Originally posted on https://gigisplayhouse.org/sandiego/meet-our-little-folkloric-dancer
Carmen has been participating at Gigi’s Playhouse San Diego since the Summer of 2018. She started with music therapy with Ms. Lindsay. Carmen was so shy and introverted at the time. She was 4 years old at the time and it was the first time Carmen and Mom (Elisa) had heard of music therapy. Music therapy helped Carmen grow into an outgoing 7 year old girl. Her favorite instrument is drumming. She has several different drums at home but she also likes to drum on different objects at home to see experiment with the different sounds.
How and when did Carmen start dancing?
During the start of the pandemic Elisa (Carmen’s Mom) came across a book called Danza! Amalia Hernandez and El Ballet Folklórico de México by Duncan Tonatiuh. Carmen’s grandmother taught Elisa Mexican folkloric ballet and so she decided to teach Carmen. Last July, Elisa found DanzArts in Liberty Station that offers many dance classes and she enrolled Carmen in the beginners Mexican Folkloric dance class. Carmen’s family here and in Mexico City are so proud of her accomplishments. “We are grateful to the Director of DanzArts, because Carmen is the first student with Down Syndrome to take the class. She has an awesome dance teacher, Kristina, that has taught her the Chiapanecas.” – Elisa A.
Carmen’s favorite program at Gigi’s Playhouse has always been the Music Therapy class. What Carmen and Mom like most about Gigi’s is that everyone makes us feel like we are at home. Carmen loves the friendships she has made through the years. One of her most interesting fact is that Carmen is fluent in ASL, American Sign Language. Carmen and Elisa often sing and sign a lot of songs since she was 1 1/2 years old. She is also slowly but surely learning Spanish. Watch her video here.