Special Needs & Youth Programs

Special Needs Ballroom Dance Program


The Orlando Chapter of USA Dance and the City of Altamonte Springs co-sponsor a program to teach ballroom dancing to the Special Needs population (intellectually disabled, such as Down Syndrome, Autism, etc.).  The program's inception was in January of 2010.  We offer a six multi-week series, for approximately 40 dancers with Special Needs partnered with volunteers from USA Dance and the dance community.  The couples learn several dance steps each week  and put them all together at the final week's "Special Ballroom Dance Showcase" .  Family, friends and supporters from the ballroom dance community will fill the seats at the Showcase to cheer them on.  The event also includes special exhibitions by volunteer amateur and professional dancers.  At the end, the dancers receive medals and certificates.

 The program enriches not only the lives of the Dancers with Special Needs , but also the lives of their partners.  Some of the new dancers are confident enough to attend the monthly ballroom dances hosted by the Orlando Chapter of USA Dance.

 If interested in volunteering for this program, contact Darla Schmitt, Orlando Chapter

President at (407) 719-1800 or darla1usa@yahoo.com  

Learning New Dance Moves!


Special Needs Ballroom dance students and their partners are learning and practicing some new dance moves for their upcoming Showcase on November 19, 2017.

Showcase - Fall 2016


Video highlighting the Fall 2016 Special Needs Showcase, "Winter Wonderland". The Orlando Chapter of USA DANCE partnered with the City of Altamonte Springs to provide a  ballroom dance exhibition.

Click on above photo to watch video.

Youth Ballroom Dance Programs

Youth Grant Fund


The Orlando Chapter of USA Dance started a Youth/Student Grant Program in 2001, funded by monies raised at the USA Dance monthly dances, and donations in the name of deceased dancers, such as John Christmas, John Knoska, and Frank Nelson.*  In the last sixteen years, the fund has awarded more than $9,000 in (a) sponsorships of school and youth dance clubs and lessons; (b) competition cash awards; and (c) grants for dance lessons, dancewear, and event registrations.

Highlight on Teen Youth Group


Giving Dance Inc., a recipient of the Youth Grant Fund, has shared their dancing talents at many of the Orlando Chapter Monthly Dances and Outreach Programs over the years.  

Click on above photo to watch a video of USA DANCE HOLIDAY BALL: short clips of social dancing and the two incredible performances by Giving Dance Latin Team, and Team Melanie's Paso/VW Dancers.

Highlight on College Youth Group


The newly formed UCF Ballroom Knights Performance Team shared their dancing talents at the April 217 "26th Anniversary Spring Cotillion"

Click on above photo to watch a video of this group dancing the tango.

Youth Ballroom Dance Programs



The University of Central Florida in east Orlando has ballroom, swing and Latin dance clubs. https://www.facebook.com/ballroomucf/

Elementary and High Schools

Montessori School of East Orlando


Seminole High School in Sanford, Seminole County, has a ballroom dance club.


USA Dance (a non-profit, all-volunteer organization to promote all forms of partner, lead-and-follow dancing) does not recommend or promote any particular studio, club or instructor.   Programs change; call to ascertain the status of their youth classes.

Several instructors and dance studios also have youth programs.

Adanse' Dance Studio   http://www.adanse.com/

Giving Dance Inc.  http://facebook.com/GivingDanceInc 

Salsa Heat Kids Program - Two locations: 10685 E. Colonial Drive, East Orlando,  and 401 N. Main St, Kissimmee  http://www.salsaorlando.com  


If you have any questions about The Orlando Chapter of USA Dance, please direct them to Darla Schmitt, Chapter President at  (407) 719-1800 or darla1usa@yahoo.com