Penny dances on stage with other performers

Penny’s Final Dance Recital

I never ever imagined Penny would dance for twelve years. I knew dance was a good activity for her as a little kid with Down syndrome. It rewarded repetition. It was predictable, unlike soccer or other sports where every pass might be slightly different. And the low muscle tone which often accompanies that extra chromosome meant that Penny’s body has always been incredibly flexible, so splits and high kicks came easily.

But then we reached middle school, and I thought that Penny might tire of the classes. Truth be told, I thought the studio might tell us that she had reached the end of what they could offer.

Instead, her teachers said things like,

“I don’t see any reason why Penny can’t go on en pointe unless she chooses not to.”

And, after Penny fell behind due to absence,

“I have total confidence that with focus and rehearsal we can get you on the same page as everyone else.”

And so, last Sunday, we watched her perform jazz, contemporary, and ballet pieces. It was a beautiful reflection of twelve years of hard work, perseverance, delight, and mutual encouragement. We are so sad to move on from Fineline Theatre Arts. And so grateful for the tremendous confidence, strength, grace, beauty, and belonging they gave to our daughter. (Scroll down for video and photos)

Two-minute video with clips from Penny’s final dance recital and her teacher’s tribute at the end…


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