Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Autistic and Proud!

Nathaniel and Faith Andrew have been dancing since the age of 2.

Nathaniel has Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and Erb's Palsy. He is proud to be Autistic. Nathaniel is thirteen years old and he has danced competitively with Basic Attitude dance company since the age of seven. In April, Nathaniel won the title of Junior Dreamboat 2006 at the Broadway Dreams competition in Niagara Falls, Ontario. The award included a scholarship. The next competitions will be held in London, Ontario and Niagara Falls, New York, where Nathaniel hopes to qualify for their National Finals in Cape May, New Jersey this summer. Faith, who is now eight years old, has danced competitively with Basic Attitude since she was four.

An Exceptional Teacher for Exceptional Children

Basic Attitude dance company is located near Eagle and King in Preston, Cambridge. The principal and owner is Sherri Cook. She has taught Nathaniel since the age of four and first invited him to compete at the age of seven. Sherri gives her students skills that will last throughout their lives and sees the potential in every child.

At BAdc, Faith and Nathaniel take classes in jazz, ballet, and tap. Faith also takes a modern class and Nathaniel takes a class in musical theatre for his competitive solo. Nathaniel is competing with his musical theatre jazz solo as well as a ballet trio and a jazz group. Faith is competing in a ballet group and is also in Nathaniel's jazz group. Both children have been diagnosed with Autism, Nathaniel also has physical disabilities.


Faith Andrew - 6 years old, competitive jazz solo

Nathaniel Andrew - 12 years old, competitive ballet trio

Nathaniel Andrew - 12 years old, non-competitive ballet trio

Nathaniel Andrew - 12 years old, competitive musical theatre jazz solo - This solo, "Accentuate the Positive" won an overall award for Best Emotional Execution, Junior Division at the International Dance Competition in Detroit, Michigan.

Basic Attitude dance company's Year End Show will be held on June 18th this year. Nathaniel and Faith's performances will be a celebration of Autistic Pride Day. The show is at the Sanderson Centre in Brantford at 5pm. Tickets will be $18 and go on sale in late May. This year's show is called Jungle Fever and Nathaniel and Faith each perform in seven of the scheduled dance routines, three of which they dance together. Anyone is welcome to attend and celebrate the accomplishments of Autistics.