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Boulder Ballet hosts dance classes for kids with physical and cognitive disabilities

Posted at 3:20 PM, Jan 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-20 12:58:06-05

BOULDER, Colo. -- Something magical is happening inside the dance studios at the Dairy Arts Center in Boulder.

Little ones are putting on their ballet slippers for the first time in a first-ever setting for the Boulder Ballet. The message behind it is loud and clear.

Ten young students with a variety of cognitive and physical impairments get to do what they've only dreamed of up to now. For the first time ever, Boulder Ballet has teamed up with two Children's Hospital of Colorado doctors to put on the adaptive dance classes. They'll happen every two weeks through May.

"We have some kids with Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, Balint's syndrome and autism," said Boulder Ballet's assistant school director Amy Earnest. "We have a lot of different abilities."

Eleven-year-old Julia Arnold attended the first class. She couldn't stop moving in excitement the minute she walked into the studio. Julia was born with an extremely rare chromosomal abnormality.

"There are no other kids like her," said Julia's mom Laurie Arnold. "She's writing her own story and she's going to tell us what she can and can't do."

Young Boulder Ballet students volunteered their time to help with the classes.

"I think it's important for anyone to have opportunities," said 16-year-old Julie Curd. "The music and the movement is very natural for a lot of people and it makes you happy."

A lot of happy faces graced the studio on day one — Boulder Ballet's way of embracing inclusiveness.

"Everyone deserves to be included," said Earnest. "It's wonderful that they get to do this and express themselves through dance."

If you want more information on Boulder Ballet's adaptive dance classes email Amy Earnest at