MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Emotions run high as dance instructor Darlene Winters tried to explain how she feels teaching dancers with down syndrome.
“It’s a little deep, it’s deep. It’s like being a parent,” she said. “I think it’s so important for anybody in life to be a part of something and to be able to find their joy.”
She’s been surrounded by the same dancers who practice every week for a long time.
“Dancing with Company D is fun and it’s not difficult for me,” said Kenny Thielemier.
“You’re a pro, that’s why.”
“I’m a pro and I love to dance.”
It’s hard to keep these guys and gals off their feet.
“Dance feels like joy and happy.”
Although the room was filled with dancers with intellectual disabilities, the ability to grasp techniques and moves was no problem. Many of them said they remember almost every dance move, no matter the genre or when they learned it.
“You’re just smart huh?”
“Yes ma’am I am very smart.”
Step by step, Company D members were preparing for their annual show. It’s an experience that not only allows them to showcase their hard work, but it gives the talented choreographers a chance to shine too.
One group. One goal. One mission: to keep shakin’ in the shared experience of doing what every person in that room loves to do.