How Our Dance Program Works
Months of planning by your local dance camp hosts and hours of volunteer ‘spotting’ by wonderful, concerned people from your community lead to your child attaining confidence to last a lifetime – achieved in just 5 days. At our iCan Dance programs, with the help of one to two volunteer spotters, dancers learn dance moves combined in a choreographed routine culminating in an on stage performance on the last day. We strive to bring all participants together in a safe, supportive, inclusive and fun environment to accomplish their performance goal as a unified team.
We adapt our approach to each individual dancer based on the accommodations they may need to benefit the most from our program. Our staff are well-trained and experienced in working with many different types of disabilities and behavioral challenges. One to two volunteers are assigned to each dancer to serve as their ‘spotters’ providing physical support, motivation and encouragement throughout the week.
We try to establish early on at our iCan Dance programs that learning to dance is fun. We take a team approach whereby we collaborate with parents for their advice and tips on how to most successfully work through any behavioral difficulties presented by their dancer.
Benefits of Dancing
Our program works! All dancers progress and gain skills during the week benefiting from:
- Increase in self-esteem and confidence spills over into many other aspects of their lives
- Positive changes in family dynamics
- Inclusion opportunities with typically developing peers in a safe, supportive setting where everyone learns together
- Self expression through music and movement
- Increase in memorization, coordination and gross motor skills
- Recreation improves physical fitness, mental health and overall quality of life
- Have fun!
Requirements for Participation
We have established certain criteria that all dancers must meet to be eligible to attend an iCan Dance program. The dancer must:
- be at least 8 years old (no upper age limit); and
- have a disability (being ambulatory is not required… wheelchairs are welcome!)
As you evaluate this program it is important to consider behavior. A person may be physically able to dance, but if their behavior is severely challenging such that they cannot be persuaded to follow instructions, then it is likely this program will not be beneficial. Although we strive to make the experience fun and productive for all dancers, individuals with severe behavioral issues may be removed from the program if their actions are detrimental to the overall function of the program or potentially harmful to themselves or others.