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TJE Dance Force Adds More Classes for Dancers with Special Needs

TJE Dance Force Adds More Classes for Dancers with Special Needs

TJE Dance Force has added more special needs dance classes at the Holbrook and Saint James studio locations.

TJE Dance Force offers a variety of classes for dancers of all ages with special needs, including classes for dancers with autism and Down syndrome as well as classes for dancers who use wheelchairs. TJE Dance Force first started offering special needs dance class in 1998 and expanded its class offerings as of October 2016, due to high demand.

TJE Dance Force considers itself as more of a family than a dance studio and is particularly proud of their classes for dancers with special needs. “It’s the best thing we do,” says owner Barbara Marx, “everyone [at the studio] feels really proud and is supportive.”

Students in the special needs classes dance in the recital with the other dancers and occasionally, depending on the level, participate in dance competitions. TJE dance teachers lead the classes with assistance from volunteer dancers ages 8-19 from other TJE classes.

Class size varies depending on a variety of factors, including age and skill level, but there are typically eight to 12 people. Most of the special needs dance classes start as a “hip hop type with upbeat music,” Marx says. TJE Dance Force is hoping to begin a jazz class and currently offers select tap classes, which Marx says was inspired by a boy who is blind taking the classes.

TJE Dance Force's special needs classes are open to all ages. While the Holbrook and Saint James studios both offer the classes, the Holbrook studio currently has a larger number of them. Although TJE Dance Force does not offer regular dance classes for adults, it does offer adult special needs dance classes. TJE Dance Force believes that if someone is having fun in its special needs dance class, they should not be restricted by their age.

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Main image: TJE Dance Force has been offering special needs dance classes since 1998 and recently added more due to high demand.
Courtesy TJE Dance Force

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Jaime Bonchick

Author: Jaime Bonchick is a rising junior at the University of Maryland, College Park and a summer 2017 editorial intern for NYMP. She enjoys annoying her friends and family with random facts, watching the news, and reading books on her phone. She can often be found snacking on something sugary and texting her mom. See More

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