Autistic students learn to communicate through dance

Autistic students are learning to express themselves through the art of a dance with a Bergen County dance program.

Broadway Bound Dance Studio in Dumont is offering classes tailored for students with autism. The studio has been offering the classes for about a month. Parents and teachers say the program is already working like a charm.

"They're learning to follow instructions from the dance instructor, different from their parent or teacher, and they are just doing a wonderful job with the dance moves that have been offered to them," says teacher Kim Gilhooly, from Bergen County Special Services. "As they become more confident in their abilities, they're just shining."

The program uses movement to develop hand-eye coordination, memory skills and communication. It is scheduled to run through June, but Broadway Bound hopes to expand the class.

"There's no right or there's no wrong," says instructor Rocco Santorufo. "It's their own expression, and it's great."

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