Online dance program embraces children with special needs

The Always Dancing Project is aimed at kids who love to move and have some fun.

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Wednesday, September 2, 2020
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An Orange County high school teen launches free virtual dance classes for kids with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. (KABC) -- The pandemic's toll on a child's well-being can have serious implications -- especially for children with special needs.

One Orange County high school teen wants to help families by providing free virtual dance classes via Zoom. The Always Dancing Project is aimed at kids who love to move and have some fun.

"I wanted to do something for the children because it's really hard being stuck at home for such a long time," said Elliana Kim, founder of the Always Dancing Project.

The 17-year-old high school student found her passion for dance at the age of three. Now she's sharing her love of dance with children with developmental disabilities, all free of charge.

"Reimagine was one of the few that I found, and I was given the opportunity to volunteer there," Kim told ABC7.

"We need a lot of people like her that can help these kids to really stride and actually help them so they can interact and engage in the community," said Angie Medina, early intervention specialist and children's program coordinator at Reimagine.

While the program is aimed at kids with disabilities, Kim is extending her virtual sessions to anyone in the family.

"I actually do the class with them," said Meghan O'Brien, mom of two girls who started attending classes about a month ago.

"The girls just really enjoy having a little extracurricular activity that they can do and have fun," O'Brien added.

Kim plans to expand the program across the country.

To sign up for free dance classes, visit the Always Dancing Project's website.