I recently received my alma mater’s College of Visual and Performing Arts newsletter and was blown away by the enriching work of a former classmate.
It is becoming common knowledge, thank goodness, that the arts are vital to the proper mental and physical development of our youth as well as the maintenance of a high quality of life for our aging population.
My classmate Emily McKinney, a junior at Radford University, took advantage of the university’s class and degree offerings to combine two of her loves: dance and teaching children with disabilities.
Specifically, she teaches private and/or small group dance classes to autistic children in the community around Radford. Her work has given children who have difficulties communicating and expressing themselves an instrument to “be their true selves.”
Despite the challenges she faces working with them, Emily knows patience and careful guidance help her dance students discover immense amounts of joy that would seem otherwise impossible.
In addition to these findings and personal accounts, I found it interesting that the same is applied for the elderly, namely patients being treated for dementia and Alzheimer’s. Read the rest of this entry »