A Chance to Dance: NYC Ballet Creates Workshop for Kids with Special Needs

A Chance to Dance: NYC Ballet Creates Workshop for Kids with Special Needs

One local mom's email inspired the New York City Ballet to create special dance workshops for kids with disabilities. Their reaction will melt your heart.


The New York City Ballet has been the stuff of dreams for children all over the world for more than 60 years, but it holds a particularly special place in the hearts of New Yorkers. For many children, the dream of dancing at Lincoln Center can be achieved, even if only for a few hours, by attending a movement workshop with members of the ballet.

Natalia Armoza wanted her daughter Pearl to attend a workshop, to experience the joy and freedom of dancing like a ballerina. But Pearl has cerebral palsy, and Armoza worried that the condition would take away from her daughter’s experience.

Armoza decided to take a chance for her daughter and penned an email to the ballet, asking them to consider creating a movement workshop for children with special needs. “It would mean so much to my daughter and children like her to be able to take part in a New York City Ballet workshop and, for one day, feel like they too could become ballerinas,” Armoza wrote.

Get local family events delivered to your inbox.

To her surprise, he ballet responded. With the help of Joseph Dutkowsky, M.D., a cerebral palsy specialist, and two of the New York City Ballet’s principal dancers, Adrian Danchig-Waring and Maria Kowroski, it set up not one, but four workshops at Lincoln Center for children with special needs. Pearl was one of the 19 children who took part. 

When she first sent the email, Armoza wasn’t expecting much from the ballet, if anything. “I thought: The worst they’ll do is they’ll say they’re not interested,” she said, but “they just turned it into this amazing program.”

Watch the video by Upworthy to see the kids in action: