A dance company in Bethesda, Maryland, gives children and young adults with down syndrome a place to be themselves. On Wednesday, the team will perform with pop singer Andy Grammer at the Annual AcceptAbility Gala in Washington, D.C.
Devenio Dance Group offers classes in studios across Maryland and Washington, D.C., for teens and young adults with disabilities. The dancers will soon get to take part in an opportunity of a lifetime, but first, they’re rehearsing hard.
“It’s such an amazing, really wonderful and real truly authentic experience to be able to see what they can do and not expect that they can’t,” said Gena Mitchell, mother of Devin Mitchell, a Devenio dancer.
For many of the students, Devenio Dance Group is a a source of hope.
“It means that people want to meet you,” said Delaney Dunigan, a Devenio dancer. “They want to encourage you. They want you to be included.”
The gala will help raise money for research on Down syndrome. The dancers are excited to perform alongside Andy Grammer at the event.
“I love him,” Devin Mitchell said.
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The parents are anticipating the stage performance, as well.
“They’re gonna come out and knock it out of the park. I have no question,” Gena Mitchell said.