An 11-year-old girl with cerebral palsy is living her dream to take dance classes and perform on stage, just as her little sister has done. Sophia Jablonski started taking dance lessons at the age of 8 and made her debut as an evil witch in the Children’s Performance Company’s ballet version of “Hansel and Gretel” earlier this month.
In December, Sophia will take the stage again as a dancer in the Joffrey Ballet’s “The Nutcracker.” Sophia will be performing in 10 evening performances and another 8-year-old girl with cerebral palsy will be performing in 10 matinee showings.
The late Robert Joffrey, the founder of the ballet company, incorporated at least one dancer in a wheelchair into his performances several years ago. It has become a common practice.
Sophia’s dance teacher said Sophia inspired her to start a dance class for special needs children. The class, which meets once a week, is for children with cerebral palsy, autism and spina bifida.
Sophia’s mother, Naheda Jablonski, told the Chicago Tribune that Sophia was the only triplet to survive.
“I lost a boy and girl during that birth, but she survived and was 1 pound and 5 ounces,” Jablonski told the Chicago Tribune. “My goal was to keep her alive at that point. I never knew what she was going to be able to do. I knew nothing about cerebral palsy… What she has been able to do is amazing, and I’m proud of her.”
(Source: Chicago Tribune)
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