PATHS Instructor Opens an Inclusive Dance Program in Houston

Out Loud Dance Studio name

Courtney Kalaher, M.A. and graduate of the prestigious New York University (NYU) Dance Education Graduate Program, developed and began teaching the Communication Through Movement Course for the Postsecondary Access and Training in Human Services (PATHS) Program in the fall of 2014. The course is intended to develop paths of inquiry and response approaches to learning and cognitive development. According to Kalaher, “Movement is a form of communication that can be used as a means to explore and develop skills in recognizing and understanding nonverbal cues in everyday social interactions. This course offers adults with disabilities and without disabilities a range of opportunities for the development not only of movement concepts but also for language and learning.”

Since working with at-risk youth in Washington D.C. inner city schools through the City Dance program and now the PATHS program at Texas A&M University, Kalaher has dreamed of establishing an inclusive dance program to provide opportunities for those with and without disabilities to interact and learn communication skills that are important throughout child development.

Out Loud Dance Studio was formed with the desire to provide an inclusive environment for students with and without disabilities to create, collaborate and share in the joy of movement. Through various dance genres including jazz, ballet, hip hop and creative movement students will have the opportunity to discover different types of music, move with sensory tools, interact with patient and caring volunteers and perform the skills they have learned together with a sense of pride.

Photo of young girl with 2 older girls

Testimonials:

Volunteers have said....

I have loved being a part of this class because I've been able to form bonds with so many incredible kids. Being able to see their progress each class has allowed me to appreciate just how amazing they are. 

~Anika

 

What I've most enjoyed while working with the dancers is watching them improve throughout the week. The effect of working one on one or two on one with the volunteers really shows toward the end of the week when the students become more comfortable in a group setting.

~Mia

Children sitting with dance instructor

Working with the kids is not only rewarding but fun as well! It’s such an amazing feeling to see them engage in the activities and begin to build a relationship with you.

~Meghan

 

It's given me an opportunity to help children who don't have regular access to dance express themselves and have fun! I'm grateful to be a part of their experience here. 

~Olivia

 

 

Families have said...

Group of children with arms in the airThis is the most amazing program! Courtney creates such fun activities for all children to participate and express themselves through movement, dance and singing. It is the highlight of our week!

~Rhonda

 

My daughter has a great time dancing at the Dance Out Loud classes! I can't say enough good things about Courtney Kalaher and her dance programs. The classes are high energy and all of the kids seem to find their connection to Courtney, the music, ribbons, balls and each other. Great fun - you should try Dance Out Loud asap!

~Jackie

 

 

To volunteer with Out Loud Dance, please complete this volunteer application form and send to Courtney Kalaher at ckalaher@tamu.edu

For more information on Out Loud Dance, please visit their Facebook page or email Courtney Kalaher at ckalaher@tamu.edu