Annie has a variety of special educational needs and she has recently started coming to the ROC Dance school. Her mother was worried about her starting the class and whether her needs would be met and how she would cope with the integration with other children in the class. Her mother was also worried whether she would be able to pick up the routines or whether she would be able to perform in front of others.
With a lot of support, encouragement and praise, Annie has really come out of her shell. At the beginning, her energy levels were extremely high and occasionally difficult to manage in a wider group context. However, I praised her every week and tried to notice something positive she had done each week. After a few weeks Annie asked if she could help lead a dance. I agreed as I thought this would be a great way to channel her energy and giving her a responsibility would also boost her confidence. When I told her Mum after the class that she had helped lead a dance, her Mum was nearly in tears. She kept asking me if I was sure that her daughter had been good, and she was amazed that her daughter’s behaviour had been outstanding every week.
This is because she is doing something she enjoys and she finally feels valued and important, rather than being labelled ‘naughty’. This has really helped Mum and family life at home because there are other siblings who have physical disabilities, so now their sister can help out more at home. She feels ROC Dance is teaching her that she can be a good leader and helper and she realises her siblings need her help at home.