The Wonder Shakers
The Wonder Shakers are members of our dance program! Dance therapy is an important aspect of AWEtism therapy. People with AWEtism are generally unaware of their mind and body. Dance Movement Therapy helps to re-establish the mind-body connection through dance. Dancing often integrates repetitive movements, which people with AWEtism thrive on.
Some of the benefits of dance therapy are:
- •improves ability to concentrate
- •able to use expressive movements to express emotions
- •improves social development
- •can be used to help verbal communication skills
- •enhancing memory recollection skills
- •improves body image and awareness
- •assists in learning/developing empathy
- •improves fine motor skills
Brittany Helwig – Dance Teacher
Brittany Helwig loves to bring the magic of dance to children in the community. Dance shaped her life in many positive ways and was a special outlet for her. She especially loves to share her passion with kids with special needs. She is passionate about creating meaningful and memorable experiences for children with special needs to be reminded that they are loved and valued.
With many of her students not using traditional forms of communication she is also passionate about giving dance as a form of expression. In addition, while there are therapy aspects and goals associated with these dance classes, its great to let them enjoy the music and have FUN just being a kid!
She attended Florida State University and received and Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Education for students with Visual Disabilities with a concentration in Orientation & Mobility. As an Orientation & Mobility Specialist she found dance to be a wonderful tool for her students and incorporated it in a variety of ways.
Some of the most memorable were choreographing and teaching an adaptive version of the Nutcracker, starting an after school dance program with performances, and teaching popular line dances to high school students to enjoy at their prom.
She started Adaptive Dance Superstars in September 2019 which introduces kids with special needs to the magic of dance in a local dance studio in St. Augustine. She is a Certified Rhythm Works Integrative Dance Instructor and is trained to apply fun & functional dance movement to evidence-based practices commonly used in sensory integration, ABA therapy, kinesiology, & movement safety to aid in reaching developmental goals. She also teaches hip hop and ballet and has over 15 years experience as a fitness instructor.