A gorgeous dance recital for differently-abled ballerinas

On Tuesday, students at the Children’s Therapy Center in Fair Lawn, New Jersey came together for the school’s ninth annual ballet recital. It was a wonderful and very cute show — and after a year of rehearsing, the tiny dancers were plié-perfect from head to toe.

According to the Children’s Therapy Center site, the school “provides educational and therapeutic services for children with developmental disabilities,” and the ballet program is meant to help develop students’ motor skills, socialization skills, and ability to focus.

But much more importantly, the program is a ton of fun — and the students love it. For the recital, the girls wore matching ballet ensembles and accessories, and the whole thing was all kinds of adorable (because let’s be real: Little kids dancing is alway adorable). Smiles abounded as the girls showed off their best twirls and pirouettes with the help of aides, while parents snapped a ton of photos on their phones.

“It really is a dream come true to see her participate in something that I see so many other children participate in and it really wouldn’t have been able to happen except here,” one mother, Elana Lefkovitz, told PIX11 News  — and other parents were quick to echo the sentiment.

“I’m extremely proud to be her mother,” another mom, Jennifer Bauer, said about her daughter. “It’s just one of those moments where you can just sit back and revel in everything and the accomplishments and how far she’s come.”

Regardless of ability, race, class, and any other factors, all kids deserve a happy and healthy childhood and to enjoy the same passions as their peers. The Children’s Therapy Center dance recital was so amazing because a bunch of young girls got to partake in an activity they love, and what’s better than that? According to the CDC, one in six kids has a developmental disability, and yet ableism still remains one of the most prevalent forms of prejudice in our society today. We have to change this — and we think programs like the Children’s Therapy Center’s are an awesome start.

“No matter what their ability is, the children know that there is something special and exciting happening for them,” Lynn Barral, assistant director at the school and founder of the program, told PIX11 News. “I think that is [what’s] so thrilling.”

You can watch the PIX11 segment on the recital right here.

(Images via.)