Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder benefit from various types of stimulation. In dance, the child processes music, learns movement, performs movement to that music, then repeats it multiple times. The hearing, listening, processing, executing, and repetition enable a child’s brain to forge new pathways, engaging both the right and left side of the brain. The classes are designed to foster an atmosphere of creative freedom where children will be empowered to express themselves without judgment or prejudice.
This September, Dancewave is thrilled to announce a brand new program – Little Wavers – that includes fun movement based activities designed for children (ages 4+) with autism spectrum disorders & severe cognitive dysfunction. Our program goal is to introduce movement, creative dance, and music in a safe, stable environment for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other developmental disabilities, providing an atmosphere where children can utilize movement as a form of self expression. The program will have an arc and structure, but without the constraints and discipline associated with traditional dance class. Jessica Zippin, our Little Wavers program instructor, has been providing dance therapy to children on the autistic spectrum for the past 4 years, in district 75 schools for the the Douglas Watt Family Fund for the Performing Arts and is thrilled to be introducing Little Wavers to Dancewave!
Jessica Zippin received her bachelors degrees from Hobart & William Smith Colleges in Dance as well as Media & Society with a minor in Arts in Education. She studied Dance/Movement Therapy and received her M.S. from Pratt Institute in New York City. During this time she interned at the child & adolescent inpatient psychiatric units of Queens Children’s Psychiatric Center and Mt. Sinai Hospital and was the student liaison to the American Dance Therapy Association. Her thesis research was conducted at Mt. Sinai Hospital focusing on sensory integration and dance movement therapy in child inpatient psychiatry. Jessica was previously employed as the creative art therapist at St. Michael’s Home, a residential adult care facility.