NYC Ballet Cerebral Palsy Workshop


One very loving mother of a child with Cerebral Palsy reached out to the New York City ballet to ask if they might be able to have her little girl attend a workshop. They overwhelmingly answered in the positive along with her daughter’s surgeon, Dr. David Roye Jr., the executive director at the Weinberg Family Cerebral Palsy Center, who then connected her with associate director (and ballet enthusiast) Dr. Joseph Dutkowsky, who offered his expertise and services.

Between Dr. Dutkowsky, the education department at NYC Ballet, and a medical fellow in orthopedics, a team was constructed to design the perfect dance program for disabled children. Columbia University Medical School sent a medical assistant for every ballet student, and the NYC Ballet also provided two dancers to volunteer. Dr. Dutkowsky trained each dancer and explained to them what to expect when interacting with children with disabilities. What followed can only be described as miraculous.

The first program debuted in the fall of 2014 with 25 children, and the second season was during the spring of 2015 with 19 children. After the NYC Ballet implemented this new program, Dr. Dutkowsky stated that a studio in Brisbane, Australia was looking into the idea, as well and the Pennsylvania Ballet is adopting a similar dance program for disabled children in late June.

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