Adaptive dance: new perspectives

Adaptive Dance: New Perspectives is a universally accessible dance program created and taught by Occupational Therapist Hannah Mariani, OTD, OTR/L, and Linnea Swarting, Nashville Ballet company member with adaptive dance education training. This new program is developed to provide an opportunity for children with special needs to experience the joy of dance, while developing body awareness, coordination, and balance in a traditional studio environment.

This is an opportunity for parents to watch their child’s face light up as they grow more confident through learning about and participating in dance. The class content is created and tailored to meet each child’s level of ability, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience. Nashville Ballet is thrilled to host a program that promotes inclusion with the philosophy that dance should be accessible to anyone and everyone. 


Schedule & Cost

Adaptive Dance: New Perspectives is an 11-week program meeting once weekly for one hour on Saturday afternoon. The spring semester will be held January 12, 2019, through March 23, 2019. Two classes, divided by age, will be offered each Saturday.

Enrollment will require a brief intake assessment and will then be done on a first-come, first-served basis.

The cost is $225 per semester, inclusive of an intake assessment meeting and 11 class sessions with an occupational therapist and a ballet faculty member.

Meet The Instructors

Hannah Headshot.jpg

Hannah Mariani
School of Nashville Ballet Faculty
Occupational Therapist

Hannah Mariani is a graduate of Belmont University’s Occupational Therapy doctorate  program. Along with her 15 years of dance experience, Hannah attained a minor in dance during her undergraduate studies at Belmont where her dream to develop an adaptive dance program began. She developed this program in fulfillment of her doctoral project and is passionate about providing children inclusive activities.





Linnea Swarting
School of Nashville Ballet Faculty
Nashville Ballet Company Apprentice

Originally from New Canaan, CT, Linnea Swarting trained at New England Academy of Dance and privately with Christina Fagundes before beginning her professional training with Boston Ballet School, Nashville Ballet and The Washington Ballet. She first joined Nashville Ballet in 2013 as a student in the Professional Training Division. After spending a year with The Washington Ballet, she returned to Music City in 2015 as a member of NB2 and was promoted to Nashville Ballet Company Apprentice in 2017. Linnea has a passion for working with students with special needs and introducing them to the world of dance and was certified to teach adaptive dance through Boston Ballet's Adaptive Dance teacher training program.



We have been searching for a class for several years… she has fun and doesn’t even realize what a great workout she is getting.
Our family is so grateful for this opportunity to fulfill a passion with friends and teachers who understand limitations that most do not.
You have shown to all of the children that no matter their limitations that they can participate and have fun… I believe programs like this are vital to our children and community.
The class really did help my daughter with her arm strength and range of motion! And selfishly it was a nice opportunity to connect with other special needs parents.



When does the program start and end?

It is an 11 – week program. The fall semester will be held September 9 – November 17.

How many classes are there?

Two classes will be offered on Saturdays, each for one hour.
Classes will be divided by age.

Who is appropriate for this class?

Both classes are universally accessible and not limited to any specific special need or diagnosis.

How can my child participate?

Sign up for an intake interview assessment! Interviews will be held in August (date/times TBA). Assessments will take place at Nashville Ballet, in the therapy room. Purpose of the intake interview is to learn more about your child and how we can make this a successful environment for the student and the whole family.

What should my child wear?

Black leggings with a white or Nashville Ballet t-shirt OR dance tights and leotard. We ask that your child wears ballet slippers, supportive shoes with braces, or is barefoot. Your child’s safety is our priority!