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Local Special Needs Dancers Audition for NBC’s America’s Got Talent Print E-mail
Tuesday, 12 January 2010 10:12
The I CAN! Dance class is gearing up for an audition for NBC’s America’s Got Talent TV show. The dance class for children with special needs plans to take part in the show’s initial audition process in Dallas, Texas, on Jan. 30-31. A garage sale on Jan. 15-16 in the Saline County community of East End will help fund the trip. In addition, for every dollar raised at the sale, the Bill and Sharon Arnold Family Foundation will match it. There are 20 I CAN! Dancers from Central Arkansas. They are children ages 4-14 who have a disability including, but not limited to: Down’s syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism, and spina bifida. The class also includes 12 “Dancing Buddies,” who assist in the class with children who need help propelling a wheelchair or more one-on-one attention. The group is part of Community Connections, a non-profit organization that offers other activities for children with disabilities including soccer, flag football and acting.

The I CAN! Dance class performed at Disney World in June, the Dallas Theological Seminary in Texas in December, and has made numerous local appearances including at Little Rock’s Riverfest, the Greek Food Festival, and the Ms. Wheelchair Arkansas event.

The class director, Julie Mayberry, said, “We want to audition for America’s Got Talent to show the judges and America what these girls are capable of doing. They can move an audience in ways that touches your heart. It’s not about the difficulty of the dance or the precision of the dancers. It’s much more than that. It’s the hope these children bring into our lives.”

Curtis Arnold, executive director of the Bill and Sharon Arnold Family Foundation, says they are proud to support the group’s trip to Dallas and match dollar for dollar what is raised at the sale.

“We feel that dance instruction should be available to all Arkansans, and that the benefits for those with special needs of an artistic outlet are immeasurable,” said Arnold.

The garage sale will be Friday, Jan. 15, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday, Jan. 16, from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. The sale will be held at A Time To Dance studio, located at 21121 Arch St., Little Rock, AR 72206 in the East End community of Saline County. The studio is at the corner of Sawmill Road and Arch Street behind the Sinclair gas station. All proceeds will help fund the trip to Dallas. The organization can also take donations online at www.firstgiving.com/icandance.

In addition to garage sale items, Mary Kay, Beijo purses and Celebrating Home items will be available for sale, with contributions going to support the I CAN! Dance class. For more information, call 501-888-3522.