Residents enjoying Adaptive Dance with Macks!

Though the practice of dance or movement therapy has a much longer history, Ballet Chelsea’s Adaptive Dance Program began in 2015.

Thanks to the support from the 5 Healthy Towns Foundation, Catrina Choate began the weekly classes at St. Louis Center. The residents enjoyed participating in the classes that were tailored to the residents’ specific needs.

As the Ballet Chelsea program grew, they added more trained faculty members and several residents participated in a class at the Ballet Chelsea studio. Kayleigh Crummy continued to teach weekly classes at the Center. She left her position to further her training in dance movement therapy.

In 2021, Macks Kreps became the instructor of the Adaptive Dance classes offered at St. Louis Center. Macks has been dancing since age 3 and always dreamed of performing. Macks grew up in Brighton in a family of 9 children, 5 of whom were adopted and have disabilities. Growing up in this atmosphere and with a love for dance played a major role in their decision to enroll at Eastern Michigan University(EMU) in the Pre-Dance Therapy program. It was at EMU that Macks was first introduced to Ballet Chelsea. Macks completed their studies and graduated from EMU in 2021.

The weekly class at St. Louis Center is only one that Macks teaches. They also go to some area schools to teach classes for special education students. Since there are not many opportunities for people with disabilities to participate, Macks sees this as a great way to incorporate this therapy into the fabric of their lives. The seemingly simple movements and activities are based on scientific research into the methodologies of adaptive dance. For persons with disabilities, it helps them improve both their gross and fine motor skills. It encourages them to stretch, reach, and move in ways that promote increased health and wellness. There is no need to have a diagnosis for people to participate in the Ballet Chelsea program.

Macks is happy and at ease, as they lead the Center’s residents through the series of activities. It is apparent that the residents also enjoy participating. Macks also teaches tap and ballet classes for children at Ballet Chelsea. In their free time, Macks is a member of the Couldmoon Modern Dance Troupe in Detroit.

Thanks to the continued support of the 5 Healthy Towns Foundation, Kiwanis of Ann Arbor, and the Ann Arbor Community Foundation the Adativie Dance Program at Ballet Chelsea will enrich the lives of the St. Louis Center residents and promote overall wellness.

A part of this post is on page 7 of St. Louis Center’s 2023 Annual Report.

Read St. Louis Center 2023 Annual Report

If this article or any of the stories of inspiration shared in St. Louis Center’s Annual Report move you, please consider a donation of any amount in support of the Center’s Benevolent Care fund.