ACDS Lives Out True Meaning of Inclusion at Lincoln Center
Dance Troup Performs at Alice Tully Hall for Second Time
A night of inclusion and acceptance —which is the very essence of what ACDS is all about — was recently celebrated at the world famous Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts when the ACDS dance troupe performed with traditional Hanayagi-ryu dancers, Japanese choirs and the remarkable Abyssinian Baptist Choir from Harlem.
It was an event that marveled the sold out crowd and brought together people of different backgrounds with half of the night's proceed donated to ACDS. The program, entitled Enjoy Japan, was dedicated to world peace and US-Japanese friendship. The ACDS dance troupe consists of 10 teens and adults who have Down syndrome and are proud participants of ACDS' 5Plus recreational dance program, captivated the crowd. The evening was a celebration of triumph over challenges as this was the second consecutive year ACDS’ dance troupe was invited to take center stage at Lincoln Center. They owned the moment with pride knowing they accomplished another goal with the performance of another all-out impressive routine.
The ACDS Dance Troupe shared the night’s spotlight with renowned Japanese choral director, Ando Yuki, who led the Peace Light Memorial Choir and the Flower of Peace Memorial Choir in their first American appearance. Hanayagi-Ryu Yokanokai, a dance group presented a stunning traditional Japanese dance and The Abyssinian Baptist Church, who has been inspiring audiences at both their resident church in Harlem and worldwide since 2005, also intrigued the audience. All of the performers gathered onstage for an emotional finale that was a testament to the theme of the evening; showing acceptance and inclusion regardless of culture, ability or race. The evening ended with a rousing standing ovation for those on stage.
“The experience ACDS dancers had again this year performing at Lincoln Center was truly memorable. The hard work done by the teachers/choreographers, dancers and the commitment of the families all added up to a wonderful performance,” says Linda Sperber, ACDS’ Director of Community Support. “The benefit to our dancers went beyond the amazing experience of dancing at Lincoln Center. The girls and their families have become good friends and have enjoyed socializing outside of the dance practices as well.”
The ACDS dance troupe also dedicated this year’s performance to choreographer and dance teacher, Beth King, who sadly passed away shortly after the girl’s 2012 performance. Beth, along with her longtime friend Susan Cavallo, arranged the girls’ choreography and led their weekly practices for their initial Lincoln Center performance. This year’s performance was choreographed by Beth’s daughter Kaley Young and Cavallo.