Trenton Loughlin and his troupe of aspiring dancers conducted daily practices to master their routine to the song, “Walking in the Air” written by Howard Blake in 1982.
Loughlin, who holds a Bachelor of Arts in Dance from Point Park University in Pennsylvania has performed with the Ithaca Ballet for nearly twenty years. He is currently the Creative Movement and Dance instructor at The Arc of Schuyler in Watkins Glen and developed a movement and dance program for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism.
Daily classes are designed to help people with disabilities improve their flexibility and range of motion, reduce muscle tension, and improve cognitive skills through choreography. While the program is an excellent component to The Arc’s commitment to health and wellness, Loughlin says the class isn’t just about exercising the body and mind.
“The class is designed to respect and empower people’s individual differences and abilities,” Loughlin said. “Movement is important and available for us all to express ourselves.”
Loughlin and several members of his dance class were proud to perform at a Watkins-Montour Rotary Club meeting on January 30, 2014. Tony Fraboni, club president, commented on the troupe’s energy and enthusiasm. “You could see how much everyone enjoyed the performance. They made you smile and leave feeling good!”
Loughlin introduced the dance troupe with his own story. “Working at The Arc – I get to share my passion with others, be a role model and a teacher, and share the creative process with awesome people who want to learn and create,” Loughlin said. “Then we get to share what we’ve accomplished with others – in art shows and in public performances. It’s wonderful how supportive The Arc is of the creative arts by offering various music, visual arts, and movement programs.”
In April, Loughlin will have the opportunity to share his experience in choreography and creative movement at The ARTS Experience Festival at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva. He will be leading a workshop at this annual arts festival that promotes inclusion of college students, people with disabilities and the public at large. The festival takes place April 1 – 11, 2014.