Tapping Into Natural Passion

The disabled learn to dance.

This story is a bit different, it is about several of our clients who are in a dance group called “The Tappers.” This group was formed several years ago and they tap dance at many different places.

Several years ago we needed a dance instructor. It was United Way’s “Day of Caring” and I was speaking with a group of volunteers and mentioned we needed a dance instructor. A volunteer spoke up and said his wife teaches dance to people with disabilities.

Now, we have our wonderful instructor, Shannon Wrights. Shannon is a graduate of Oklahoma City University and is visually impaired. We transport her to the Foundation to teach the classes. She is exceptional with our clients; she teaches on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons. After about a year she approached me to start tap dancing classes. We ordered shoes (donated) and the rest is fun.

They dance at nursing homes, other day cares, were the Grand Finale at the DDSD Conference in 2013 (two standing ovations); they perform at the Arts Festival each year. Fox 25 taped them dancing for “Living Oklahoma,” which was televised Monday, February 29. Last year, during December, they had to decline invitations to dance as they were fully booked.

Now to meet the Tappers: there are twelve who consistently dance. This has been a positive influence in their lives. They have gained confidence and self-esteem, plus the deep friendships developed in the group.

Their disabilities include Down syndrome, hearing impairment, non-verbal autism, non-cancerous brain tumors that cause spontaneous seizures, eating disorder and diabetic. We don’t consider the disabilities, only the possibilities they have achieved. Many times it is an emotional experience to observe them dancing. We are blessed to share their talents with others.