“Squish that butter and kick it away,” Lindsay Murray told members of the RECing Crew in the Ballet Tout le Monde program Friday at Columbia County Ballet.
As music played, the dancers held on to the bar, followed Murray’s instructions and put their feet to the floor on imaginary pieces of butter, the lifted their feet to the side to kick it away.
Ballet Tout Le Monde was created by Murray four years ago. This is the first year it has offered the program to RECing Crew members.
“I danced here starting when I was about 6 years old and danced all the way through high school. I went to school to become an occupational therapist and wanted to be able to combine occupational therapy and dance,” said Murray, an occupational therapist in the Columbia County School System.
Ballet Tout le Monde, (Ballet for Everyone), teaches ballet to those ages 21 and younger who have disabilities.
“Some of the things that we work on are improving balance and coordination of movement, and I definitely think it helps with self-esteem and confidence,” she said. “It’s something they can do and enjoy.”
RECing Crew executive director Pam Stickler said the members have taken a strong interest in the activity.
“I’m just mesmerized at how focused they are,” she said. “They’re really giving it their all.”
The North Augusta-based nonprofit organization provides a variety of leisure and recreational activities for children and adults with disabilities from adaptive sports to social activities to the arts.
“I think it’s important to offer the same variety that you or I would have to choose from,” Stickler said.
The new program is exciting for both parents and the participants, said Nydia Messinger, the new Georgia program coordinator for the RECing Crew. She also has a daughter who participates in RECing Crew activities.
“This is absolutely incredible,” she said. “For my daughter in particular, this has been amazing. She’s having fun and looks forward to ballet. It’s phenomenal in the way it helps with confidence and self-esteem.”
Murray looks forward to the sessions. “This is the highlight of my week,” she said. “It’s something they look forward to as well. Friday is ballet day.”
For more information about the RECing Crew, visit www.therecingcrew.com or call (803) 426-1284.