Throughout life a person can be blessed to experience the miraculous in many different ways but rarely through a dance studio. Well at Moving Miracles they live up to their name. Our daughter has been a "dancer" at Moving Miracles for over 10 years and the impact it has made on her and our family and friends is nothing short of miraculous. Of course there is the therapeutic dance component but there is so much more - a growth in self-esteem, the opportunity to perform on a stage, and the socialization and bonding that takes place with other "dancers", instructors and volunteers. Don't let the name fool you - there are miracles through moving but you can not help but be moved through the miracles that take place in the studio, on the stage, and in the lives of the dancers of Moving Miracles!
--Tim Sember, Parent
Our 8 year old daughter Mary Grace has difficulty staying focused on a task and following directions. But put her in a tutu in front of a wall of mirrors, add a little music and she will perform for you as long as you let her! She has been known to show her physical therapist the latest dance steps. She thrives in the Moving Miracles environment and looks forward to her dance lesson each week! The teachers and volunteers are just amazing!
--Bridget O’Brien-Wood, Parent
Elena has been a Moving Miracles dancer for the last 10 years and has loved every minute. More importantly, the Moms of the girls in Elena’s dance class have become such good friends that we placed our five girls together in a People Inc. group home. The dance studio, Sheila and her staff have been our miracle. Dance on, girls!
--Donna Collins, Parent
I don't think the majority of the population can understand what it's like to have a child with a disability. The challenges are plentiful, the rewards heartwarming. As a child with limitations ages, opportunities begin to fade away. Finding a place in this big world can be difficult at best. As much as we don't want to admit, prejudices still are very clear and present today. Finding a job, a friend, a place in society can become almost impossible. All people with disabilities are not equal and shouldn't be clumped into a group any more than the rest of the population. Why cannot others see what we see? My son, Jason, is a beautiful human being. It breaks my heart to see people shun him, to not give him an opportunity for a job, to turn him away. Moving Miracles is a very special place in Erie County. It offers a place with no prejudice, no closing the doors in your face, no judgments, no rejection. The staff is superior. The volunteers are crucial. There is a place for everyone, for ANY age, an accepting place where disabilities don't live. Where each person is special in their own unique way. For once in many of these dancers’ lives, there is no disability, there is an ability and each ability is a special gift. It is a place where a person no longer is based on what he/she can't do, it's based on what he/she CAN do. I cannot even imagine any person going into the studio and watching a class or individual dance, that wouldn't be touched by the shear beauty of the dancer or the smiles on the faces. Moving Miracles has brought my son a sanctuary where he not only feels acceptance, but feels wanted and appreciated and cared about and even admired. As a parent, I feel fortunate and blessed to have Moving Miracles in our lives.
--Mary Beth McElligott, Parent
It’s an amazing organization. You see the students with disabilities, but their abilities outweigh their disabilities. The performances are superb and I look forward to the performance every year. The students have had so many standing ovations that send chills all through you. Michele looks forward to her dance classes every week. She just loves her teachers and the other dancers. It is a great studio.
--Emilie Billittier, Parent
Words cannot express the effect the Moving Miracles program has had on Sarah. She absolutely loves everything about it. Physically, the classes help her with her balance, control of personal space, and allow her a sense of personal expression. Mentally, the program gives her a sense of belonging and confidence. Sarah smiles with joy at each class and at the springtime recital. Ballet is Sarah’s favorite thing to do.
--Marie Pitillo, Parent
I strongly feel that programs such as Moving Miracles are therapeutic. I have noticed that when my students are frustrated or stressed, moving, dancing, or exercising will often calm them. I have tried to use ideas from the Moving Miracles program in my classroom during such situations. I’ve also learned that any type of movement activity, when paired with an educational song, is a great way to reinforce information. Through the use of movement & song, many of my students can now identify coins, colors, & numbers. Their overall response to Moving Miracles has been very impressive.
--Elizabeth T., Special Education Teacher
Heritage Education Program, Green Acres School
Moving Miracles is a therapeutic and educational program that improves students’ self-esteem. It helps them to increase their cognitive, academic, language, and social skills. It also helps non-verbal students to begin to communicate more readily and helps others to develop total language skills. Moving Miracles teaches its participants cooperative participation and body movements which help them stay fit and increase their range of motion and strength. It also teaches them another basic life skill that they don’t often get in school, as well as helping them to interact with their schoolmates.
--Elizabeth L., Special Education Teacher
Heritage Education Program, Green Acres School
Since joining moving Miracles in 2004, many of the symptoms of my Cerebral Palsy have greatly decreased. I have more flexibility, and the stiffness in my joints has substantially subsided.
--Cammie Stamp, Dancer