MICHIGAN CITY — Studio M Dance and the Michigan City Human Rights Commission have reached an agreement to extend a popular dancing program for students with disabilities.
Dance with Me sessions have been extended throughout the year to offer people of all abilities the opportunity to express themselves through music and creative dance, according to Joanne Tedesco, commission member and School Board candidate.
“The program started in March in celebration of Disability Awareness Month and attracted more than 10 dancers, creating a unique community where individuals were able to create new friendships and have an entertaining activity to look forward to each week,” Tedesco said.
The dancers performed at the Guy Foreman Amphitheater on the completion of their inaugural session. The next six-week session of Dance with Me will begin Sept. 18 and run until Oct. 23, and the last session of 2018 will run Nov. 6-Dec. 18. Classes are from 6-6:45 pm. each Tuesday.
Sessions cost $50 and include an additional community performance date.
“It’s hard to describe the feeling I had when the dancers arrived at the studio in March; they were so excited for a new adventure that their smiles were infectious, and laughter filled the air,” said Marilyn Steinhiser, owner of Studio M.
Dance with Me was developed in partnership with Studio M and the Human Rights Commission to offer the disability community with a unique creative movement class that provides sensory, cognitive and developmental benefits, she said.
“The program continues to enrich lives and offers instruction that instills a lifelong love of movement and rhythm while promoting balance, confidence and discipline through the joy of music and the at tributes it brings to the soul,” Tedesco said.
Studio M is located at 703 Pearl Street (behind the Michigan City Police Department).
“Thirteen-and-a-half percent of the Michigan City population and nearly 20 percent of Michigan City Area Schools students has a disability. So, there’s certainly a need in our community for quality programming not just when school is in session but throughout the year to create quality communities where lifelong friendships can be developed,” Tedesco said.
“I’m grateful for Marilyn Steinhiser, instructors Larry Payne and Alexis McFarrin for their hearts for teaching all dancers.”