Charlotte’s inclusive dance group highlighted in documentary

CHARLOTTE, NC – A dancer’s life may be different from person to person, but the members of A Chance to Dance in Charlotte hope to broaden the standard perspective and present even more possibilities.

The Special Needs Dance Group includes dancers of all ages and abilities. The group started in 2015 with only a handful of participants. Kim Smith, who founded the group, said she wanted to give more opportunities to other children like her daughter.

“My youngest daughter, Reagan, has the autism spectrum and I had a hard time finding activities outside of medical appointments and therapy,” Smith said.

NO MORE NEWS: NC has $ 920 million in unclaimed money. How to check if some of them are yours

Several years later, she worked on building several competitive teams that show their talents under the same spotlight as all other dancers their age.

“Give them the same opportunity because for us it’s not about a trophy, it’s about getting on the same stage and showing what these kids are really capable of,” Smith said.

Dancers like 14-year-old Ava Wright, born with a brain disorder, say the dance team is fun and a chance to meet all kinds of new friends.

“From people who have minor things to people who can barely move,” Wright said. “It’s like a place for everyone.”

NO MORE NEWS: 36-year veteran of the Charlotte Postal Service offering the latest Christmas presents

Now, that idea of ​​inclusion is being brought to an even bigger stage with the help of DanceOn, a non-profit organization based outside of Chicago. They teamed up with A Chance To Dance for a special documentary showcasing the team and their talents.

“I hope to show the whole world what can happen, how the perspective can change if you just open your eyes to what’s different,” Smith said.

The documentary’s red carpet premiere will take place on January 8, 2022 at the Ayrsley Grand Cinema from 5:30 p.m.

Contact Briana Harper at [email protected] and follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For the latest news, weather and traffic alerts, download the WCNC Charlotte mobile app.

You can stream WCNC Charlotte on Roku and Amazon Fire TV, just download the free app.