This 45-minute weekly class is designed to instruct children to dance who are not normally included in traditional dance classes. Whether your child is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, cognitive delay, down syndrome, cerebral palsy, physical handicap, etc, we welcome him/her to enjoy the art of dance.

The course is designed and instructed by behavioral therapist and dance instructor Torie Gray. Torie conducts the class with the aide of student assistants who individually assist the children so each child keeps up with the pace of the class. The aides undergo training before each semester and on an as-needed basis. The class is designed on the principles of applied behavior analysis including but not limited to positive reinforcement to increase desired behavior and shaping and chaining contingencies to slowly teach new concepts in a slow and easily digestible manner. The dance portion of the class is based on Anne Green Gilbert’s BrainDance which targets basic human coordination. These concepts are usually targeted in Occupational Therapy (OT) sessions.

This class will not serve as an OT session but will lightly target each area in a fun and interactive way. The goal with the class is to complete the BrainDance portion by the end of the first semester and begin movement and elements of tap dancing by semester two but each class will move at the pace of the students. Concepts from the VB-MAPP (Verbal Behavior-Milestones Assessment and Placement Program will be targeted incidentally throughout the classes as well.

Torie Gray has a Bachelors Degree in Psychology and has worked in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis for eight years conducting research and providing direct 1:1 and small group therapy to children on the autism spectrum with various comorbidities (I.e. ADHD, Down syndrome, cognitive delay, anxiety, etc). She has a great passion for equal opportunity for all children and hopes to bring affordable dance classes to children of all abilities.

“If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.”
-Ignacio Estrada

This class is located at our Martell Tu location which is ADA compliant. Class meets Tuesdays from 3:15-4:00 pm and will continue based on availability of classroom assistants with a minimum 2:1 teacher – student ratio. For further information, please contact Rachel Yunker, Studio Owner at [email protected]

Torie Gray

Voted #1 Dance Studio by Akron Life Magazine Readers

Our Locations

Martell Main Studio
(5th Grade to Adults)
788 W. Market Street
Akron, OH 44303
Phone: (330) 253-9900
Hours: Monday – Thursday: 4:00 – 10:00 PM
Friday: 4:00 – 5:30 PM
Saturday: 11:00 – 2:00 PM
Directions: Google Maps
Martell Tu Studio
(Pre-school to 4th Grade)
1530 W. Market Street
Akron, OH 44313
Phone: (330) 805-4854
Hours: Monday: 4:00 -8:00 PM
Tuesday: 10:00 – 11:15 AM, 4:00 – 9:00 PM
Wednesday: 4:00 – 9:00 PM
Thursday 4:00 – 8:00 PM
Friday: Closed
Saturday: 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Directions: Google Maps
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Martell School of Dance