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Building confidence through dance

CANADA, March 11 - Some people might describe themselves as having two left feet, but Stephanie Calberry insists that dance is for everyone.  

Calberry is a social worker and has also taught dance for several years.  

“I love watching people discover their love of dance and seeing how happy it makes them.” 

That’s why she was thrilled when Grace Kimpinski, from the Prince Edward Island Association of Community Living, reached out to collaborate on a program called ConfiDANCE, designed to help people with intellectual or physical disabilities build their confidence through dance.  

“Stephanie’s background made her an obvious choice to help with this project and I’m so glad she was able to take part,” says Kimpinski.  

Kimpinski explains that ConfiDANCE was created to complement other Island programming for people with disabilities.  

“We didn’t want to compete with other offerings, we just wanted to provide more options for everyone to get out and feel healthy while having fun and trying something new.” 

Calberry says that the classes start with some stretching, warm up and friendly chit chat before participants learn basic dance moves. 

“We practice all kinds of dance styles – jazz, hip-hop – everything. It’s really great to see people embrace all the different types of dance.” 

Each class finishes with participants putting their moves together to create a short routine for parents and support staff who are there watching.  

Kimpinski says it’s obvious that everyone is enjoying the classes.   

“It’s a very happy and joyful experience.” 

ConfiDANCE began this winter and currently has 19 participants who range in age from 12-49. Each class is independent, so participants don’t have to worry about falling behind if they aren’t able to attend a class.   

Islanders can contact Grace Kimpinski for the class schedule and more information at 902-394-7555. 

The program was created with funding from the provincial government’s Health Promotion Impact Grant, which awards up to $10,000 for projects that focus on wellness and lowering risk factors for chronic disease in PEI.