Performing Dance Arts February 9, 2016 – Performing Dance Arts (www.PerformingDanceArts.ca), Toronto’s leading dance studio providing professional dance lessons for kids of all ages, is weighing in on the dancing autistic Starbucks barista.

A Toronto Starbucks has been made popular for more than just its lattes. An autistic high school student named Sam, who is a barista there, has drawn attention for his behind-the-counter dance moves. Because of Sam’s autism, he has to deal with sudden, uncontrolled movements. He had initially thought he would never be able to hold the type of job he now enjoys, but the dancing has turned his disorder into a building block for Sam’s confidence. (Source: Mangione, K., “Dancing Toronto Starbucks barista with autism goes viral,” CTV News, January 26, 2016; http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/dancing-toronto-starbucks-barista-with-autism-goes-viral-1.2752189.)

“This is not unusual,” says Ashley Daychak, creative director at Performing Dance Arts. “We’ve talked a lot about the benefits of dance beyond just skill and physical activity. We get to see firsthand how much dancing really does help build confidence in kids. That confidence extends to all parts of their lives, not just on the dance floor.”

The video of Sam dancing while making a drink has been viewed over 140,000 times. It was posted by a young woman who suffers from a more severe case of autism, which keeps her from speaking. However, she was able to post this video to help inspire others who may be suffering with autism and to show how it is still possible to function.

“There have been many studies conducted showing the positive effects of dancing on people with autism, including helping them focus,” says Daychak. “It’s wonderful to see what some simple dance moves can do to move thousands of people,”

Performing Dance Arts offers both professional and casual dance classes to kids of all ages and levels. They operate out of a dance studio in the Woodbridge area and serve all of the York Region and the Greater Toronto Area. More information can be found at www.PerformingDanceArts.ca.