Colorado Ballet and the Anna and John J. Sie Center for Down Syndrome at the Children’s Hospital Launch Dare to Dance Class

Dance class tailored specifically for children with Down syndrome aims high


DENVER, CO (March 24, 2010) – Children with Down syndrome between the ages of five and nine-years-old can register now for Colorado’s first Dare to Dance class developed by the Global Down Syndrome Foundation, Colorado Ballet and The Children’s Hospital.

The Dare to Dance class is based on Boston Ballet’s Adaptive Dance class and will expose children with Down syndrome to movement and the art of dance. Colorado Ballet’s Education Programs Manager Becca Jacobson, Colorado Ballet company dancer Sally Turkel and Anna and John J. Sie Center world-renowned physical therapist specializing in Down syndrome Patricia Winders will co-teach the eight-week class. physical therapist specializing in Down syndrome.

“We believe this class will not only increase our student’s physical awareness, but provide self-confidence around learning and performance,” said Patricia Winders.

“The mission of Colorado Ballet’s Department of Education and Outreach is to make dance accessible to everybody and that is exactly what this class will do,” said Jacobson. “Our goal is to give our students an opportunity to have fun through dancing and hopefully create a life-long love for dance.”

Dare to Dance class participants will meet every Monday from 4 p.m. – 5 p.m. beginning April 5 and continuing through May 24 at The Children’s Hospital Wellness Center, located at 13123 E. 16th Ave in Aurora on the Anschutz medical campus. The class will be preceded by a mandatory orientation class for parents and students on Monday, March 29. The course will conclude with a very special recital at Colorado Ballet’s studio on Monday, May 24.  Dare to Dance participants will perform for family and friends in the very studios where the professional dancers rehearse.

“For this pilot class, we are enrolling students ages five to nine,” said Michelle Sie Whitten, Executive Director of the Global Down Syndrome Foundation. “Depending on the applications, we would be happy to explore additional classes for other age-ranges. We see this as supplementary to parents who want their children with Down syndrome to be in their local dance schools.”

The class is open to the first 10 children who register at The fee for the class is $120 and includes dance attire and ballet shoes. Partial scholarships are available by contacting Anca Call at 303-468-6664.

About Colorado Ballet

Under the direction of Artistic Director Gil Boggs, Colorado Ballet’s dancers come from all parts of the world.  Established in 1961 by Lillian Covillo and Freidann Parker, Colorado Ballet is a nonprofit organization presenting superior quality classical ballet and innovative dance through performances, training and education programs that enhance the cultural life of the community. Colorado Ballet is both the oldest and largest dance company in the state. The Company celebrates 50 years of dance in Denver during the 2010-2011 season. Along with the professional dance company, Colorado Ballet’s Department of Education and Outreach has been serving in-need students, teachers, families, people with disabilities and lifelong learners in Colorado for over 11 years. The mission is simple: Every (to make dance accessible to everyone); Body (to promote dance and movement as part of a healthy lifestyle); Dance (to encourage creativity and expression though dance, and foster an appreciation for ballet).  In 2009-2010, Colorado Ballet celebrated surpassing 600,000 contacts in more than 23 Colorado counties. For more information, call 303-837-8888 or visit

About Anna and John J. Sie Center for Down Syndrome

The mission of the Anna and John J. Sie Center for Down Syndrome (“Sie Center”) is to provide the best medical care to children with Down syndrome regardless of race, gender, medical condition, socioeconomic status, and as a supplement to primary care. The Sie Center is the clinical arm of the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome.

About Global Down Syndrome Foundation

The Global Down Syndrome Foundation (GDSF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to significantly improving the lives of people with Down syndrome by supporting basic research, clinical research and clinical care. Established in 2009, GDSF’s primary focus is to support the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome. The Linda Crnic Institute is the first organization in the US with the mission to eradicate the medical and cognitive ill effects associated with Down syndrome through basic and clinical research and through clinical care. The Linda Crnic Institute incorporates scientific partners both locally and globally, with headquarters at the Anschutz Medical Campus in Colorado.

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