Philanthropy: Step Up for Down Syndrome

Step Up Collage Blog

Fred Astaire Memphis was proud to be a part of the 2016 Step Up for Down Syndrome Walk hosted by Down Syndrome Association of Memphis & Mid-South. Our students JT, Amanda and Laura had the opportunity to take the stage with their dance instructor and show off their moves…they were show stoppers!

One of our awesome students’ mother has written about her son’s, John T., experience at Fred Astaire Dance Studio of Memphis below.

Written by Brenda Farley

John T. began dance training when he was 6 years old.  He was always practicing routines with his cousins and it was apparent he loved dance. After 23 years of training in various programs – sometimes involved with 3 different ones at a time – God brought him and his current teacher together when they both appeared on a Memphis morning television program – John T. to talk about the Down Syndrome Association of Memphis Step Up Walk benefit.  Sandra Korpitz was there with Jody Jonakin to perform and talk about Fred Astaire programs.

J.T. and mom (Brenda) stayed to see their segment and afterwards actually cried when Sandra said “yes” that FADS could work with John T.

Dance is a significant part of John T’s life. John T. is always upbeat and smiling, but crank up some music and you will see how alive he can be. We discovered when J.T. did his first Spotlight Demo, he loves to work an audience.  For John T. dance is a significant part of his fitness as well as his cognitive development. For John T. Down Syndrome is “DS “Daily Smiles” and Dance.

If his schedule would allow, he would be in the studio 4-5 days a week, instead of 2-3 days.  We call it fun and dance strengthening.  FADS=Happy!

With Down Syndrome J.T. works harder and longer to learn everything.  However, with consistent repetition and his desire, he gets it after great effort!

We asked J.T., what do you like about dance and he replied, “I like it, I love it, I want some more of it.”

Even if you missed this event, you can still make a charitable donation to help support the Down Syndrome Association of Memphis and the Mid-South.  For more Information call 901-547-7588 or email

Thanks to everyone from the studio who came out to support the walk!

STEP UP and be a part of one of the largest disability awareness events in the Mid-South.  
•One-mile fun walk
•Family Picnic
•Petting Zoo
•Children’s activities & inflatables
•Team and individual prizes