[LayerSliderWP] Slider not found


Kids Dance Outreach Adaptive Dance gives young children with Down syndrome the opportunity to develop social, emotional and physical skills in a safe environment through the discipline of dance. This is much more than just about learning dance steps, the skills learned will enable students to be successful in the future.  Our programs improve focus, listening skills, discipline, social abilities, physicality and ultimately self-confidence that leads to success in school and opens more opportunities later in life.  Classes are taught by Kids Dance Outreach Directors and Faculty and supported by licensed physical therapists and professional musicians.

KDO Adaptive Dance also provides parents a choice for their children with Down syndrome, and creates networking opportunities amongst the families and staff.


This program is modeled after an amazing collaboration between Children’s Hospital Boston and the Boston Ballet that resulted in the first program of its kind in the nation. Adaptive Dance was first created by Physical Therapist, Michelina Cassella and Gianni DiMarco, a long time dancer with the Boston Ballet.  Both serve as advisors to Kids Dance Outreach.

The program has been developed in Indianapolis with the council of Dr. Fernando Escobar, MD, MS (Director of the Medical Genetics and Neurodevelopmental Center at Peyton Manning’s Children’s Hospital St. Vincent), Dr. Kerstin M. Sobus, MD (Riley Children’s Hospital Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation) and the on-site expertise of Whitney Harrison PT, DPT (Pediatric Physical Therapist at Riley).


Kids Dance Outreach is fortunate to have the expertise and advise from medical professionals that assist and collaborate in the Adaptive Dance program.

Fernando Escobar, MD, MS Dr. Escobar is a neonatologist, geneticist and medical director of the Medical Genetics and Neurodevelopmental Center. Dr. Escobar’s special interests include newborn follow-up, pediatric genetics, birth defects (also known as dysmorphology), oral facial genetics and hypoxic-ischemic cell injury (a type of brain injury.)

Kerstin M. Sobus, MD Kerstin M. Sobus is a Pediatric Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation physician at IU Riley Hospital for Children and a pediatric physical therapist with special interest in children with developmental and acquired disabilities of childhood and adolescents. Her focus is to facilitate maximum independence of the child/adolescent within their family and community.

Whitney Harrison, PT, DPT An Indiana native, Whitney received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Washington University in St. Louis. She has been a Physical Therapist at Methodist and Riley since 2012, and has a huge interest in working with children with special needs. “When you can make a connection with a child and see them light up – that moment is priceless”.


An intake interview is required for all new students and is held prior to the start of the semester. We use information from the registration materials and intake interview to inform our decision and ensure all students in a class will work cohesively and enjoy the Adaptive Dance experience.

If you are interested learning more about the program or having your child participate in the class please fill out the form below, and we will be in touch within a week via e-mail.

Student Information