It can be tough to be a kid. Trying to fit in and be accepted can be a struggle for many children, especially those who are diffident.
Meet Sarai Arce, a 6-year-old from Orlando, Florida, and now, thanks to a special program at the Arnold Palmer Hospital, a ballerina.
Sarai was born with a medial condition called Brittle Bone Disease. She suffered six fractures at her birth and one scull fracture when she was just 4 years old.
Doctors said that Sarai would probably never walk but at 3 years of age, she did. Still, there would be a rough road ahead and limitations for Sarai.
This condition had always made Sarai stand out.
She was unable to join in physical activities with other children and even had to sit out in gym class.
“If someone trips — pushes her by mistake — she could fall and fracture, so it’s hard for her to participate like other regular kids,” said her mother, Wanda Arce.
And then came Come Dance With Us, a special workshop at the Arnold Palmer Hospital.
Launched by by Anne-Marie Wurzel, who’s daughter Reagan also had motor issues, the program brought the Orlando Ballet to special needs children like Sarai.
The workshop, which is an annual event, lasted for two days and allowed the children to participate in dance within a safe environment.
At the end of the workshop, children were treated to an Orlando Ballet performance.
The effects of the workshop were amazing on several levels. Sarai had not only gained strength in her muscles but she had also developed a love for ballet.
“She’s like dancing all over the place and trying to do the dances that she was taught and saw in “The Nutcracker,” said Arce.
And the best part was that Sarai began to see that she could really accomplish things in her life.
Because of the success of the workshop, Sarai’s doctors had given her permission to take more dance classes. Come Dance With Us had paved the way to learning to dance in a safe way.
Though Sarai has limitations, she now also has dreams. For a young girl who stuck out, she now fits in somewhere, through dance.
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