Group of dancers with autism partner for recital in Dix Hills: 'It's fun and it's hard work'

Chanteé Lans Image
Wednesday, April 10, 2024
Special performance by dance troupe for National Autism Awareness Month
Chantee Lans has the story on Long Island about the dance troupe.

OLD BETHPAGE, Long Island (WABC) -- A group of dancers with autism are set to put on a special dance performance later this week on Long Island.

Studio dancers from Dance Workshop of Deer Park and dancers from Family Residences and Essential Enterprises have been training together since September for the recital.

Family Residences and Essential Enterprises (FREE) supports more than 4,000 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, mental illness and traumatic brain injury.

"There's one common denominator that they share and that's their love and passion for dance," said Dance Workshop of Deer Park owner and instructor Christina Leuck-McGovern.

This will be the second recital under the partnership between both organizations which will feature 50 dancers, double the number from last year. They will perform 24 abbreviated numbers in an hour.

"I was in it last year," said dancer Steven Berman. "It's fun and it's hard work."

This week's show will be Sarah Beloten's first recital with the group.

"It feels awesome," the Franklin Square native said. "It's a lot of fun to do group numbers with them."

Chief Program Officer of Community Services at Family Residences and Essential Enterprises Inc. Nicole Wolf expressed with Eyewitness News how proud she is of the work both groups have accomplished in the lead up to the recital.

"It makes me proud that behind everything that we do everyday, that this is the outcome, that we're really impacting people's lives," she said.

The recital is scheduled for Friday at 7 p.m. at Candlewood Middle School in Dix Hills. Tickets will be $15 and sold at the door.

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