Dance program for people with special needs boosts self-confidence and joy!

LOS ANGELES -- When Annie Griffith and Sari Anna Thomas created "Down for Dance," a nonprofit organization started in mid-2017 that focuses on teaching dance to individuals with Down Syndrome.

One thing they were certain about was -- dance is a universal language.

"We created this program to allow their dance to be accessible to all individuals, especially individuals with disabilities," said Griffith.

The dance classes, now all virtual since the pandemic hit, fosters their abilities and encourages teamwork.

They teach a variety of dance classes, like hip-hop and yoga.

"Down for Dance, one of the best programs I ever got involved with," said dancer Sam Heller.

"Even if we can't understand each other verbally, we 100% come together and connect," said Thomas.

Jessica LaSpada, a young dance member, says one of her favorite things are the Zoom classes and being able to help her friends learn dance. In the future, the co-founders hope to keep growing and perhaps someday expand the program worldwide.