Success Story: Stanley

Stanley’s first year in Mark DeGarmo Dance’s dance and literacy program was as a second grader. Two years before, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. The tumor was removed and he was home-schooled until entering second grade. The therapists working with him at the hospital had been unsuccessful in getting him to communicate. When Stanley entered the second grade class, he was a selective mute. Stanley was late academically as well.

On the first day of our dance class, Stanley stood in the back of the room and watched our dance instructor teach. He listened carefully and began to follow her instructions as the lessons progressed. His classroom teacher said that watching Stanley in dance became a chance for her to see him smile. He experienced a comfort level with his peers that she didn’t usually see in her classroom.

His dance journal writing also increased, both in length and in terms of more complex sentences. His classroom teacher said that our dance and literacy program helped him feel more part of her class.