Proud to be from Pittsburgh: Mother uses passion to create dreams for children with special needs


A local mother is using her passion to create dreams for children with special needs.

Dance has always been Crista Miller Casper's passion.

Now, her mission is to open an extraordinary dance program.

"Everyone has a disability," Casper said. "Everyone has something they can't do. When you have something that's not very common, it's extraordinary."


In college, she wanted to pursue dance and special needs education. Then she had her son, Kyron, who has Down syndrome.

"My two passions kind of collided together and I feel like, with dance, it's a great way to express yourself. There's no right or wrong way to dance," Casper said.

There's a class at Millenium Dance Complex on the South Side for adults.

But Casper wants to open her own program for all ages and all kinds of dance, including a lesson on creative movement.


"You can take music and dance and portray any emotion through it," Casper said. "Whether you're sad, whether you're angry, whether you're happy."

She needs $15,000 to make this dream a reality. And it's not just her dream. Her students share it too.

"I want to be the best dancer I can be," Joe Brown said. "Dancing is my passion. It's my dream."

Brown is one of Casper's students and he's been waiting for the chance to express himself on the dance floor, something he hopes will continue.

"I've been waiting for this dancing class for so long," Brown said.

Their online fundraiser has raised just over $300.

"This is for all of us," Casper said. "This is for everyone. This is for everyone who has special needs. I can't do it alone, I can't do it without Pittsburgh."



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