BUST A MOVE: UW-Eau Claire Students Launch Dance Program for Kids with Disabilities
Led by kinesiology-rehabilitation science major Baillie Ollila, the P.R.I.D.E. Dance program brings children with disabilities together to learn a range of moves
A new environment for kiddos to get active and learn something new is going on thanks to local university students.
Led by UW-Eau Claire junior kinesiology-rehabilitation science major Baillie Ollila, the P.R.I.D.E. Dance program brings children with disabilities together to learn a range of moves. The dances are tailored to each student’s level of ability, and for many of the children, the class is a rare opportunity to participate in a group activity with peers.
The current class consists of 12 students ranging in age from six-to-16, with 24 student volunteers. The dancers are divided into two groups by age, and lessons are held on Monday evenings. At the end of the seven weeks of the program, both groups will perform an evening recital at the Pablo Center for the Arts in Eau Claire.
Part of the Physical activity and Recreation for Individuals with Disabilities in the Eau Claire area (P.R.I.D.E.) program, P.R.I.D.E. Dance provides a fun and encouraging way for children to improve both their physical and social skills. Ollila and her university advisors, Drs. Tara Putnam and Marquell Johnson, are putting plans in place to ensure that the class remains available even after Ollila graduates.
Part of the development of the class will include training additional undergraduates to participate and lead the program and provide costumes and additional performance opportunities for the students. The next class is scheduled to begin in September 2022 and will run concurrently with the university semester. Registration information will be sent to Eau Claire area schools, current UWEC kinesiology students and P.R.I.D.E participants, and the wider community.
For more information visit uwec.edu/community-outreach.