"Hi, my name is Mary and I am an Aspiring Attitudes dancer. This is why I love dance. I have CP and I'm mostly in the wheelchair but my passion is dance. Here's why I think it's so important. I'm in a wheelchair most of the time, but when I dance, I'm free, I feel like I can do anything, I feel like I can touch the sky! If I could live there, I would! I'm a dancer in my heart and in my dreams. I think I was born to be a dancer. I love my teacher more than words could say! She makes everything possible for me. I'm not kidding! She gives me everything so while I'm there I can be as free as I want to be. I can be the dancer in my heart that I know I am. That's why I think it's so important. It means the world to me!"
My beautiful girl “marches to her own drum,” and she’s always loved to move to the music in her heart even if no one else could hear. We were asked to leave other children’s dance classes because she just didn’t fit in. Isabel has moderate-to-severe autism and is only partially verbal; there are many areas of our lives that don’t “fit” society’s mold. But Shannon doesn't ask any student to be anything but who they are and "fitting in" is not the goal. Shannon helps her students shine in their own way and the results are truly unique and breathtaking! Isabel has made leaps and bounds of progress; she is more verbal, more coordinated, and her strength and balance have improved. More importantly: she loves the stage. I will be forever grateful for the delight and the confidence in her eyes when she leaves the stage.
Witnessing the dancers at Shannon’s studio is truly awe-inspiring. The recitals, a seamless blend of dancers of all degrees of abilities, are nothing less than a shining celebration of the human spirit!
Shannon always goes out of her way to accommodate the needs of the child. My daughter, who has autism, has good days and bad days, but Shannon never seems phased. On good days, they work at the ballet barre and when my daughter is melting down, they just "play" stretching games on the floor. When my daughter saw The Nutcracker on TV, she wanted to be a ballerina. Even though the winter performance was only a week away and they had been working on a tap dance routine, Shannon put together a quick ballet routine and led my daughter through it for recital. It was precious and she was so happy. The flexibility and "out of the box" thinking is a necessity with kids with special needs, and this is the only dance studio we've found the truly "gets" that.
My daughter has been a part of Aspiring Attitudes Dance for over 3 years. When we first began with Shannon we were just looking for an activity to fill Hannah's time not thinking that she would benefit physically, emotionally and developmentally. We were very wrong in our thinking in regards to these three areas. Shannon uses music, dance and fun to help her students develop. Hannah now is able to tap her toes which is a small accomplishment for most, but for our daughter this is a huge accomplishment that we didn't think we would ever see. She is also able to count with the music keeping time and do a dance routine with little prompting. I highly recommend Shannon and her program for special needs children and adults. Shannon is a kind and compassionate lady that encourages my daughter to work hard, follow directions and develop dance skills while having fun and experiencing movement, play and music.