GEORGETOWN, Ky. — A Chance to Dance is a nonprofit based in Georgetown that gives kids with special needs the opportunity to take dance classes. 

What You Need To Know

  •  A Chance to Dance is a nonprofit based in Georgetown that offers dance classes to kids with special needs

  •  Volunteers play a vital role within the organization because each student is paired with a volunteer

  •  The program currently has a waitlist since they have maxed out their current volunteers

  • The nonprofit is in need of volunteers to be able to accept more kids into the program

Jenna Ward, the founder and executive program director, started offering classes to kids when she was only a junior at Scott County High School after noticing that there weren’t other opportunities for kids with special needs to learn how to dance.

“I had a passion for working with kids with special needs, so I grew up dancing in a studio and I went to my dance instructor and asked her if I could start a program for kids with special needs,” said Ward.

The organization has seen a lot of growth since it began 11 years ago.

“We started with four students and now we currently have a waitlist of over 20 kids,” said Ward. “In our program right now we have close to 40 students.”

More students mean that the nonprofit needs more volunteers, who Ward believes are a vital part of the program.

“In order to add kids to our program, we need volunteers because in our classes we pair students one-on-one with a volunteer to work with and so at this time we’ve maxed out all of our volunteers,” said Ward.

Volunteers do not need prior dance experience. In fact, many are learning how to dance along with the kids. It also serves as an opportunity to develop friendships with children who have special needs. Ward says that the volunteers are often the children’s favorite part about coming to the classes.

“It’s been great to build relationships with the students and the families over the past 11 years,” said Grace Lyon, Ward’s sister and one of the dance instructors. “I love seeing the students every week and it’s great to know the impact that we’re having on each other’s lives.”

A Chance to Dance has had a bigger impact on kids than what Ward thought it would when she first started the program.

“I was thinking, ‘Oh we’re going to teach kids how to dance,’ but it’s been so much more than that,” said Ward. “Our students have grown their communication skills, their social skills, seeing the one-on-one relationships that they build with their volunteers are really incredible.”

The students are currently preparing for their spring recital, which will take place at the end of April. 

For more information about the organization and how to volunteer, check out their website.