It’s interesting, If I look back 10 years, I wouldn’t have guessed my life would have looked the way it does now. Here is a little look into how I came to do what I do, and why I love it.
In the begining
In 2008, I was pregnant with my fourth baby, a little girl, which was very exciting since I already had three handsome and very active little boys. I was a stay at home mom and loving every second of it. I have always been an active mom and enjoyed sports and dance. My kids loved to be outside and moving around. I visited my good friend Keri- Ellen, and she introduced to the MusiGo Kids program.
JitterBugs Dance classes - music, movement and healthy lifestyle
I lived across the country in beautiful BC. I didn’t think I would ever be an entrepreneur but I believed so much in the program and what it would do for kids, that I couldn’t let my fears of starting a business stop me. After I had my daughter, I started JitterBugs Dance for ages 6 months to 5 years. The kids loved the music and the environment to move freely and have fun with other kids while keeping a healthy lifestyle. The classes were a hit! I have always loved kids. Being able to dance and have fun with them was a dream job. As the years went on, I met a lot of amazing children and families and really saw how important this niche was. Families were happy to have a program their children loved, that encouraged exercise and fun, and I was happy to provide the environment.
Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and Speech Therapy
After my kids went to school, I went back to work part-time at a Neurological Rehabilitation office with services such as Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and Speech Therapy. We service anyone with a Neurological issue, such as Brain Injury, Stroke, Spinal Cord, as well as many different special needs in adults and children such as Cerebral Palsy, Downs Syndrome, Austism, Global Developmental Delay, and the list goes on. It was very quickly that I realized how much our clients could benefit from adapted dance classes. I spoke with the Owner, Heather Branscombe, PT , and the other therapists. Everyone was on board.
Adapted classes for music and movement for special needs clients
We adapted the classes to meet the goals and create an inclusive class to allow children with special needs to have a functional but fun music and movement class. The results were so exciting! We could see very quickly how much the small class (max 5 kids) loved to socialize with one another. When the music came on, they would light up with smiles! Eventually they would memorize the order of songs and anticipate what was next, I couldn’t get the music on fast enough. There were so many skills that were learned and encouraged (like turn taking, being a leader, sharing, etc) that were rewarded with more music and dancing. Some singing along started happening as well as some big physical milestones through the motivation of the music and dancing. This was very exciting for us and the families.
The hard work children with special needs put into movements, I take for granted everyday, has been humbling. Working with the special needs population and their families has been such a blessing in my life, I am so grateful my path lead me here.
So, to go back to my first thoughts, I didn’t foresee my life ten years ago owning my own small dance business, let alone adapting classes to suit the special needs community… but I am so glad I tried something new that brought me here!