Klein Oak ‘Partners in Dance’ Make Magic on the Floor
Klein Oak’s Partners in Dance program is dancing into the hearts of the Klein Family and the Klein ISD community.
The Partners in Dance program unites neurotypical dance students to collaborate with peers with physical and intellectual challenges in a non-judgmental atmosphere, serving as a springboard to other opportunities.
Partners in Dance was founded in 2000 by current Klein Forest Principal Mr. Lance Alexander and Klein Oak Dance Teacher Ms. Fayla Curry. Partners in Dance made its way to the halls of Klein Oak in 2005 and eventually developed into a daily course and summer class offering.
“Partners in Dance originated during Mr. Lance Alexander’s time as a basketball coach and Adaptive PE teacher. He came to me one day and asked if he could bring his kids up to do the macarena with us, and the rest is history,” Ms. Curry said. “I fell in love with those kids! When I got to Oak, I met Ms. Fondren, the Adaptive PE teacher, and we started small collaborations that became more frequent.”
The experience from the program for all the dancers is invaluable, fostering a more profound respect and understanding of others and themselves. It provides leadership opportunities in both student groups. The program allows the partners to interact better and function in a non-disabled setting. It improves their social competence, communication, and developmental skills in addition to specialized movement work that helps with learning deficiencies, sensory issues, and rehabilitative motor skill development.
Dancers in the program find their partners through natural unfolding relationships, but Ms. Curry occasionally intervenes to pair more experienced or specific personalities with specific students.
Ms. Curry’s primary motivation is the dedicated students who show up to dance each day.
“My favorite part of the program is the kids. I am blessed every day to spend a small amount of time with them,” Ms. Curry said. “They are incredible and open your eyes to many beautiful parts of life that many overlook. I can have a stressful day, but it will all be okay when sixth period hits.”
While the program is successful, Ms. Curry hopes to see it grow in many ways over the next several years.
“I’d love to see continued strength in relationships and understanding, more love shared, and more inclusion with these kids on our campus,” Ms. Curry said. “Klein Oak has always been a wonderful campus for special needs students. They are respected in the halls and classrooms as students and when they return to work at our school!”
Partners in Dance will have a chance to perform for an audience on May 12, 2023, at 7 PM and May 13, 2023, at 2 PM in the Klein Oak auditorium as well as in May at the Neurodegeneration with Brain Iron Accumulation Family Conference in Houston.
We love to see a collaboration like this in action! Way to go, Ms. Curry and Partners in Dance.
For more information about Partners in Dance, contact Ms. Curry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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About Klein ISD
Klein ISD is a school district in Klein, Texas, located in northwestern Harris County. The district spans approximately 88 square miles and serves more than 53,000 students in 33 elementary schools, 10 intermediate campuses, one high school program of choice, and 5 high schools.
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