Dance teacher helps mainstream special needs youngsters

Dance teacher helps mainstream special needs youngsters

Credit: Photo by: Betsy Denson

Mary Tiras leads a group of joyous preschoolers at Our Savior Lutheran School.

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by Betsy Denson/ leadernews.com

khou.com

Posted on September 23, 2013 at 9:58 AM

THE HEIGHTS, Texas—Early in her career as a dance teacher, Mary Tiras worked for Houston ISD teaching creative movement at Travis Elementary. She says the experience of seeing special needs children mainstreamed into the regular classrooms was one that stayed with her.

“It was amazing,” she said. “The children, not being separated, were kind, loving and supportive of each other.”

Some of these children also enrolled in Tiras’ after school dance classes. “One little girl with Down’s Syndrome danced and performed with me for six years,” she said.

With a degree in dance from the University of Houston and three years as a professional dancer in Japan under her belt, Tiras says she’s been dancing for most of her life.

This background – as well as Tiras’ current involvement in a leadership program – was the impetus for DanceReach 2013, a dance workshop to be held at Our Savior Lutheran School from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Oct. 5. During the event, special needs and non-special needs children will learn some dance basics and then develop them in workshops before performing as a group for parents and community members.

Click here to read more at the Heights Leader.

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