Ryan Price and Jayes Derriksan. - Instagram

Ryan Price and Jayes Derriksan. - Instagram

Okanagan teacher uses Instagram to help kids with disabilities get dancing

A Kelowna teacher uses dance to help children with diversabilities

From moon-walking to a pop-and-lock, the students in the life skills program at Kelowna Christian School can do it all.

Their dance moves can be found on the Instagram account Diversibilites, created by life skills educational assistant Ryan Price.

Price started the account so the community could see how instrumental dance is in the positive growth and development of the life skills students.

“Dance is a really good creative outlet and expression for these students,” Price said.

“For some of them, it’s hard to articulate their thoughts or express emotion. So I think dance really helps to do that. It helps with their creativity and you get physical exercise.”

One student who always steals the show is Jayes Derriksan.

“I like to have all of the people go around me and I always like an audience,” said Derriksan.

The Grade 9 student has had a knack for dancing and finding the beat since he was very young, according to his mother Suki Derriksan.

“He was born with Down syndrome and from an early age he was very curious and very expressive,” she said. “He was (always) able to move in his environment really easily and he really loved music….. all types of music.”

READ MORE:

Tree dancing in a Vancouver Island Sitka spruce

Also a lover of music and sweet moves is Price who saw dance as a teaching tool for his students like Derriksan, who have what is known as a diversability.

“Over the years, the students and kids I’ve worked with love being on camera,” Price said.

“I just had a lot of positive feedback from friends and family about these fun videos we do and people suggested getting a YouTube channel or Instagram account. It does give them a good platform, it promotes inclusion and they love it.”

According to Derriksan’s mother, children with diversability are often challenged by the big world that surrounds them and a majority won’t be able to participate or perhaps even be invited to participate in certain cases.

“Having program in a school that has life skills, that has an ability for them (the children) to be exposed to everything and understand they can have a part of it, and to be very kind with what the teachers and the aids can offer them is really important (sic),” explains Suki.

When Suki first heard about the Instagram account she wasn’t really sure what it was, but trusted Price and could see that her son was eager to participate.

“With the Down syndrome we have with Jayes it is also an opportunity to have a community and if there are things that we can do to that help the greater community we are 100 per cent behind that. And Jayes is not shy, he loves music and he loves to dance.”

READ MORE:

Cambodian dancers perform on Canadian tour

He also loves the time and attention he gets from Price while in the life skills program.

“He is really good with me. The first time I came to school, Mr. Price just took me in,” said Derriksan. “Mr. Price is my bro, he is always by my side and never leaves it.”

The two are a great pair on the dance floor and in the community where they are slowly being recognized.


@Jen_zee
jen.zielinski@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Movie crews filmed a holiday parade in Summerland in July. The parade, filmed on Main Street in Summerland, is for the movie, The Christmas Yule Blog. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Test your knowledge of holiday movies and television specials

The festive season is a time for relaxing and enjoying some seasonal favourites

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
47 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health region

1,538 total cases, 399 are active, ten in hospital

Follow public health recommendations, says Interior Health as COVID-19 cases continue to climb in Revelstoke. (Image courtesy CDC)
Revelstoke positive COVID cases grows to 29

Interior Health announced a cluster in the community on Nov. 26

Figure skaters in the old skating rink in the 1940s. 
(Revelstoke Museum and Archives photo 4034)
Glimpses of Revelstoke’s past for Nov. 26

A look a local history as recorded by the newspaper

Cst. Dane Storey was recognized as a member of Alexa’s Team, a provincial recognition paying tribute to police officers who make an extraordinary contribution to reducing the number of impaired drivers on the roads. (Submitted/Revelstoke RCMP)
Alexa’s Team awarded to Revelstoke RCMP officer

Cst. Dane Storey removed 59 impaired drivers from B.C. roads in 2019

Mary Cox and Jack Plant dance in their pyjamas and slippers at the morning pyjama dance during the Rhythm Reelers’ 25 Annual Rally in the Valley Square Dance Festival in Chilliwack on June 4, 2011. Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 is Square Dancing Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5

Square Dancing Day, Disability Day and International Ninja Day are all coming up this week

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A man walks by a COVID-19 test pod at the Vancouver airport in this undated handout photo. A study has launched to investigate the safest and most efficient way to rapidly test for COVID-19 in people taking off from the Vancouver airport. The airport authority says the study that got underway Friday at WestJet’s domestic check-in area is the first of its kind in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Vancouver Airport Authority *MANDATORY CREDIT*
COVID-19 rapid test study launches at Vancouver airport for departing passengers

Airport authority says that a positive rapid test result does not constitute a medical diagnosis for COVID-19

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
RCMP issue warning after woman assaulted while walking in Kelowna

On Saturday, the unknown man ran up and grabbed her in an inappropriate manner before fleeing

A West Cabs driver is being investigated for an incident which allegedly took place this week. (West Cabs)
West Kelowna cab driver under investigation after altercation over his lack of mask

Passenger alleges cab driver became confrontational when asked about wearing mask

Supt. Brian Hunter will be presenting first quarter RCMP stats to Penticton city council, tomorrow (April 21). (Phil McLachlan - Western News - File)
South Okanagan RCMP superintendent wants to set up dedicated prolific offender task force

Supt. Brian Hunter plans to use the additional officers city council approved for the force

(Pixabay)
‘We need to be empathetic’; Kelowna support worker speaks out after disabled individual denied haircut

Individual with severe autism denied service at a Kelowna hair salon for not wearing mask

Parents are urged to be on alert after a potential child abduction attempt took place near Armstrong Elementary School Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. (amsas/neden photo)
Possible child abduction attempt at North Okanagan elementary school prompts warning

A letter from the school’s principal urges parents to be on high alert

British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry wears a face mask as she views the Murals of Gratitude exhibition in Vancouver, on Friday, July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COLUMN: Anti-maskers’ message misses the mark

Following COVID-19 restrictions now could determine just how happy our holidays are

Most Read