SARATOGA SPRINGS — Barbara Kosarovich said her granddaughter, Madeline McMahon, loves to dance.
“I can’t get her into a dance class,” Kosarovich said. “They won’t take her because she has ADHD, severely.”
Instead, the 4-year-old watches dancing on cartoons and YouTube, and her grandmother bought her and her cousin their own tap shoes.
“I let them tap dance in the house,” said Kosarovich, who lives in Saratoga.
Kosarovich snapped pictures of Madeline as she twirled, jumped and did splits with soloists from the New York City Ballet on Saturday. Madeline and other children from the Center for Disability Services — including the Prospect School in Queensbury — participated in a ballet workshop at the Gideon Putnam Hotel.
The New York City Ballet has been doing workshops for children and adults with physical and intellectual disabilities since 2014 in the city but is now expanding to other communities, wherever the ballet goes, said Meghan Gentile, associate director of education for the ballet company.
Madeline held hands with NYCB soloist Ashley Laracey and listened as soloist and principal dancer Adrian Danchig-Waring instructed the kids to releve in second position, which means standing on their tippy toes with their legs spread apart.
“This is very advanced, just so you know,” said Danchig-Waring, getting a laugh from the group.
The kids then split up into Capulets and Montagues and performed a dance battle. The kids kicked and punched and threw their arms in the air.
“It helps them with their mobility,” said Ann Schneider Costigan, deputy executive director of the Foundation Center for Disability Services. “It also helps with their self-esteem. And it allows children with special needs to participate in an activity that a typical child would participate in.”
The Saratoga Performing Arts Center provided tickets for the workshop participants and family members to attend the NYCB matinee performance of “Romeo and Juliet” that afternoon at SPAC.
Emersan Frasier of Pottersville, wearing a blue and pink cape, smiled up at her mother, who pushed her wheelchair around the ballroom. Emersan, who attended the Prospect School for six years but now is a student at North Warren Central School, dances in an adaptive class at Guiding Steps in Glens Falls.
Emersan has spastic cerebral palsy and is classified as a quadriplegic.
“She doesn’t walk, so I wanted to open up as much movement with her arms as possible,” said her mom Corina Frasier, tearing up. “She’s made amazing strides.”
Emersan told her mother she was ready for a nap at the end of the workshop Saturday.
“What did you think of today, honey?” her mom asked her.
Emersan responded with a thumbs up.