that by starting a class.

Emmah Bowers started a dance class for kids who have special needs.  She did this because a family member of her's is struggling with a disability. "She never got to do some of the stuff we did," Emmah said.

Alaina Crone is just one of those kids that Emmah is helping.  Alaina even said dancing makes her feel strong and like she's superwoman.

29 kids showed up for the first day of dance class last summer, ready to challenge themselves, and for Emmah, the class didn't come without challenges for her as well. "I remember the one time a parent came up to me because they were triggered by certain noises," she said.

Those challenges have only pushed Emmah to learn more about the kids and herself, "It definitely taught me a lot of patience."

Seeing the kids dancing has been so rewarding for Emmah, especially since she's able to witness Alaina defy the odds.

"They didn't even expect her to be able to run ever... and she just ran and she's dancing and jumping which is amazing because she has braces on all of her limbs," Emmah said about Alaina.

Alaina has arthrogryposis, which means some of her joints don't move as much as they should, and may even be stuck in one position.

But at Emmah's dance class, she just gets to be a regular 3-year-old girl. "I feel good," Alaina said.

That feeling is what helps these kids step out of their comfort zones.

It doesn't look like anything can slow Alaina down and it's because of opportunities like Emmah's dance class that so many kids have confidence in themselves and their abilities.

"I really hope that more people can give them a chance," Emmah said.

Emmah plans to start a class in March. The UnAbashed studio owner said she supports this class 100% and lets the girls use the space for free to teach it.

If you are interested in signing your child up for the free “first position” program, it begins March 9th. The class will be held at the UnAbashed School of Dance on 9 Carlisle Street Hanover, PA 17331 on the third floor.

Email Emmah at to sign up.



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