Dancers Realize Excellence through Arts and Movement (DREAM)


An inclusive dance program to promote participation in children with developmental disabilities
The DREAM project aims to evaluate the experiences of children with and without development disabilities who participate in a 5 day inclusion dance program in Harlem, NY. This study is a collaboration between the NRL Lab and Agnes McConlogue Ferro, Stony Brook University. National Dance Institute has partnered with Board certified pediatric physical therapist Agnes McConlogue Ferro to create a workshop that offers children of all abilities the chance to move, dance, and go beyond what they believe possible.

Using NDI's unique pedagogy and the expertise of an NDI teaching artist team led by Master Teacher Kay Gayner, this 5-day program hones the abilities of learners with special needs through dance, live music, and performance. In this program, children with disabilities are paired with typically developing peers to maximize participation. Dancers work together under the guidance of Kay, Agnes, NDI teaching artists, and physical therapy students to master choreography and gain partnership and performance skills, working toward functional goals within a joyful, rigorous, and supportive group dynamic. The workshop culminates in an informal performance celebrating the children’s achievements. The study will explore qualitative methods of inquiry through the use of visual explorations of the children’s self-perception and view of participation in the DREAM program.

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