by: Christine Fleming
Program Director at Devenio, Inc.
This season of new beginnings and gratitude is an ideal time to celebrate the partnership of Devenio Inc. and Joy of Motion (Devenio in Motion), which provides dance classes and performance opportunities for teens and adults with cognitive and developmental disabilities.
Like all good stories, this tale begins with a journey. Our Bethesda-based family spent two years on O’ahu in Hawaii, where one of our most beautiful discoveries was a special needs dance program at 24-7 Danceforce Studios in Kane’ohe, called HeartBeat. My daughter Gabby (and I) thrived in this community of dancers and families who shared similar challenges, triumphs, and treasured moments. I knew this aloha could be shared here at home in the DC metro area. I was sure there were forces here that could provide, for my daughter and others like her, not just the joy of dance, but also the experience of purpose, meaningful work, and collaboration within a creative community of dancers.
I introduced Joy of Motion Dance Center and Devenio, Inc. like two old friends that I just knew would make a great couple. Devenio, Inc. inspires community building through partnerships that provide lifelong opportunities for people with Down syndrome and other developmental disabilities. Joy of Motion turns on an axis of community building, personal growth, inclusion, and excellence in dance education. As one force, Devenio in Motion provides a nurturing environment for an inspiring community of dancers and dance professionals.
Devenio in Motion’s first dance group, Destination Dance, trains at Joy of Motion | Friendship Heights and debuted last spring at Race4Respect and JoyFest. A new group, Dance Excursion, will be dancing at Joy of Motion | Bethesda. If you or someone you know would like to join us, please check out class and registration information here: Devenio in Motion Registration.
I am moved by so many elements of Devenio in Motion: the energy in the classrooms; the joy and expressiveness of the dancers; the highly talented instructors this program has attracted; and the warm welcome our dancers receive – the belonging they experience — when they enter the studios.
If you can join us, please do. If you have a chance to be an audience member at a performance, don’t miss it. Let Devenio in Motion move you, too.