There are many rites of passage that parents of neurotypical kids take for granted. The humble dance recital is one such event where the biggest stress is making sure you make it to dance class on time every week and the reward is getting to see your kid up on the stage performing to the best of their abilities.
But for parents of children with disabilities or diseases that affect their physical or mental abilities, a simple dance class seems like an impossibility.
The documentary “Everybody Dance” focuses on a remarkable program called Ballet For All Kids where a child with any kind of developmental disability is taught the art of dance.
The documentary tells the stories of several of the students as they spend months preparing for their recital.
At the center of it all is the Founder and Creator of Ballet For All Kids Bonnie Schlachte, who brought her two fields of expertise in both dance and developmental therapy together where kids with disabilities are given the same opportunity as any other kid to dance and perform.
Each of the students has unique challenges, but Bonnie and her stable of devoted, teenaged volunteers work tirelessly to find what works best for each kid to help them participate in the class and perform the dance routines.
The joy of “Everybody Dance” comes from seeing not only the kids blossom as they are given the opportunity and the space to participate in the arts, but seeing the parents, who face monumental struggles of their own on a daily basis, bursting with pride at seeing their children participate on a level playing field.
“Everybody Dance” is as much a celebration of the arts as it is a celebration of access. Everyone who wants to participate in the arts should be given that chance. It may not all look the same or sound the same, but it all contains its own certain kind of beauty.
“Everybody Dance” is not rated.